7 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Family Fun

As you clear out the boots and scarves from your closets this spring, consider it a golden opportunity to pare down and get rid of outgrown clothes and toys and to de-clutter the basement, garage, attic, or closets of dusty relics you haven’t used in years.

Rather than giving it all away, why not hold a yard sale, garage sale, or stoop sale? You know what they say: one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Earn some extra bucks, or donate the money to charity.

Hosting a yard sale can be daunting, but not if you’ve prepared. Here are seven tips that will help make your yard sale a success.

1. Choose a date and time. Saturdays are the most popular yard-sale days, with most starting early in the morning. Try to avoid long weekends and special occasions like Mother’s Day weekend.

2. Start sorting. It is never too early to start gathering your “inventory”. Go through your home and collect items you no longer use. Toys and furniture are obvious big sellers, as are small kitchen appliances that are in working order. Recycle anything that is broken or has missing parts. You can get the kids involved by having them weed through their toys and creating a pile for the yard sale.

3. Gather supplies. Head to the dollar store for price tags or painter’s tape, markers, brightly coloured posterboard or paper, and packing tape. If you intend to hang posters in the neighbourhood, borrow or invest in a staple gun. (Be sure you get price stickers that are easily removed.)

4. Get the word out.
Advertise your yard sale using traditional means with brightly coloured posters on street corners, flyers on bulletin boards in nearby cafés, and free listings newspapers. Also remember to take your sale online by putting the word out on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Kijiji, and Craigslist. Make sure to include the address (with cross streets), the types of items you’ll be selling, and when it starts and ends. Many avid yard salers arrive early to scoop up fab finds, so be considerate and stick to your start time!

5. Hit the bank. The last thing you want it to run out of change before the selling even starts. Be sure to have plenty of small change and bills on hand.

6. Determine your pricing.
People are more comfortable negotiating when they have a starting point, so price each item clearly with price tags or painter’s tape. An easy way to price items is by group: “All CDs $1” or “All items on this table are 50¢ each.” Be flexible with your pricing—you don’t want to lug all of this stuff back into your garage, so let people negotiate.

7. Make it a team effort.
Enlist extra bodies to help out at your table. Don’t try to do it alone! Ask a spouse or friend to help, and give the kids jobs, too. This is a great opportunity for them to interact with adults, negotiate, make change, and earn some money or, if you’re donating the proceeds, learn the value of volunteering.

This year, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is hosting its annual Yard Sale for the Cure. On May 24, you can shop a sale at one of the many locations listed online or host a sale of your own.


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