BLOG: Tips for hosting a successful yard sale

Teresa L Hoover
York Dispatch

When you host a yard sale, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most money for your items. Here are seven tips to do just that:

This yard sale was very tempting from the curb because it was obvious that there was a lot to look at thanks to multiple outdoor tables, big items and people milling about.

BE ORGANIZED: In the days before your sale, map out the best locations for your items. Keep all the clothes on one table, all the tools on another and so on. The point is that you group all your like items together in the hope that you’ll sell some of your lesser-quality items in a sort of buying frenzy.

EVERYTHING INCLUDED: If you’re selling items that have multiple pieces to them — from two-piece baby outfits to toys with lots of accessories — figure out a way to keep them together. You can sell a cute onesie with matching pants as a set faster than you can as separates. Don’t trust that by setting matching items next to each other that they will stay there. Instead, figure out a way to attach them to one another: putting them in a clear plastic bag, pinning them together or taping them.

INSTRUCTIONS AND BOXES: If you’re the type to save the original box and instructions to an item you’re selling, then dig them up and attach them to your items. The “marketing” on the box and in the instruction manuals might help sell your products quicker, and for your asking price. Likewise, collectors will eagerly pay more for items that have their original packaging.

HAVE LOTS OF CHANGE: Start your day out with lots of change on hand. Without the proper change, you might be tempted to give items away to avoid taking big bills.

GET LOTS OF HELP: Don’t ever expect to run a yard sale on your own. Having help on the big day will keep the pressure off and keep you from making bad deals as you rush to help multiple customers at once.  … (And here’s our super-secret BONUS tip: When the yard sale starts to get slow, send one of your workers to the other side of the tables. Have them mill about and browse for a while. This gives passersby an impression that they might lose something good if they don’t get shopping! Believe us, this really works!)

PRICE YOUR ITEMS: It takes a lot of time, but giving everything an individual price will keep you from making deals on the spot, and chances are if you enter into a haggle with a customer, your initial asking price won’t hold.

GET SHOPPERS OUT OF THEIR CARS: Give your yard sale some curb appeal to keep people from doing a “drive-by.”  You want them out of their car and browsing through your sale. The best way to do his is to make sure big items, furniture and colorful items are visible from the street. Likewise, tables full of trinkets shouldn’t be hidden under a carport or in a garage — pull them out if the sun is shining. Make people ask “What is that?” and go for a closer look.