Monday, September 10, 2012

Yard Saling 101

Or, How To Throw a Yard Sale and Not Care That You Only Made $14.

1.  Start Planning Up to a Year in Advance.  The day following your last sale is a perfect time to start planning for the next one.  Something didn't sell this time?  No problem, next year brings a whole new clientele.  Case in point:  last year I made $36 at the annual sale.  This year:  $215.  Half of this year's inventory was 2/3 of last year's inventory.

2.  Nothing is Below "Yard Sale Quality".  When it comes to salable inventory, EVERYTHING is fair game.  Fruit you picked off your tree, used cosmetics, heck, even used underwear have been known to sell.  Part of the fun of the sale is in discovering that your junk truly is someone else's treasure.

That's a lot of junk.
3.  Make it a Multi-Family Sale.   When it comes to yard sales, the more the better.  I'll let you in on a little secret:  adding "Multi-Family" in front of the words"Yard Sale" ups the value in a true shopper's eyes.  Nothing's better than hitting 5 sales on the same street, unless they're all on the same lawn.  Multi-family sales are like Mecca to the hard core sale shopper.

4.  Put an Ad in the Local Newspaper.  And also post online.  This is a must, the make or break move of any successful yard sale.  Serious shoppers pull out the ads and start planning their shopping strategy the night (or even the week) before the big day.  Don't rely on signs alone.

5.  Have Donuts.  Nuff said.

Nom, nom, nom.

6.  Get Started Before Daylight.  If you've done your due diligence, you will have shoppers arriving the minute the sun comes up.  Every visitor is an opportunity to earn a buck (or 25 cents), so don't turn them away because you were too lazy to get your butt out of bed.

7.  Know Your Customer and Price Your Product Appropriately.  Put your pride aside and accept that you WILL be getting $2 for the Banana Republic cardigan that cost you $58.  Now is not the time to be haughty.  You want $10 for that $80 Ann Taylor dress?  Try ebay.

THIS is your target audience.

7.  Include a BBQ.  Haggling with tightwads who wrinkle their noses at $1 for a vintage set of hot rollers will work up an appetite.  This is where the beauty of the multi-family sale comes into play.  Arrange for everyone to join in on the potluck.  I guarantee you, the food will taste delicious, even if it's just hot dogs and sodas.  Something about haggling with a steady stream of just makes you hungry.  If you can swing tri tip and potato salad, even better.

8.  DO NOT Spend All Your Earnings Buying Junk Off Your Friends and Family.  This is the one drawback of multi-family sales, and I myself am guilty of not following this rule.  Case in point:  I have this cousin, I'll call her Harmonica, who likes to shop.  Harmonica likes to shop A LOT.  At expensive stores.  As a result, every year, I can count on finding some plum apparel at rock bottom prices.  This is my downfall.

Just $1.  I couldn't resist.  And that's how it happens.

That's it.  8 easy steps.  If the yard sale gods are with you, you'll not only have a good time, you'll also make a wad of ones to rival your local Denny's server at closing time.

Bank roll.

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