An unsuccessful lawn sale is something you’re unlikely to forget — hauling heavy boxes and furniture outdoors, then sitting for hours in the hot sunshine only to have no 1 visit or purchase is nobody’s idea of a good time. However, with some careful advance preparation, smart advertising, catchy signage and a gorgeous installation, you can earn additional cash and (gasp!) Have fun doing it.
1. Make it a party, with gains. Wipe from your mind everything you thought you knew about yard sales. Rather than a fusty old label sale with boring blankets of crap sprawled on the yard, imagine an enjoyable and festive neighborhood party where you also happen to be earning cash.
Tip: Invite the neighbors, since block sales have a tendency to attract large numbers of visitors. To do so, just send around a flyer together with all the date of your purchase and encourage others to participate.
2. Snag extra gains by embellishing your goods. This trick is certainly not for everyone, but if you like a good DIY job, why not try your hand in a little furniture update before selling your old stuff? Try painting chairs or tables at a bright color, dip-paint chair legs to get a trendy modern look, replace dresser knobs or paint over a worn blouse.
A little bit of work and a few bucks in paint and brushes can translate into considerably greater gains on sale day. Or you might like your freshly refurbished material so much, you decide to keep it.
3. Think about methods. The normal lawn sale with stuff spread out on blankets on the ground (or shoved in saggy cardboard boxes) gives passersby no reason to prevent. Get your stuff off the ground, where people can see it!
Tip: Use folding card tables (made from friends if necessary) and wooden wine crates (economical and available at many wine stores) as building blocks for lawn sale displays. Begin gathering them.
Lisa Nieschlag “Liz & Jewels”
4. Get creative using a sales notion. Try to think of a concept and name for your sale which will draw people in. Are you an enthusiastic gardener? Consider offering plant cuttings or tiny bouquets of flowers in jelly jars in addition to your other sale items. Children want to earn a few added bucks, too? Try a combination label purchase and lemonade stand.
Pink Chalkboard Arrow Party Sign With Magnetic Back, by Lay Off The Books – $6
5. Begin advertising your purchase a week or two in advance through the events list page on Craigslist. If your neighborhood coffee shop or park has a community message board, then think about asking to hang a pretty and professional-looking flyer there also.
Tip: The afternoon before the purchase, hang signals at all significant intersections around your home, plus one on the nearest busy street. (Check local laws before you do so.) Make sure you use clear, neat handwriting, big enough to read from a moving car, and include the following: a arrow pointing in the correct direction, the word “purchase” and your address. The date and time could be smaller — the most important issue is that people find you.
6. Dig out that party decoration. Hang colorful bunting from the porch, dangle paper lanterns at a tree or tie balloons into the banister — anything which makes your sale look festive can help draw people in. In the minimum, cover these card tables with fabric (even sheets will operate) to assist your items stick out.
Alexandra Lauren Designs
7. Keep pricing super easy. Don’t drive yourself (and your potential customers) mad by pricing each item separately. Categorize items and price them by grouping. As an example, you could price all kitchen gear in $1 and paperback books at 50 cents.
Tips: Create your own cost tags motivated by the vintage tags shown here by threading index cards through forks; set each one in an old mason jar near the group of items being priced. Maintain a master checklist to your own reference, if price tags get dropped.
8. Make sales simple. Be sure to have ample bills and coins out there for creating change, and supply shopping bags and cardboard boxes for toting items dwelling.
Expandable Garment Rack – $19.99
9. Display clothes with panache. Even nice clothes look unappealing when tumbled on the ground, therefore making an additional effort in this section can definitely help boost sales.
Tip: If you’ve got a coat shrub or garment rack, bring it out to use as a clothes display. If not, try stringing a clothesline between two trees, or maintain clothes neatly folded on tables or in wine crates.
Chris A Dorsey Photography
10. Give pleasure of place to little products. Tiny items such as earrings may get lost in a major yard sale, so think of a way to provide them their very own spotlight. Collect modest trinkets on cake racks, hang earrings onto a foam-core plank from the art supply shop or around the edges of teacups, or put items in a tray with several compartments.
11. Give shoppers a way to check if items do the job. If you are selling things which will need to be plugged in, such as light fixtures or tiny appliances, you may want to run an extension cord outdoors so you can show they are in working order. Just to be on the safe side, be sure you are the one to plug from the merchandise and test it.
12. Create vignettes for maximum appeal. Styling your purchase items in vignettes that show how they would be utilized will draw shoppers to get a closer look — they may even be more tempted to purchase items which go together if they are displayed well.
Tip: Take a few added moments to set a folding table with dishes, glassware and vases; organize pillows on a bench; or set up the tent you are selling and place it near the cooler and outdoor gear.
Earthwork Landscape Architects
13. End on a high note. Most of the serious shoppers tend to come in the early hours, so there is no reason to hang around all day — set a reasonable time to finish the sale and stick to it.
14. Get assist. Invite some friends over for a casual party following the yard sale, and they can help carry a few things back in … and receive free meals in return! In case you’ve got a lot left, then put it in the car instead of back in the house and drive it directly to your charity donation center, or place a “curb alert” on Craigslist and depart out the items using a big sign that says, “Free!”
Tell us : Where would you weigh in on lawn sales — love them or hate them? What are your very best yard sale tips?