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5 Tips To Running The Best Yard Sale Ever

5 Tips To Running The Best Yard Sale Ever

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.

  1. Advertise heavily

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.

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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.

  1. 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.

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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.

  1. Buddy up

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.

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  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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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

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Published on October 8, 2018

13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

13 Incredibly Useful Tactics to Help You to Stick to Your Family Budget

Are you having trouble sticking to a family budget? You aren’t alone.

Budgeting is difficult. Creating one is hard enough, but actually sticking to it is a whole other issue. Things come up. Desires and cravings happen. And the next thing you know, budgets break.

So how can you stick to a family budget? Here are 13 tips to make it easier.

1. Choose a major category each month to attack

As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” With that in mind, one approach to help you get into the habit of sticking to a budget is simply starting slow.

Spend too much on Starbucks runs, eat out too often, and have an out-of-this-world grocery bill? Choose one bad habit and attack.

By choosing one behavior to focus on, you’ll prevent yourself from being overwhelmed. You’ll also experience small victories, which help you gain positive momentum. This momentum can then carry over into your overall budget.

2. Only make major purchases in the morning

If you’re making large purchases in the evening, there’s a good chance you’re doing so after a long day and you’re probably tired.

Why does this matter? Because our judgement tends to be off when tired – our willpower is compromised.

Instead, only make major purchasing decisions in the morning when you’re energized and refreshed. Your brain will be firing on all cylinders and your resolve will be high. You’re less likely to give in and settle at this point.

3. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry

Have trouble with impulse buys at the grocery store? If so, there’s a good chance you’re going grocery shopping while hungry.

The problem here is that when you’re hungry, everything looks good. So you’re more likely to make split decisions on things that aren’t on your grocery list.

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Instead, make sure you eat prior to your grocery store trip. Then take your list, along with your full stomach, and go shopping. Notice how food doesn’t look quite so good when you’re not fighting cravings.

4. Read one-star reviews for products

Is there a product you just have to have (but maybe not really)? Check out the one-star reviews.

By reading all the horrible reviews, you may be able to basically trick yourself into deciding that the product isn’t worth your time and money.

Next thing you know, you didn’t make the purchase, you saved the money, and you feel good about the decision.

5. Never buy anything you put in an online shopping cart until the next day

If you are making a purchase online, it’s typically a two-step process. First, you click “Add to Cart” and then you go in to review your cart and pay.

The problem is that there not typically much reviewing during step two. It’s generally click pay and there you go. However, this is the perfect point to stop for reflection.

Once you add to your cart, your best bet is to step away until the next day. Let the item sit there and grow cold, so to speak.

This gives you a night to “sleep on it” and decide if you really want and need to spend that money. If you wake up the next day and still find the purchase viable, then perhaps it’s time to go for it.

6. Don’t save your credit card info on any site you shop on

One of the other pitfalls of shopping online is that fact that most sites ask you to save your credit card information.

While the sites will frame it as a method of convenience, the truth is they know you’ll spend more money in the long run if your credit card information is saved.

The “convenience” takes away one last decision-making point in the purchasing process. True, it’s a pain to get out your credit card and enter the information every time. But guess what? That’s the point. If that inconvenience helps you stay on budget, then it’s worth it. Which leads into the next tip.

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7. Tape an “impulse buy” reminder to your credit card

Credit cards make spending much easier than cash. When you spend cash, you can literally see your wallet emptying. A credit card comes out, then goes back in. No harm, no foul.

That’s why it’s a good idea to tape a reminder to your credit card. Customize a message that is something along the lines of “do you really need this?” or “does it fit the budget?”

That way when you pull out the card, you get one last reminder to help you question your decision and stick to your budget.

8. Only use gift cards to shop on Amazon

Amazon is probably the easiest place online to blow money. It’s just so easy to click and buy. However, one way you can slow the process down is buy only using gift cards. Here’s how it works.

If you plan on making a purchase on Amazon, go to the grocery store and purchase a pre-loaded Amazon gift card of the proper amount. There’s no convenience fee, so you literally pay for the money you’ll spend.

Now take that gift card home and load it to your Amazon account. There’s your money to spend.

Why does this help? It makes you have to purposely go to the score and purchase the card in order to purchase the item. That’s a pretty deliberate thing that takes some time, commitment, and thought.

This process will effectively kill the impulse buy.

9. Budget using cash and envelopes

As mentioned earlier, it’s a lot harder to spend cash than swipe a credit card. You can take this even farther by using only cash, and separating that cash by budget category.

Create an envelope for each category and stick the cash in there at the beginning of each month. When the envelope is empty, no more spending on that category, unless you borrow from another (be careful of that approach).

This can be pretty helpful for people that have a hard time following transactions in their checking account, or keeping a budgeting spreadsheet.

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The envelopes simplify the tracking process, leaving no room for error. Nothing hides from you because it’s tangible in the envelopes in front of you.

10. Join a like-minded group

Making the decision to stick to something like budgeting is difficult. It takes long-term commitment.

You’re going to feel weak sometimes. And sometimes you may fail. That said, support from others can help strengthen resolve.

Support can come from a spouse or a friend, but they won’t always have the exact same goal in mind. That’s why it’s a good idea to join a support group that’s likeminded.

No need to pay here, as there are tons of free communities that fit the bill online.

For example, reddit has multiple subreddits that deal with budgeting and frugal living. You can follow, subscribe, and get active in those communities.

This will open your eyes to new tips and strategies, keep your goal fresh on your mind, and help you realize there are others dealing with the same struggles and being successful.

11. Reward Yourself

When you set a budget, it’s usually with a large goal in mind. Maybe you want to be debt free, or perhaps you want to see $10,000 in your savings account.

Whatever the case, the end goal is great, but the end is often far away, making it hard to see the end of the tunnel.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to set mini-goals along the way. This helps you still look at the big picture but have something that’s attainable in the short-term to help with momentum.

But don’t stop there – set rewards for yourself when you reach that small goal. Maybe it’s an extra meal out. Or a new pair of shoes.

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Whatever the case, this gives you something in the near future to look forward to, which can help with the fatigue that can result in pursuing long-term goals.

12. Take the Buddhist approach

You don’t have to be a Buddhist to recognize some of the wisdom in the teachings. One of the tenets of the philosophy involves accepting that we can’t have everything we want. And that’s okay.

Sometimes you won’t feel good. Sometimes you’ll have cravings. You can’t deny them. But you can recognize them, accept them, and let them pass by. Then you move on.

Apply this to the times you want to do things that will break your budget. You’re going to have the desire to eat out when you shouldn’t. You might want to stay out and spend too much at happy hour with your work friends.

The feelings will come. Recognize them, accept them, but let them go.

13. Set up automatic drafts to savings

If you wait until you’ve spent all your budgeted money to deposit money into savings, guess what? You probably aren’t going to put any money into savings.

It’s too easy to see that as extra money and end up using it to treat yourself.

Instead, set up automatic savings withdrawals. That way, the money is marked and gone before you can even think about it. It becomes a non-issue. It’s no longer “extra.” It’s just savings.

Conclusion

Sticking to a budget can be difficult. No one is denying that.

However, if you can do a few things to set yourself up for success, and put some practices in place to curb impulse buys, then you can (and will!) be successful sticking to your family budget.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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