The Do’s And Don’ts Of Having A Yard Sale

Having a yard sale is the perfect way for your family to get rid of your old junk (and you might even make some cash). Before you throw all of your old books, clothes and appliances on the curb with a “for sale” sign, take a few minutes and read “The Do’s and Don’ts of Having a Yard Sale.”

Do: Get the Whole Family Involved
Having a yard sale is a great way to get rid of your old stuff, but it can also be a lot of work to set up. Make things easier on yourself by getting the whole family involved. Not only will it be nice to have your kids’ help, they may be able to sell some of their old books, toys and clothing that they no longer use. Teach your kids about capitalism, the value of a dollar and get a few extra hands to help you carry out all of those old electronics.
Don’t: Forget to Advertise
Even if you live on a busy street, you can’t expect to get all of your business from walk up traffic. Put up flyers around the neighborhood at least a week in advance of your sale and be sure to include a rain date in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. If you are comfortable posting your address online you can also post an ad for your sale on Craigslist or other local forums. It is best to schedule your yard sale to start as early as possible. Yard sale fans tend to be early risers and may be finished with their shopping by the early afternoon.
Do: Research the Value of Your Items in Advance
This doesn’t mean, “Go to the store and see how much comparable items cost.” This also doesn’t mean, “Go on eBay and see how much your item is selling for.” This means go to other yard sales in town and see what others are selling items in the same category for. In general yard sale items are priced at least 75% off of what you could buy the item for new and rarely over $10. The exception to this rule is “newish” electronics, which can go for a bit more. What you paid for an item doesn’t matter; all that matters is how much the buyer is willing to pay to take it off your lawn.
Don’t: Get Too Attached to Any Items
Sometimes it can be hard to part with items that you have owned for years, but once you make the decision to sell something, sell it! Are you insulted that the guy from down the street only offered you $5 for your custom made bowling ball? You haven’t used that ball in years and, frankly, $5 is probably a fair offer. Don’t get insulted by a low-ball (no pun intended) offer just because an item might have some emotional value. The buyer isn’t buying the bowling ball that you won the championship with; he’s buying a dusty old ball that hasn’t seen a lane in years. Take the money.
Do: Price Items in Bulk
Pricing items under a dollar is a giant headache. Who wants to walk around with pockets full of change? If you think a shirt is only worth 50¢, make it part of a package deal. Two shirts for a dollar or, better yet, three shirts for a dollar. That sounds like a deal that’s too good to pass up.
Don’t: Expect to Get Rich
Remember, the goal of having a yard sale is to clean out your old junk, not to get rich. You could be throwing that stuff away or recycling it and getting nothing back in return. By having a yard sale you are able to put your old stuff back into the community and interact with a few of your neighbors. If you make enough cash to buy a couple of pizzas, consider it a bonus.
Kenny Soto is a blogger at My Move. For more info on how to sell your junk visit today.