Throwing a Yard Sale

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Throwing a Yard Sale

By Lisa Scarbrough

Finally, after watching enough episodes of “Hoarders,” I felt the time had finally come to purge. It’s amazing just how much stuff can amount in the first couple of years of having a child. But at some point, you have to let go, if for no other reason, you don’t want your kid bringing those TV cameras to your home.

1. Make the commitment.
In all honesty, I’ve been saying for over a year that I needed to have a yard sale. But it’s a lot of work, so I found excuse after excuse not to do it. Finally, I talked my church into having a multi-family yard sale, and since I was one of the organizers, I had to pony up and participate.

2. Set the date and advertise.
If you put it out there, you’re more likely to follow through. So set the date, advertise with your friends, put it on Craigslist, and don’t forget to make the signs. The brighter the paper with thick, black marker, the better, and don’t forget to make it legible.

3. Be realistic.
For two and a half years, I had been saving all my pre-pregnancy clothes. I was going to wear them again soon, I just knew it. But after dragging down all the bins out of the attic and spending half an hour “sorting,” I owned up that it just wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I bagged 10 large trash bags of the clothes and put them in the pile to donate.

4. Not everything you have is a treasure.
When’s the last time you spent your time at a yard sale sorting through someone else’s clothes? While maternity and children’s clothes are often sought after, that neon pink blazer you just had to have may not be. Think about the space you have to sell, the time you have for people to spend browsing, and consider donating those items you wouldn’t buy again to a local charitable thrift store instead (you’ll appreciate the tax write-off next tax season). Make sure all your items have been cleaned, and be considerate with children’s toys by wiping them down with some disinfecting wipes. The cleaner they look, the better chance you have they will sell.


5. Take the time to organize.
Maximize your buyers’ time by grouping like-items together and already having prices on them. Use tables and bins to help keep them organized.

6. Be engaging.
It’s early, we all know that, but put on a smile and make small talk to your shoppers. Ask them if there is something specific they are hunting, and talk about how you used an item when they are showing interest. If you have items that could go together, make a point to mention it, and make a special “offer” to see them all gone.

7. Realize that you are not out to make a fortune.
Yard sales are places people go to get deals. Price your items fairly, and as you would expect to pay if you were purchasing at someone else’s sale. Not only will it keep haggling to a minimum, but it means the chance is greater you’ll have less to pack up and haul off at the end of the day.

Remember the ultimate goal of your yard sale is to lighten your load, with a bonus of fattening your wallet, at least a little bit.

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