It's that Lovely time of the year again....Yard Sale Season! I love them!
Here are some tips for those of you on the hunt:
First - I must have a List! Why? Because it keeps me focused. I am easily tempted by all of the bright, fun things I see at yard sales. On this list I will write down things that I am looking for. You tend to forget when faced with the glory that is other peoples stuff, haha! Get things you know you will use or have a place for. You don't want to become a hoarder!
I write down Sizes. Clothing sizes for my kids, feet sizes (with 6 kids I tend to forget). If I am looking for a dresser or furniture item for a specific place in the house, I will measure that space and add that to the list. Bike sizes. etc...
Second - A tape measure. This would be in your purse so that you if you see something you like (that you have measurements for on your list) then you can measure it to make sure it is the right size.
Space. You need to make sure your vehicle is cleared out so that you can fit something larger. I always empty out my van, and fold down the seats in case I find a larger item.
Fourth - Smaller Bills and Change. You are looking for deals right?! So you want to bring smaller bills so the yard sale owner doesn't have to break a $20 bill. Also you may find a sweet deal for $1 or 25 cents. It's best to have some change on hand.
Fifth - Map List. I write down all of the yard sales that are advertised in my area from the papers or online. If I don't know where they are, I GPS it (but I didn't always have a GPS, so I used to quickly mapquest it). Of course you will stumble on ones that weren't advertised, but at least you KNOW where some are officially before heading out and can go full circle instead of back and forth.
*Now if you're really feeling prepared and organized, bring some different sized working batteries. This way you can try out battery operated things to see how well they work. Also you could bring a couple of plastic bags in your purse, so that if you are at a yard sale that has a bunch of smaller things you want, then you can stuff them in the bag while wandering around.
Oh, and on a side note: Trying to bargain/get a lower price at yard sales is fine, but don't insult the person by offering them $5 on their item marked $20. That's just rude to me. I prefer if people ask,"Are you willing to go any lower on the price?" To each their own, but I think this is better manners.
For those of you Hosting a Yard Sale:
First - Be Organized! There is nothing worse to me than walking up to a yard sale full of boxes jammed with crap. Have areas set out (toys in one spot, books in another, tools, clothing etc..) People are more likely to buy your items if they are organized for easy viewing. My preference for clothing is to put them in categories (in laundry baskets, plastic tubs, laid out on a table or hanging) and have size categories listed. People don't always want to dig to find a size they are looking for, and you will miss out on a sale.
Second - Be Clean! You are more likely to sell that teacup, if it has been washed out...not dusty or encrusted with old tea. Wash the clothing you are selling, and make sure it is suitable for selling. Don't sell it if it has stains all over it or is ripped. Toss it! The stuff you sell reflects on you. Test the electronics you are selling. If it doesn't work properly, but you still think someone could get some use out of it, add a tag with an explanation about what is wrong with it. This also reflects back on you if you are selling stuff that is broken without telling them, they will feel cheated! Give things a wipe down, and it will instantly up the value of it. Dust, dirt or grime on things decreases the desire to purchase. Oh...and for goodness sake please don't sell underwear unless it is in an unopened package. Have some dignity! I may be the only one that is grossed out by that, but I doubt it!
Third - Advertise Well! You don't have to spend money to advertise. You can go on used sites to advertise your yard sale, or local free papers. Signs along the roadside work really well IF you do it right! Make them bold and bright. Bright papers get attention. Make sure they are big enough and simple enough to read quickly from the road. Yard Sale should be the smaller print and your address should be bigger. Adding arrows is helpful for people who don't know where your address is. Make the arrow marking clear and easy to follow, and you will get more people stopping by to haul your stuff away!
Fourth - Make it Attractive! People will decide as they pull up to your address, whether they will actually get out of the car or not. Some people will get out either way, but more often than not people are looking for something to attract them to your sale. If you don't have a lot of things to sell, maybe do it with a neighbour or family member together. People are attracted to LOTS of stuff, because they figure you will probably end up having something they want. Keep it organized though (as was already said). Bright colours often attract people too. If you don't have anything bright to sell, one sneaky little tip is to take something outside that is gorgeous that you are NOT selling, and just post "SOLD" signs on them. The reason you would do this is to reel people in. (Sounds devious, but really not so much. You have stuff they probably want, but you need that curbside appeal for them to even stop in to check). For example, one yard sale I did had a lot of neutral tones to the items being sold. It looked dull, but there were lots of great items. So I brought my daughters bright kitchen set out and some big bright toys, and posted SOLD signs on them. I wasn't selling them, but people were attracted to the colours and stopped to see this "Fun" garage sale! Balloons also tend to make it look more exciting!
Make some Noise! People sometimes feel intimidated when they walk up to a yard sale alone. I prefer having some music going on outside. Not loud and annoying, but just upbeat. It puts people in a good mood, and they feel slightly less alone and watched. You can say "hello" and then back off. I feel that I ditch yard sales quickly if the owner is hovering and explaining the great features to all his wares. I prefer a nice "hello" and then do my own thing and browse to my hearts content.
Have Change! That is pretty self explanatory. It is a good idea to have change for those who don't think to bring change. They are not going to give you a $20 for that $4 item.
*If you want to have more fun at your yard sale, have a friend over to sit in the sun with you and have a drink or something. Read a book to pass the time if you don't have friends available,haha!
I am really looking forward to Yard Sale Season. For some of you it has already begun, but for me this is just the beginning! May you all have success with your finds.
"HAPPY YARD SALE-ING!!"