Fall Yard Sale Tips

Fall Yard Sale Tips

Fall Yard Sale Tips

I’ve been to a lot of yard sales. At a recent one, I bought a 1921 replica Coca-Cola serving tray and made arrangements with a seller to pick up a refinished oak tool chest that I plan to use as a coffee table.

After years of experience buying and selling, I’ve also brought home what I call my three Ps for a successful yard sale: Planning, Presentation, and Pricing.

• Planning is crucial. If you sell it, they will come, right? Wrong. Run a classified ad in your local newspaper. Be sure to include popular and big-ticket items as well as the date, time, and location of your sale. Post a free listing at Craigslist.org also. Then make signs to put up at the nearest major intersections and other strategic spots to direct people to your sale. (Check with your local municipality or homeowners association first to make sure it’s okay to have a yard sale and that signage is permitted.)

• Presentation is everything. Don’t just throw stuff out on the lawn and call it good. Organize your sale like a retail store – by department – so buyers can more easily find what they’re looking for. Hang clothing on racks (you can make a rack by inserting a broom through the rungs of two step ladders). Display all other items attractively on sturdy folding tables, like those from Lifetime Products.  I like the Fold-in-Half Tables because they store easily when I’m done using them. 

• Price to sell. Forget what you paid for an item. Price at 20-30% of the original price and be willing to negotiate. Remember, you’re trying to turn clutter into cash, so accept all reasonable offers. Put a price tag on everything so buyers don’t have to ask – some will, some won’t and those who don’t will just walk away. I use a Sharpie marker on blue painter’s tape because it peels off easily. Another strategy is to group like items such as books in a bin and create one sign with one price for all. 


Happy yard sale-ing!

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