When seasons change, I start to yearn for a change in my own life…probably because I live in South Georgia and we lack discernible “seasons”. The point is, I want something to happen and sometimes you just have to make it happen on your own. I decided to have a yard sale and rid my house of all the clutter I no longer want. We are refinishing our upstairs so some extra money would be great and a yard sale seemed like a wonderful idea at the time. Surprisingly, it was a success, but I learned a few valuable lessons along the way.
This one is really difficult for me because I am an impulsive person. If I want to paint a room it is usually painted by the next night. So I wanted to have a yard sale and decided a week and a half was enough time to get it together. That probably wasn’t wise since we ended up rushing around to clean everything out and get an ad in the local paper. Somehow we managed it, but another week or 2 would have been better because I am certain there are more things in this house we don’t need and extra time would have provided me with the opportunity to find them.
Location, Location, Location
My house is in a fairly rural part of town and we don’t have a lot of traffic. I could have advertised and hoped that people would go out of their way to find the house, but decided it was best to ask my parents if we could use their house. They live in a high traffic area that is centrally located in town so I knew that their house would be easy to find. I was right! We even had more traffic due to Saturday activities in the surrounding area. Hauling all of the stuff over there wasn’t fun, but I think it paid off in the end.
If the Price is Right
Obviously, we wanted to have a yard sale to make money, but if the prices are too high people aren’t going to buy anything. We also wanted to declutter the house so we decided whatever we put in the yard sale was NOT coming back to the house.
If someone wanted to haggle over a price I reminded myself that if we didn’t sell it we were just giving it away so some money is better than none. I HATE haggling. The entire reason my husband and I questioned having a yard sale was because neither of us likes to deal with people and their money. My young daughter turned out to be the best salesperson in the family. She had people buying tons of things and was super friendly and helpful. A few people even gave her tips!
Advertising and Social Media
In our town, people still check the local newspaper for yard sales and so I knew I had to put it in the paper. It cost a little money, but we made 16 times the cost of the ad back so it was definitely worth it. Posting signs in yards and street corners can be helpful for people to find the location, but that probably will not be their main source of finding yard sales.
Facebook was vital to the success of our yard sale. I posted the details and pictures on local yard sale Facebook pages and our traffic increased dramatically. I suggest appointing someone to focus on the social media aspect, because I missed a whole lot of offers for items while
I was busy working at the yard sale. I did manage to sell a few pieces on Facebook and for the full asking price!
We borrowed some long tables and set everything up at 4:30 am on the day of the sale. It was completely dark so we had to use flashlights to price and separate items. At some point, I just gave up on pricing and started inviting customers to make an offer.
I noticed that the items we placed on the front tables sold very quickly and so we would reorganize and shift things that weren’t selling to the front. We tied a rope between 2 trees to hang clothing on and it worked perfectly. I only wished we would have had more tables so that the items we didn’t have time to hang could have been arranged on the tables. Next time I have a yard sale I will be sure to have boxes and bags available for people to take home their items.
For the most part, the day was a success and we got a chance to meet a lot of very interesting characters. Though we were completely exhausted by the end, I believe it was worth it. We would have a yard sale again…just don’t tell my husband yet.
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