When’s the last time you cleared all the junk out of your house? It was probably longer than you care to admit. Chances are your house is full of things you haven’t had use for in years.
In your closets, the back of your shelves, the bottom of your drawers and the corners of your rooms are probably a slew of items you’ve forgotten about entirely. They’re taking up space and not doing you any favors. The best way to get rid of them is sell them, and the best way to sell your stuff? A yard sale.
A poorly planned yard sale, however, can attract little to no attention. In order to maximize sales, you need to do some research. Here are five tips to run the best yard sale ever, and get rid of all your old junk doing it.
If no one knows your yard sale is happening, no one will show up. The best way to ruin a yard sale before it even begins is not putting in the time to advertise your sale. Make sure you put thought and effort into figuring out how best to advertise your yard sale.
Identify spaces with high foot traffic, and put flyers in places that are easy to notice. Potential readers should be able to stop and read your sign without getting shoved by an angry crowd, but still be able to see it from their walking path.
Place advertisements in local community spaces. Create a Facebook event and invite your local friends, and urge them to invite their own local friends as well. Make a Craigslist post, or advertise on online yard sale spaces, and make sure your advertisements are detailed and thorough. Include the address, the times available, the range of prices, the category of goods you’re selling and the date of the sale. Be sure your advertisements go up several days before the yard sale.
Prepare for payment haggling
Yard sales are a casual, unlicensed event, and customers come in with a different attitude than they would a brick-and-mortar store. Expect people to negotiate with you on payment—expect to negotiate, not just on how much they should pay, but also on how they should pay.
Someone may try to barter with you, but if your goal is to raise some cash, resist any bartering offers. The goal of a yard sale is to get rid of junk, not switch it out for other junk.
Others may want to pay with cards, especially if you’re selling things that might quickly add up in price. Luckily, accepting credit cards is increasingly easy for the layperson to do. Squareup charges a nominal 2.7 percent fee to allow you to process credit cards with your phone.
Although you want to move your products, you’ll attract more customers if you have more to sell. Ask friends or neighbors if they have goods they’d like to sell as well, and make your yard sale a multi-seller event.
Multiple sellers means people have more options for clothing sizes and types, or more varied genres of books and movies. It promotes a wider audience, rather than just attracting those interested in your size medium shirts and size eight skinny jeans, or your collection of Michael Buble CDs.
Better variety encourages more shopping, and more shopping means more money. Don’t think of other sellers as competitors. Think of them as another attraction to draw customers in.
Present your goods wisely.
Humans are visual creatures, which means we’re visual shoppers as well. How products are arranged can influence how much interest someone will have in your stuff.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. Arrange clothes by size and category. For example, if you have specialist items, such as shoes for nurses, you may consider grouping them with other nursing items. If you have a pile of books, arrange them by subject matter and have them stacked neatly so people can pick them up. Arrange DVDs on the table so customers can see multiple titles at once. Keep different categories clumped together.
If you have any particularly exciting wares to sell, arrange them so they’re closer to the sidewalk and easier for passerbys to see. Something fun may draw them in and encourage them to shop around.
Offer some free stuff.
Although this seems counterintuitive, it’s a good sales technique to get people more willing to part with their money. A box of free goodies, or a collection of free with purchase items, can convince people that the $7 you want for a DVD is more worthwhile. People like free things, and giving stuff away has long been a well-used marketing technique.
Free snacks, especially if they were advertised on the flyer, can also draw customers in. Chips in a bowl, a tray of cookies or some dip platters can feed browsers and put them in a better mood to spend. Fill their stomachs and empty their wallets with kindness, and you’ll have a much better yard sale.
Think carefully about how you want to plan your sale. With some clever moves and trusted marketing techniques, your yard sale can be a successful and worthwhile one.
Featured photo credit: Barb Crawford via flickr.com