From Clutter to Cash
It’s that time of year when everyone is doing some spring cleaning. One of the points I often teach in my Cut the Clutter class is to take unwanted, gently used items and turn them into extra money at a garage or yard sale. If you are new to hosting your own garage sale here are some practical and useful tips to make sure you get every dollar you can.
- Start planning well in advance of the sale. Choose a place to start to organize items you will sell at your sale.
- Sort similar items together. Group toys, bath, kitchen, garage, bedroom, etc. together to make it easier for shoppers to find specific items that they may be looking for.
- Choosing a great location is important. Make sure it is easy to find and you can give easy directions to it. Consider partnering with a family member or friend if they have a better location.
- Price all items before the sale. You can attend a few sales before yours to get a feel for what others are charging. To come up with a price, think about what you would be willing to pay for that item. Take into consideration the condition of the item. Is it new, like new, good, gently used or used? Be realistic and try to take the sentimental attachment to the item out of the pricing decision.
- Mark prices on each item or if you are selling collection of something make a sign instead of putting stickers on everything and say something like: “All Books $.50 each” or “All Clothes $1.00 each”.
- Be willing to negotiate your prices, buyers like to feel like they are getting a good deal, so be flexible.
- Check with your city to see if you need a sale permit or if they have any restrictions on how early you can advertise. You can often find this information on your local government website.
- Carefully consider the day, time, week and month. Yard sale shoppers are generally early birds and often start as early as 6 or 7am. Be ready the night before so you are not caught off guard.
- Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular days for hosting a sale. People tend to have more disposable income at the beginning of the month as compared to the end. A first Friday or Saturday would be to have a sale.
- Advertise! Get the word out with friends and family. Identify target customers such as new moms and advertise that you are selling baby clothes. Consider putting an ad in a local newspaper or posting something on social media, such as Facebook, Craigslist, etc. Put signs in key locations such as intersections and corners to help people find your sale.
- On the day of the sale be sure you have extra help to help customers and make change. Perhaps a family member or friend could lend a hand.
- Don’t forget to have a cash box and never leave it unattended! Start the day off with plenty of change and consider pricing everything in $25 cent increments so that it is easy to make change.
- Have a calculator, paper and pencil handy if you need to add up lots of items, make a note or write a simple receipt. Consider posting a no return policy.
- Have a plan for lunch and breakfast. Keep items that you can grab and eat with no preparation, so you can keep focused on your sale.
- Have a fun and profitable day as you say goodbye to your unwanted clutter!