What if I told you that you could potentially make money in just a few hours? Well, you can! How? Have a sale!
For all of you Negative Nancy’s out there that shame yard sales and claim “I donate everything.” I was a girl scout for ten years. That means I gave ten years of my life to community service, near and far, and I didn’t do it for a tax deduction. Also, anything that I do not sell gets donated and if it doesn’t get sold that doesn’t mean that it isn’t in wearable or useable condition. So why should you have a yard sale?
Do it for the experience –
When I told my mom that we should have a yard sale because I had so many things I wanted to get rid of and I was tired of trying consignment shops that do not pay nearly enough, she told me that we could however I would be hosting it. I can be a huge introvert and I certainly was at that point in my life. I was a little apprehensive and had no idea what to expect. For one, I am not good at math. I had already spent years in retail and could even run the floor alone if needed to but I wasn’t sure about taking the lead on this one. There’s a sense of vulnerability that comes with allowing a bunch of strangers into your front yard versus the store you work at.
The day of the sale, my sister came over early in the morning and helped with the setup. She and my mom took off shortly after to put signs up around our neighborhood. While they were out they called me to inform me that there was a “mob of people” out hunting for yard sales that were now on their way to me. My anxiety was on full blast and I told them to get back and help me but they had just put up the first or second sign and had several more to go. So, there I was, standing in my front yard watching as the cars, vans, trucks, and SUVS, lined up one by one and out came a mob of early bird shoppers. I was overwhelmed to say the least and only imagined how terribly wrong it could go.
It turned out to be a real banger. I was in total control and surprisingly had to do very minimal math considering the vast majority of the people were clearly experienced and gave exact change. I even bargained with the people that purchased in bulk. It turned out to be an awesome experience and I highly recommend it to anyone especially the shy folk. I made out like a bandit and gained experience and confidence and sweet mula.
I have hosted a few yard sales since and I have never made anything less than $100. There aren’t that many ways in which a person can make $100 in just a few hours…unless, you know… *cough … topics we will not be discussing. Anyways let’s face it, we are all hoarders from time to time. We all have that item of clothing that we are saving for “motivation,” and games that we don’t play, and movies we don’t watch, and books we don’t read, and equipment we don’t use. Sell it! Get rid of it! Clear out! Host your very own yard sale. I dare you to get off your couch and make money. I double dare you.
How to host your own yard sale
Let it go –
Say bye to what you don’t need. Organize by sections. Make a section for women’s clothing, one for men’s clothing, one for equipment, one for tools, one for entertainment, etc.
Perfect time –
The best time to have a yard sale is in the early morning hours on a Saturday and/or Sunday.
People need to be able to see your signs and be able to read the contents at a driving pace. It needs to be blatantly obvious where they need to travel to find your sale. If it’s too difficult they will leave it alone and look for another.
There is a free app that allows you to pinpoint yard sales in your neighborhood and those surrounding it. You can add your own. I’m personally not interested in putting my own ad on a site but it can attract more customers.
You want to attract the crowds, because you want to make money so your signs must look cool. I recommend using bright neon signs, big bold letters and arrows. Some people write out their address so it’s easier to find. Some even attach balloons to their sign. Make it look awesome and legible. When making signs you can say what type of sale it is too. For example “Moving Sale,” or “Two Family Garage Sale.”
I found these two on google images. They are creative and funny and worth a stop.
It is important to remember that you are hosting a garage sale, not an art gallery. This is stuff that would be normally sitting and collecting dust so the fact that someone is offering you money is worth more than if they weren’t. You need to have fair prices. I usually only price clothes, shoes and accessories at a few dollars. If it still has a tag on it, then maybe a little more but not a lot. Bigger items and brand names should be priced accordingly. Don’t go overboard with pricing. You more than likely will not get back what you originally paid for any one item.
Maybe you’d like to sell a bike and you want no less than $10. When a customer asks you how much it is, act like you’re thinking about it and name a price. For example “The bike, oh, um, we’d like to sell that for $30.” The customer might laugh or nod or decline your offer. Don’t be discouraged. Just about everyone knows someone that could use that bike. Don’t be desperate to get rid of that bike, let them come to you. The thing is if they really want that bike they’ll stick around for a little bit longer and even throw down an offer at a lower price. The two of you might go back and forth until they’ve talked you down to $20 or $15 and just like that, you’ve made $5-$10 more than you originally wanted. Look at you!
Have fun and make sweet mula!