Tips for having a successful yard sale

By: Jill Maxwell
By: Jill Maxwell

With all the economy troubles lately, there seems to be an increase in yard sales.   If you’re planning on having a yard sale, here are some helpful tips.

First, figure out what the best location is to have it. If you live 5 miles out of town on an old dirt road, that might not be the best place to have it. Ask around to see if any of your family or friends that live in a more accessible location would like to go in on a joint yard sale. You double up on the amount of stuff for sale and the number of people working the yard sale.
Once you determine where, you’ll also want to pick a good date and time. Check if there are other events in the area that will help draw people. Also, start early – don’t wait until noon to start or you’ll miss out on a lot of traffic.
Next, check with your local government to see if you need a permit and what restrictions may apply. Check into where you can place signs, the type of signs and how long they can be displayed. 
Post notices of your yard sale on-line and in the local newspaper. Getting the word out is half the battle. People who regularly go to the sales will plan their route in advance. You will also want to post some eye-catching signs to guide people to your yard sale.
Now for the items you want to sell. Try not to overprice items. Remember, this is to get rid of stuff you no longer use so why price it high? If you’ve still got an emotional attachment that makes you want to up the price, then maybe you should just keep it. 
Make sure you have a variety of items. Having a sale that only has women’s clothing in your size isn’t going to draw a lot of interest.   Make sure you have a mix – clothing, books, knick-knacks, dishes, tools – whatever you want to get rid of. Set up so that a variety of items can be seen from the street, this will help draw in the people just passing by. Make sure all items are presentable – a blouse that needs pressed won’t sell as well as the nicely ironed one will. And the flower pot with some dirt clinging to the inside won’t fetch as much as a clean one. 
Keep a good supply of one and five dollar bills and change on hand, along with a calculator and a counterfeit detector pen. Yes, counterfeiters have appeared at yard sales as several people in the CSRA discovered in the past. Make sure you have a secure box to place funds in, but remove large bills on a regular basis. 
These are just a few tips to help you have a successful yard sale. There’s a lot of information out there – just do a quick search for “yard sale tips”!
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