As promised, here is our second post of yard sale advice ... If you missed our intro article on how to gather your inventory, set a date, and prep/price ... maybe you better read that first! Today's topics are setting up your garage sale for maximum impact and shopper safety, how to be a good "salesperson", and some "after the sale is over" advice.
Set up shop: Where will you hold your sale?
Be it the yard, garage, or driveway, make sure your sale can be seen from the road. And, plan to haul a few big items out front for good measure. It's best to work from a stripped site, so remove everything that's not for sale from the driveway, garage or carport. If you can't, drape the not-for-sale items with sheets or tarps so you won't have to explain 72 times that those items are not for sale.
Tables, even plywood resting on sawhorses, make it easy to browse. Hang clothing and display books spine up in shallow boxes for easy shopping. When possible, use signs to identify your merchandise. Plus, have a heavy-duty extension cord handy to operate radios, TV, and to test electrical appliances.
Are you ready to make change? A muffin tin makes a good change holder. We recommend that you be prepared with at least $20 in small bills and coins.
Safety: First of all, prepare your yard as if it were Halloween night. Remove anything that can be tripped over, including the dog, who should live elsewhere during the sale. Furthermore, check the floor and driveway for slippery spots or hidden hazards. Tape down extension cords or cables. Assess your inventory with an eye to safety. Examine children's toys for breakage and hazards. If in doubt, throw it out! Old lamps with frayed cords or small appliances that give off a burned smell belong in the trash, not on your tables. Protect other families like you protect your own!
Play salesman: Don't be a lump in a lawn chair!
Get up and talk to people, be excited and enthusiastic. Share lots of information about the various items you love and adore but no longer have room for. Not only will you create enthusiasm and make sales, you'll meet neighbors you never knew you had. So, it's smart to put your best foot forward!
Plan for at least two staffers for every yard sale, and more is better. One person acts as "background", shuffling cash, bringing coffee, keeping an active eye on everything. A cashier sits at the front with a cash box. Leave the selling to the most enthusiastic salesperson. Offer free coffee, and give your children a taste of private enterprise, entrusting them with a donut or cookie concession. If people are eating, they're staying. And if they're staying, they're buying. That's the point!
After the sale is over: Wrap up your sale when you said you would. A yard sale is
a lot of work, and you're still not finished. Dispose of the leftovers, either to a charity
pick-up or by boxing and delivering the items yourself. (This next point is an important one!) Be considerate of your neighbors and next week's yard sale enthusiasts. Remove all signs and return your site to normal. Then go count your proceeds, and take the family out to dinner. You have earned it!
Related Links: Garage Organization