Throw a super-hot yard sale
Successful yard sales employ a pretty basic formula: great selection + killer prices. Without them, you’ll have a pile of leftovers at the end of your sale, and trust us: it's a lot more fun hauling that stuff out of boxes than packing them back in!
Follow our handy yard-sale countdown, and you'll be moving trash and treasures from your life for fun and profit – fast!
TWO TO THREE WEEKS AHEAD:
• Make the decision to have a yard sale. Mention plans to your neighbours and see if they want to opt in. A bigger sale generates more interest with drive-by traffic.
• Start moving your "inventory" to the garage. Clean and dust articles, then sort them by category.
• If you're selling antique or vintage furniture, spiff them up with a polish: this will net you better prices.
• Start bringing home a box or two every few days from the supermarket or liquor store. These boxes can be used as extra display surfaces (when closed and laid upside down) or can hold loose items.
• Start collecting plastic bags and newsprint for packaging purchases.
ONE WEEK AHEAD:
• Alert your friends and family (leave colleagues and professional contact alone!) via email, Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites.
• Make announcements on Craig’s List and Kijiji. Update them throughout the week. Note some of the things you'll be selling, like key furniture pieces, sizes of clothing, types of small appliances, other notable finds.
• Advertise in the Thursday and Friday Classified section of your local newspaper. (A Saturday ad is fine for a Sunday sale, but don’t advertise a Saturday sale in the Saturday paper – your sale may be over by the time people read about it!
• Go to the bank and get about $50 to $60 in small bills and plenty of toonies, loonies and quarters.
THE NIGHT BEFORE:
• Post cardstock signs at nearby major intersections.
• Price your items. Remember: A good yard sale has prices that are cheap enough to get buyers reaching for their wallets, not thinking "You’re only offering 50% off the list price of a 5-year-old IKEA table?!"
• Fill and strap on your über-stylish fanny-pack-cum-change-float (safer than a lockbox)
• Find a couple heavy-duty electrical extension cords and set them aside
• Set your alarm clock!
THE DAY OF:
• Wake up, get caffeinated, eat breakfast!
• Start setting up your tables and wares, and have a friend shoo away Early Birds. (Or, let 'em shop if they're willing to pay full price: why discount so early in the day?) Your friend should also ensure they don't mess up your newly arranged product displays!
• If you don't have a rolling clothes rack, string a clothesline across your property and hang clothing from it.
• Group blenders, power tools and other electrical devices together on one table and have an extension cord accessible nearby so shoppers can try before they buy.
• Sale starts!
• Mark down all remaining items by 50%.
• Offer "Buy Two, Get One Free" or other incentives to move the last of your product. Remember: Whatever doesn’t move now will be cluttering your closets tonight, or have to be packed up and carted off to Goodwill.
• Cut your losses and end your sale: You don't want to waste the rest of the day babysitting leftovers!
• Either pack up your leftovers and cart them off to Goodwill or another charity, or
• Consolidate leftovers onto one table and put up a big FREE sign.
Yard sale survival kit
• Sunscreen, sunglasses or hat
• China marker, or price stickers and permanent marker
• Change float fanny pack
• Lawn chair
• Good friends to gossip with!