Garage sale? 13 ways to double your money

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Yard sales can be a lot of work, as you know, and for sometimes not a lot of profit. Use these tips to maximize your intake – and the unneeded items outgo.

1) Don’t write a price on every item. Use colored stickers to represent specific price points, such as all pink are 25 cents, all green are 50 cents, and so forth. Slap them on quickly to save time. Then simply hang signs so shoppers know what the prices are.

2) Organize like items together. Place all kitchen items together, divide clothing by sizes and gender, put toys in one place. Much of the time, yard sale goers are looking for specific things. Organized tables help shoppers zero in on areas they are interested in. Cluttered tables only frustrate people, making them give up and leave with their money.

3) Keep prices reasonable. Remember, this is a yard sale – not retail. Good prices keep people looking – high prices make them walk away.

4) Use plenty of table space. Overcrowded tables make it hard to look. The easier it is to see what you have, the more likely people are to find something they want.

5) Get things up off the ground. Stooping and digging through boxes or piles on tarps makes shopping difficult and takes too long. When items are easy to see and comfortable to look over, people will shop more.

6) Offer little extras. Yard sale shoppers are always thinking of the next sale. But if you offer things such as coffee, bottled water, even hot dogs, they are more likely to linger. Don’t try to make big bucks on these things. Have low prices. The idea is to keep people browsing your sale and not rushing away. (A side note: Be sure to follow any local health department ordinances when offering food.)

7) Use unit pricing. To get rid of more small items, employ unit pricing – such as 10 juice glasses for $1.50; pick 5 small toys from this box for 25 cents; and so forth.

8) Sell anything. It is amazing what someone else can find useful. Go through every drawer, cupboard and closet in your entire house. As long as it’s in acceptable condition, someone is likely to want it. (It is, however, unsanitary to sell partially used cosmetics, lotions, and the like. Toss those in the trash.)

9) Keep it comfortable. Set up a comfortable layout, with plenty of space to move around. Avoid playing music that’s too loud or potentially offensive; if someone in your home smokes, have them take a break away from the sale; keep pets inside or in the backyard. A comfortable environment means more sales and more money in your pocket.

10) Go BOGO or 50% off. On your last day, around 11:00 a.m., change up your pricing structure. Starting a Buy 1, Get 1 Free offer will move more items; 50% off will cause people to look harder for a good bargain. Either style means more money and less leftovers.

11) Have fun and be friendly. Shoppers will feel more comfortable if you maintain a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Smile and say hello, thank people for stopping by, and avoid becoming so engrossed in a conversation that someone cannot get help or ask a question.

12) Be willing to negotiate. Everyone loves a great deal – so be willing to be the deal-giver. Coming down on your price can mean the difference between keeping your items or having the cash.

13) Leverage the internet. List things on the internet that are larger, worth more money, or you’d really like to sell. List the yard sale itself, too, to get more customers. Suggested sites are Craig’s List and your local online yard sale groups on Facebook. Again, take a look at our earlier article about listing your yard sale items online.

This is yard sale season – time to clean up, clean out and make some money in the process!

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