If you have some big savings goals and want to create your own emergency fund, hosting a yard sale is the perfect solution. If you end up finishing your spring cleaning and have boxes and piles of stuff you want to get rid of, a yard sale offers a great way to save money for paying off student loans, get some extra cash for spending money, or have just a bit extra for your savings accounts this month. We’ve got a few garage sale tips that will help you make the most extra cash out of your old junk.
Most yard sales happen in the morning on Saturday. This is a convenient time to host it, but there will be a lot of competition. Consider picking a different time of day or choosing a day during the week. This increases your chances of being the only yard sale that everyone visits.
Another option is to schedule your yard sale while a local event is happening nearby. If people are already coming into your neighborhood, you’ll see increased foot traffic to your sale.
Work With Neighbors
Talk to your neighbors and see if they plan to have a yard sale in the near future, too. The larger the scale of your sale, the more enticing it is. One of the prime tips on how to have a successful yard sale is to make it as big and attractive as possible. If you and a few other neighbors can get together, you’re more likely to draw a crowd who will see your event as worth their while to visit.
No one will know about your sale unless you advertise. Put flyers up around town and use online ads to spread the news. There are several forums you can use, including Yard Sale Search, if you want to get the word out more. Facebook groups can let people in your area know more about the sale, including what items you have to offer and what times you are open. NextDoor is another good option. Be sure to mention how many households are involved if you’re working with neighbors.
Do not forget to add the signs! Lots of large and colorful signs will help draw attention. Just keep the text simple, as your potential customers will drive by these and need to be able to read them going at 30 mph. Something like “SALE’ and your address works well.
Make It Look Like a Grocery Store
While your yard sale is outside, you can still make all the items look tidy. Rent or borrow tables to put items on. Group items that are similar together. Put the bright, colorful, and big-ticket items near the street to draw more people in, and group things of the same price together in a “50 cents” box or all next to each other.
Make sure every sale item is clearly marked, especially if it’s in good shape or clearly priced well below market rate. Make sure you walk through to keep things organized but do always have someone to watch your cash box while you do.
Turn the Sale Into a Party
Those who have fun will stay longer at your sale. Supermarkets and other stores play music for this reason: they have found that customers will stay longer and spend more when music is playing. Bring out the radio and turn on a little music or put on a fun playlist to go through a speaker. Be sure to go around to talk to people rather than sitting in a lawn chair glowering!
Bring out a cooler full of teas, soda, and water for sale, and let your kids help provide these to your customers. This encourages customers to stay, and your kids can learn how to start saving money and putting it in a checking account or savings plan while they’re young.
Pick a Good Price
People go to yard sales to find a good deal and save money, so you should never try to sell any big-ticket item at a yard sale unless you want to take a huge loss. If you have something worth a lot, sell it by itself online. For your garage sale, stick with low prices and be willing to offer a deal. When the sale is almost over, consider making everything half off to move more of the items.
Having a successful garage sale means you get rid of items that are cluttering up your home. Even better, they give you extra money for the short term or something more when you’re saving for retirement. Even with interest rates low right now, you’re still better off turning that old bike into cash than leaving it in the garage.