Simplifying Your Next Yard Sale

source: YardSale
source: YardSale

This weekend, I spent most of Saturday at a yard sale with some more stuff that I’ve decluttered from my kitchen, girls’ clothes and toys. Unfortunately, the yard sale itself didn’t go nearly as well as we had expected. We got less than half the traffic we did last year, and the people who did stop seemed like more reluctant buyers. I think perhaps there is a saturation of yard sales these days as people look to earn a few extra bucks, making it harder to have a successful one. Something to keep in mind before you go to all the hard work of setting one up!

I do, however, have a few tips for organizing your  yard sale to make your job easier, and I’d love to hear your best tips in the comments as well.

1. Declutter by category.

As you’re decluttering your home, pack things up by category so that your boxes are ready to be unpacked and you know what is in each one. For example, I had bags and bags of baby clothes (it’s silly, really, how many I got rid of considering we’re having another baby in six to eight weeks, but I still think we have too many clothes!), and I tried to keep them sorted by size to make laying them out easier. If you have both genders, you’ll want to keep those separate as well. The same goes for boxes of kitchen accessories, indoor and outdoor toys, knickknacks and so on.

2. Price simply.

Rather than walking through and pricing every item on your table with a handwritten price tag, try one of these two methods:

Set up price tables. Have a $0.25 a $0.50, a $1, a $2 table, etc. and only worry about hand-pricing the larger, more expensive items.

For what it’s worth, I never ever price anything below a quarter. If it’s worth less than a quarter, I put it in a FREE box. Doing it this ways means you only have to worry about having enough quarters and small bills rather than messing with more change as well.

Use color-coded stickers. If you’d rather keep things grouped by category than price, try using color-coded stickers, i.e., pink is $0.25, green is $0.50 and so on. This keeps you from having to write the price on each item and is less expensive than buying the pre-printed price stickers.

3. Print out price guides.

Whichever method you follow, print out several copies of a “price guide” that explains your system in large, bold print for shoppers. Color code your price sheet as well and post them in prominent areas where they can’t be missed.

4. Have a plan for the aftermath.

Whether you slash prices after 2pm or simply load everything into the back of your car at the end of the day to donate to charity, have a plan for everything that’s left so that you don’t end up carting it back into your home where it will just take up space for another year. Know which things you might want to try selling through consignment or on eBay and which you’re going to donate and have the date already marked on your calendar to take them so that they don’t become one more item on your to-do list that never gets done.

What tips would you add? Have you had a yard sale this year? How did you traffic/sales compare to your past experience?