How to Prepare for a Successful Fall Yard Sale
As the season shifts from summer to fall, our thoughts also shift from more languid living to getting our homes and yards ready for the winter. Pools are drained, barbecue grilles are stored and recreational equipment will soon be stored away. Not everything should be stored; in fact, if you don’t see yourself using that grille again next year or have no need for the kids’ trampoline, why not sell these items at a fall yard sale?
Fall may be the best time to hold a yard sale as mostly everyone has cleared out their goods from spring and early summer sales. Catch traffic going to a football game or a fair, and have signs in place to sell your wares. Oh, yes, go through your home and resolve to sell whatever else you don’t need and add these items to your fall yard sale inventory.
1. Assemble your inventory. Before you make a final decision on whether to hold a fall yard sale or not, get together the items you want to sell. If your inventory is sufficient, then hold the sale. If not, store these items until next spring or donate them to your local shop.
2. Pick a date. You will need to choose a date for your sale and work toward having everything ready a few days before that date. Saturdays are ideal, but don’t rule out a Friday or a holiday Monday if you are off from work. Sundays are a church day for many folk, so wait until the afternoon before putting out your goods.
3. Price it right. Just what is the value of a barbecue grille that has been used for five seasons and has a weathered look? Figure that you’ll need to check some ads such as on Craigslist to find out exactly what it is worth. Your more savvy shoppers will want to haggle, so set a price, but leave in some room to negotiate. Beware of the low-ball offers!
4. Advertise and promote. With your items tagged and ready to go, you need to make up signs for strategic placement. Have enough signs directing people to your home, putting these in place an hour before your sale is held. A few days before your sale date, place an ad with Craigslist. Your ad should be descriptive, listing specific items by name and brand. Include photos if visual interest would attract more buyers. Avoid putting in a contact number, but expect people to show up early anyway. You don’t have to answer your door, but do be polite.
5. Cash on hand. Keep your cash on you as yard sales can be stake outs for people with slippery fingers. An apron with pockets or a coat with the same can offer a secure location for your money. Never take checks — cash only — and maintain a cash and carry policy: “you give me the cash and I’ll let you carry away what you want.”
Start your sale early, but not before 8 a.m. Plan to be done with your sale by early afternoon. Keep bags, newspapers and boxes on hand, items that your customers will appreciate.
When the sale is done, take your signs down and put everything away. Some items you may save for your next sale, otherwise set these to the side and donate them.