Is It Time to Have a Yard Sale?
Yard sales are a tried and true way to get rid of clutter. Last summer, most of them were not able to be held as planned. If you have a couple of years of accumulated junk, it might be time to do it – and these lazy, hazy days of summer can be perfect for yard sale days. Here are some considerations.
Your Trash Is Someone Else’s Treasure – If You Price It Right
It’s a yard sale, not a booth at an antique shop. The items should be priced to sell, and haggling should be just to make them feel good about getting a deal. The money you do make can be turned into something fun, like a night out with the family.
Yard Sales Are Hard Work
When you have a yard sale, it is always much more work than you realize it will be. It seems easy enough to just pull out the bins and boxes of things you’ve been packing away. There is always more than you think. In addition to making sure your yard is in shape for it, you’ll also need to:
- Take time to price everything
- Decide how many days and what hours you’ll be available
- Invite neighbors and friends to participate
- Make and put up signs
- Advertise through an online marketplaces
- Make sure you have enough tables to display everything
Depending on what you have to sell, you may reach this point and decide you’re better off donating everything.
Not Everything Will Sell – Have a Contingency Plan
At the end of your sale, you will still have quite a bit of stuff left. The last thing you want is to bring things back inside to store again. Before the sale ends, you can help push more out the door by:
- offering discounts, like 50% off everything
- Bagging similarly-sized clothing items and sell steeply discounted “grab bags” of clothing
- Selling small items – books, CDs, DVDs – in groups or discounted. For example, you might offer one DVD for $1 but 5 for $3
- Offer items for free to everyone who comes
What you do have left at the end should be consolidated and organized and taken to your local goodwill shop.
Is a Yard Sale Worth the Effort?
Yard sales are complex, multi-step operations that take a a lot of planning to properly execute. Make sure you’ve considered all that is involved and feel that it is worth your time to have one before jumping on the yard sale train.
What’s Involved In a Yard Sale?
Before the Sale
- Pricing of every item
- Storing items until the sale
- Marketing the sale to ensure enough people show up
- Getting cash to make change for customers
- Purchasing or making signs for the neighborhood
Day of Sale
- Time commitment to host the sale
- Do you have a rainy day plan?
After the Sale
- Clean up of unsold items and signs
- Getting rid of items that did not sell
Is a Yard Sale Right for You?
Would it be better/faster/easier/more time efficient to donate everything at one time and take the tax write off?
Do you really have the time to commit to the work to have a yard sale?
Will it be worth your time?
A yard sale can be worth the effort, especially if you have a wide variety of items to get rid of, can combine your sale with other families to make it even larger, and have the time to spare to run it. Not only can you recoup some of the expenses on items you’ve purchased but are no longer using, but you can turn it into a fun day by doing things like offering donuts and coffee for sale in the morning and letting the kids have a lemonade sale in the afternoon. If you have a yard sale with a friend, it can be even more fun.