Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thrifty Tips

This weekend we are having our annual yard sale. We usually have one yard sale in the spring & one in the fall. Having a yard sale takes a lot of hard work, but in the end, I always end up with less stuff to clutter my house, and more $$ in my pocket! So, I decided to share a few helpful tips on how to have a successful yard sale!

*First pick a date & time for your yard sale. Usually yard sales do better on weekends, and usually don't do well on a holiday weekend! We usually hold our yard sales on Friday & Saturday from 9 am until 3 pm. However, you can always expect "early birds" and we usually leave the things out later than stated because we'll always get a last minute person stopping by!

*Ask friends, family members, or neighbors if they'd like to join you. The more "stuff" the more attention it draws! If someone sees a sign that reads "multi-family" yard sale it usually catches their eye. My friend, and I always do our yard sales together!

*Organize- Most people enjoy shopping at a yard sale that is well-organized, and are more likely to hunt for a bargain and buy more things!
*First thing is to separate items by group, such as all kitchen things, all electronics, ect. We also separate girls clothes, boys clothes, adult clothes. And we sort the clothes by size. So if someone says that they are looking for size 12 month girl clothes than we can show them exactly where they are, and are not digging through clothes for forever!

*Advertise- You can make signs to hang around your neighborhood. You could also make simple flyer's to pass out and hang in local grocery stores, ect. You could also advertise online for free, and even run an ad in your local newspaper for a fair price! After you make and hang your signs up, drive by to make sure that you can read them easily. After your yard sale make sure to take down all of your signs! We also hang balloons in the front of the house near the street-next to a yard sale sign that draws people to stop & look!

*Pricing - Although it is helpful for some people to individually price every item, I just don't have the time to do that. Instead I make a sign that says, all clothing $1 per piece, 2 piece outfits $2, ect. This helps so that your not getting bombarded with people asking "How much is this?"
Also keep in mind to price an item "a third of what it costs new." Price items to sell, but with enough room to haggle. A lot of people are looking for a good "deal" and very often will want to negotiate with a price! Also, when someone is buying a lot of stuff, we usually give them some kind of a discount. On the last day of the yard sale we'll mark some things even cheaper just to get rid of more stuff!

*I've also found that if clothing is hanging on a hanger it is more likely to sell, than if the clothes are folded on a table. We always hang a clothes line from tree to tree, and hang the majority of the clothing on hangers and put them on the clothes line. I recommend using your cheaper hangers, not nice ones, and when someone purchases the item, take the clothes off the hanger, and reuse it! Having a clothes line makes your yard look less cluttered, more organized, and it's easier for people to shop.

*Display bigger, or more interesting items closer to the street to draw attention from people driving by!

*Another helpful tip, we always lay down a big blanket & spread the toys that we are selling on it. This allows children to play, while Mommy shops, and usually she'll end up buying more if her child is playing-and she doesn't have to worry about him/her!

*Also have an electrical outlet, and extension cords available if someone would like to try out an electrical item before buying it.

*We usually also buy soda and put it in a large cooler on ice, and sell the sodas as well. We always buy whats on sale of course, and something that we like to drink, so that if it doesn't sell, it won't go to waste. Usually if someone is thirsty they will buy a soda, end up staying longer, and end up buying something! You could also sell small bags of chips, cookies, brownies, or any kind of snack. Some people make $20 alone just by selling drinks, and food.

*Guard your money! We usually wear a fanny pack, and carry the money with us at all times. I also recommend keeping a calculator, a notebook and pen handy to keep track of your earnings, and to help with the math!

*Keep more valuable items closer to where you'll be for the majority of the time. So that it's easier for you to keep your eyes on it! We set up a check out area near the front porch, and when people are finished they come there to pay, and we bag their items.

*Also keep a cordless phone, or cell phone on you at all times.

*Start out with several single dollar bills, and change such as quarters, nickels, dimes, pennies. And don't accept checks, unless it's from someone that you know & trust. Keep it at cash only!

*Always have plenty of plastic grocery type bags on hand, for when someone purchases a lot of items. Also have some newspaper handy to wrap up any breakable items.

*Be an active seller! Let your inner "sales man/sales women" come out! Be friendly. Greet each person that comes into your yard with a smile, and acknowledge that they are there. Ask them "If they are looking for anything in particular, or if they need help with anything." You want people to feel comfortable, so treat them just like you would if you were a business owner. Show things off, and offer other things. For example if someone buys an outfit, offer the matching shoes as well. It's also a good idea to offer a discount for big buyers that are indecisive about buying more.

*Finally, have at least 2 people manning your yard sale. So that one person can handle the money, bagging items, ect. And one person to walk around the yard to answer questions, and help out the shoppers! This will help out tremendously!

*No matter what happens, just remember to have fun!

Good Luck & Happy "Yard Selling!"

I will definitely share my earnings with you, probably on Sunday! I'm very excited! If you have any additional tips that I've left out, please don't be shy, leave a comment & share!

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