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Monday, July 23, 2012

Yard Sale Success

Yard sales can be a lot of work, but they can also be very rewarding. We just had our first one ever. It was a mega baby yard sale. We kept every single baby item we acquired over the past 8 years! We had kept everything because we never knew if we were done having babies. We finally decided this year that we are complete with 2 kids and that we are going to bust out of our home if we don't start simplifying our belongings.

Our sale was a success because I have been thinking about it for a long time and because I had some great help! My friend Sarah has had successful sales in the past and gave me lots of great advice. Thank goodness for mother nature too, because we had been in a triple digit heat wave for days, then it lowered for the weekend, and now it's back up again. I have no idea how we managed to pick the perfect weekend, but we did!

Here are my tips for a successful yard sale:

Planning! I am definitely a planner. I decided that since this was a mega sale, I wanted to keep things simple by keeping my prices simple. Most clothing/shoes one set price, books/ movies one set price, small toys one set price. For very nice name brand clothing and holiday dresses I set up a hanging rack and set one price for anything on those racks.

Know how much stuff you have to set out and make sure you have enough tables . If you don't have tables you can use old doors or plywood and set them on empty bins, tables , or sawhorses. I only had 3 tables, so I also used 3 doors which gave me 6 tables total! And that was just for clothes!! It was funny how many people asked "how many kids do you have?" haha...only 2!

Group like items together and categorize them. It helps to lay out your clothes in order by size. I had an abundance of clothes, so I had a table for each size. And labeled the tables so people could find the size they were looking for quicker. Instead of tagging each piece, I set a price so they would all be the same. I did the same for shoes, and put them in a bin under the corresponding clothing sizes...infant shoes under the infant clothing table. Then the tables were in order of size. Aside from clothing, organize other categories as well. Baby safety items grouped together, electronic toys together, stuffed animals together, etc.

For items that I wanted to price differently than others on the same table, or for "odd" items, I used prelabeled stickers that I picked up at the dollar store. In these packs, there are also blank stickers to fill in your own price, and "make offer" stickers in case you're up for a little negotiating.

Have plenty of cash and change available. You don't want to have to turn someone away because you don't have the right change for them. Most people bring $20s and spend less than that. I got 2 rolls of quarters that I didn't even have to open, but it was nice knowing I had them just in case.

Have plenty of plastic sacks to bag up purchases. Our Walmart has a large recycling container for this at the entrance, so I grabbed a bunch before my sale, and took the extras back afterwards.

Since I often have my kids with me when I'm out yardsaling, I saw this fabulous idea at another house that turned out to be very popular! I set out a bin of "freebies" in front of where you "check out". I gathered small toys from past goody bags, and happy meals and made a "free to take" sign for it. Kids loved it; some of them just sat there and played the whole time while their parents shopped. Even adults took something to bring home to their kids.

One important thing we learned:

We were fairly prepared for this sale, but in the future, we will prepare throughout the year. Meaning as we find items to include in our next sale, we will tag them, price them, and put them in a designated spot for yard sale items. That way, when we are ready for our next sale, or if a friend or neighbor is having a sale and asks if anyone has anything to add, we will just pull the items out and be ready in no time!

More helpful info:

Some of my friends have found some local facebook groups where you can post items that are for sale and organize pickup for those items. There are atleast 10 in my area, and probably more that I haven't discovered yet! My favorites are Baby Swap and Sell, and Yard Sale Junkies. So search Facebook for any local pages like this if you are looking for a used item to purchase, or if you are looking to sell some things. I started posting things a couple weeks before my sale, and made $100 even before my yard sale! And now I am working on selling things that did not go at the sale.

I won't talk about tips for what to do after the sale, because I'm still in the middle of all the craziness. :) The tables are still in my garage waiting to go back into bins. But a trip to Goodwill is in my future this week! And here is a link to some helpful info on how to determine your donation amount after your trip to Goodwill: Donation Value Guide.

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