Friday, October 2, 2015


Oh the yard sale!  We are at two days until the sale.  A yard sale is no easy task.  You don't just throw your crap on the lawn and setup a chair and change expecting to make takes WORK (key Ru Paul Supermodel music). 

It starts with PLANNING people.  Plan that yard sale!  Give it a few weeks ahead of your "I want to have a yard sale" thought.  I gave it three weeks to plan.

Next, start searching your goodies, what can you sell, what should you donate, and what did you pull out of a dark closet that you NEED to keep?  Find a location for Central Command.  That is where you can sort, price and tag the items you want to sell.  We are blessed enough to have a guest room which served as my Central Command without cluttering up the rest of the house.  

Here are some of my favorite and most useful planning and sorting tips. 

1) Collect items into two piles: SELL and DONATE. Some things you will identify as  "not worth the effort to sell" and you can place those in the donation pile. I like to use a contractor garbage bag as my donation "pile". I just put it in the bag and when it's full Daddy Bun takes it to the car to be dropped off.  Then get back to that SELL pile. 

2) PRICE EVERYTHING!  Yes, I'm serious. You must price everything. Why?   Most people don't want to ask how much.  They don't!  Some shoppers don't even speak a word!  So how are they going to know without asking?  I've left sales with good items because I just didn't feel like asking, "How much is this?" for every item.  A price on each item starts the conversation to sale or haggle and BELIEVE ME, there are some shoppers who will haggle on every item.  I use index cards and tape and a Sharpie. Some people use preprinted stickers. (Will I get $5 for a new fondue set?  Maybe not...which leads to tip #3

3) Leave some wiggle room on some items. I know I'm not going to get $5 for that.  But when a shopper asks for a lower price on your wiggle room items they feel like they've got a "better deal" and that shopper might just pick up a few other items too!  Sometimes if I'm not offered a lower price I'll let the buyer know, "Hey I could let that go for $3 so you can pick up those ice cream dishes you're eyeing". IT WORKS PEOPLE!  

4) Price items as you collect them from the rooms in your house. I started small with the bathrooms. I had shower curtains and toothbrush holders and tons of unused lotions and nail polish. I collected my items, dropped them in Central Command and set to work pricing.  This allows you to work methodically and gives plenty of time to take a break between rooms or even between collecting items. Don't forget that donate pile!  

5) Blanket price clothing items and make a sign for them.  It's a lot easier to ask for $1.00 per shirt and $2.00 per shorts than it is to try and price out the clothes.  You can do the same for shoes but I like to individually price my shoes.  I can get $0.25 for flip flops and $5 for sparkly heels, might as well make the money where I can!  This is my blanket clothing price. I know I might not get $0.50 for a tank top but it's all about the deal so if you see someone eyeing a few, sidle over and tell them 3/$1.00. 

6) There are bound to be some clothing items that are better quality or just some items that you KNOW people would pay more to take home. That is why I suggest a YSB! 

I keep the YSB limited in terms of quantity. The idea is to have SOME items but don't get overwhelmed with items you THINK are worth more.  I use these guidelines. If it's brand new or designer, it goes in the YSB.  As I collect I start with a large YSB pile. Then I pare it down as I move through the house. Some of the items in this YSB include brand new rompers and dresses, Coach and Michael Kors, and even embroidered Columbia fishing shirts (thanks Daddy Bun). Price them individually and put them in the "Boutique". 

7) Use tables. It can be an investment if you don't have access to them, but there is a huge difference in the overall aesthetic of a yard sale when you have tables.  Keep it off the ground if you can!  We rented three 8ft. tables for $25 which is a small chunk out of the sale proceeds but in my opinion, I get more attention when it's on a table and people don't have to stoop down to look at an item. Let's face it, some sweet lil' ladies don't want to bend over to pick up a crock pot only to put it back down. It gives a more organized feel to the sale and that is what increases sales! 

8) ADVERTISING...this is important!  I use Craigslist to advertise. I post two days prior to the sale. A headline is key!  Don't just say Yard it My Husband is Making Me Sell It Sale...go for The Greatest Yard Sale EVERRR!

  Give them a smile!  Make them want to see what else you have to say.  When advertising I like to put a list of what is available. I don't mean Household Items, I mean curtains, paintings, candles, and table runners. I don't mean Kitchen Stuff, I mean blenders, cups, plates and cookware.  Do you have clothes?  What size are they?  Add that information too.  

Don't forget the specifics. Where is the sale?  What times?  What are the closest cross streets?  Will you use signs?  Direct shoppers to the signs.  Here is an example of my signs. I use big, bright poster board. I will use dowels to tape the signs to foam board. I got my supplies at the Dollar Tree. It was a $12 investment. 
9) On the day of the sale expect a few things. First, expect if you make amazing signs, they might get stolen. Expect Early Birds. I've tried to shoo them away but it never fails, there are always people hovering as you are laying out your items. You can either shoo away a potential sale or you can let them hover around you like Yard Sale Paparrazi. 

10) RELAX!  Have fun!  This is hard work but at the end of the day you will have cash in your pocket and less clutter on your hands.  

A yard sale is a great way to make money and de-clutter. We plan to use every dollar made at the yard sale for medical costs for Little Bun!  I will add photos of the sale and UPDATE this post to see if these tips are REALLY worth it.