A successful yard sale involves hours of preparation and plenty of hard work. So does an unsuccessful sale. I’ve had both kinds and can confidently say the version that makes money is better.
If you’re ready to take advantage of warmer weather and the opportunity to declutter, consider these tips culled from experts (and bitter experience) for having a good sale.
DETERMINE YOUR GOALS
First, consider whether a yard sale is the right method for your goals. Yard sales and their cousins — garage, estate, moving and tag sales — can help you get rid of stuff and raise some cash. But you can’t expect to get top dollar.
If making money is your priority and you have time to wait for buyers, consider offering your more valuable items elsewhere. Check out auction sites such as eBay ; apps including Letgo and OfferUp; platforms like Craigslist, Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace; and consignment stores or even pawnshops.
If you just want to get stuff out of your house, donating your unwanted goods is usually the fastest and easiest option. (You’ll get a tax break for your donation only if you’re one of the few who itemize deductions.)
If your goals are relatively balanced — you want more space and more money, for several hours’ worth of work — a yard sale may be the best option.
Consider enlisting at least one other household that can contribute helpers and stuff for your sale. Shoppers want to see a wide variety of goods — there’s a reason many yard sale ads use the headline “Multifamily sale!” — and the whole experience is a lot more fun with friends.
Tools, kitchen gadgets, sporting goods and camping gear are often the best draws, says Chris Heiska, who has operated the yardsalequeen.com site since 1996. What usually doesn’t sell: anything broken or badly stained. Outdated technology can be hit or miss. Our friends found no takers for their VCR tapes or Princess telephone . But vinyl records can be hot sellers.
Expect to spend several hours collecting, sorting and pricing your items. Pricing is essential — many people won’t ask what something costs, so you’ll be losing sales if there’s …….