Best Tips for A Successful Yard sale

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by CamAnd, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. CamAnd

    CamAnd Mouseketeer

    Jan 14, 2004
    Help! I would like to have my first yard sale to declutter our overflowing closets.
    What's your best tips for a successful yard sale? I will be selling mostly baby equipment & children's clothes (brand names, Gymboree, & Baby Gap)-What are these selling for at yard sales? My kids clothes are almost like new. What are other items that sell?

  2. java

    java <font color=darkorchid>I am embracing the Turkey B

    Jan 18, 2005
    Forget the clothes. They don't sell well. No matter what brands they have people are looking for bargains. I had Hanna Andersson, Mini Boden, Gap, Polo... and people wanted it for dirt cheap. I think you might do better with say a bag of a size for a certain amount*but I am telling you children's clothes are a low priced item.
    The baby gear though is a totally different story. People love that stuff and be sure to advertize that you have it at the sale. Remember it is a garage sale... so you won't really get what it is worth but you will get rid of it. For example we sold a simple pack and play for $25, one woman grabbed a ton of little tykes and fisher price big items*like ride ons, little slide ect.. for $150. People want to feel like they are getting a great deal.
    Do you have any consignment shops in your area? Or baby resale stores? You might do better with the clothes there.
    The only advice I can give you is that people will bargain on a 10 cent item trying to get it for 5 cents. Two for ones...ect. But we were moving and I wanted to get rid of it all. We made almost $2000. But we were selling things like bikes, a fridge, I think the clothes in total brought in only about $10(I gave the rest of it to a neighbor) I had a Coach bag that I selling for $15(it was in great shape- all leather) They wanted for the $15. That is where I drew the line. I said thanks but no thanks. That I would rather give away than sell to someone for so little.
    Good luck on your sale
    make sure your stuff is clean and organized so people can see it.
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  4. ToyStory#1fan'sMom

    ToyStory#1fan'sMom Mouseketeer

    Apr 18, 2006
    I have had 3 yard sales and have made $650-$950 at all three. My hint is STAGING!! I don't just throw things on a table or leave in a box for people to dig through. That looks like junk even when it's not. Arrange your kid's clothes in outfits, hang them on hangers together (with the bottoms pinned so that it looks like the outfit would on) add a hair item to the top of the hanger, or sock pinned at the bottom. Make sure it looks like it would when their child wears it. I've sold sets of dishes by "setting the table" and adding a Mason jar full of flowers from the yard. Just where it looks nice. We arrange books, CDs, videos, etc in alphabetical order and stand them up where they are easy to look through. Any toys, we clean to where they look brand new (Magic Eraser is a great thing!). My last tip, go buy a box of doughnuts and bottles of water. Sell them 2/$1. This makes us a ton of money and ds loves being in charge of that "booth"

    It does take a lot of time for one of our garage sales, but it's worth it. One more tip, we make "rooms". Each area is stuff that would go in a common place. Like all children's clothes and toys in a common area, all kitchen stuff together, etc. Anything nice, like furniture, put close to the road. People can't steal big stuff (as easily) and it will entice them to stop.

    Have fun!
  5. ImarriedGrumpy

    ImarriedGrumpy AKA Miss lady who isn't my mommy

    Apr 26, 2005
    I totally agree with the staging advice. Borrow or rent tables - don't just pile things on a tarp on the lawn. Hang a rope or a rod up and hang clothing sorted by gender and size. If you need to stack things on tables, organize it neatly and go back through frequently to clean up again. We try to stage the nicest items on the curb where people will see them as they do a "drive by" to scope out the sale and decide if they are going to stop or keep going.

    The hard-core bargain hunters will arrive much earlier than your advertised start time, so be prepared. We advertised an 8:00 am start time, and had people there poking through boxes as we were setting up at 6:00 am! And yes, people will try to haggle over prices, so be prepared to negotiate prices. We always say that everything is half-price after noon, and a paper bag filled with books, CD's, Videos, and/or clothing goes for $2.

    Don't forget good advertising. Get an ad in the paper and specify baby items - that draws lots of people. Other "pulls" are furniture, antiques, collectables, and sporting goods. We do a lot of "book lovers'" sales because that's usually what we're trying to pare down, and when we advertise this way we get a completely different crowd from when we advertise "general housewares, women's clothing, books, collectables". We've had used book store owners show up for our "book lovers" sales to snap up the best books early. It's also important to have signs up on key corners and major streets in your neighborhood, and have the sale well marked in front of your house.
  6. justplaingoofy

    justplaingoofy DIS Veteran

    Aug 28, 2005
    Price everything, clean everything, and put it on tables.

    Thats my 2 cents :Pinkbounc
  7. Our 2 Princesses

    Our 2 Princesses DIS Veteran

    Apr 23, 2005
    I have had several successful garage sales and am having another very soon. The one thing I have noticed - If you put a group of similar items in a Ziploc, they will sell. For example, I put groups of socks in a Ziploc and price them as a set. I also bag onesies, rec blankets, similar books, etc.
    One other tip that customers love... I always put the sizes of clothing I am selling right on the tag. Then they don't have to search for the size. I also put folded clothing on the tables according to size.
    Have a great garage sale! You'll be surprised at how much money you'll make! :)
  8. englishteacha

    englishteacha Have courage and be kind.

    Apr 2, 2006
    I agree with all of the above, plus am emphasizing that clean things sell well and for the best prices. Wash all the clothes if they are dingy or have that "stored away" smell, dust off furniture, make sure everything is as clean as it can be.

    I also second pricing things. We did a joint yard sale with my SIL. Our stuff was priced, there's wasn't. We sold more! Even the hagglers want a starting point.
  9. ImarriedGrumpy

    ImarriedGrumpy AKA Miss lady who isn't my mommy

    Apr 26, 2005
    One other thing regarding pricing:

    We buy those little colored dot stickers and designate each color to be a different price - Red is .50, Green is $1, Orange is $2.50, Yellow is $5, Blue is $10, and we use white for anything with a different price and write the price on the sticker. We then make a few posters with the pricing and colors and place them around the yard.

    If you are combining your sale with someone else, then put your initials on your stickers and keep a piece of paper that you just peel off the sticker when you sell an item and stick it on the paper. At the end of the day you can add up what you earned from the stickers with your initials on them. Be sure to note if you bargained with someone and sold something for less than the sticker price.

    Oh, and we use a muffin tin and a baking pan for our money drawer - we use the muffin tin to sort out the coins and the baking pan for the bills and checks. The muffin tin sits on top of the baking pan to help weigh down the paper money. Don't forget to go to the bank the day before and get plenty of singles, quarters, dimes and nickles for change. We usually get about $30 in one dollar bills, $20 in quarters, and $5 each in dimes and nickles, and that usually keeps us going. A couple times we've had to send someone racing to the bank to get some extra cash, but most of the time we can ask people to pay with smaller bills or coins if we're running out.
  10. babiesX2

    babiesX2 DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>There is nothing

    Aug 15, 2005
    I did this at my sale, too! It worked out very well, and all the ziplocked items sold quickly.

    I had a sale a few weekends ago. We made about $530. I agree with grouping similar items, having things clean, put things on tables, etc. I found it easier to price items in 25 cent increments. This method of pricing eliminates the need for dimes and nickels. It truly is much easier when you have more than one person standing there wanting to pay. You can do the math easier in your head, and it is less confusing to give change. True, some folks are going to pay you with dimes and nickels sometimes, but don't start out by getting rolls of smaller coins from the bank.

    On the matter of children's clothes, I was very surprised to realize that they don't sell well. Next go round I will do the "Fill A Bag" for $5. I can't say that my hanging stuff was priced too high because the majority of people just passed up the hanging rack and went straight for the clothes folded up on the tables. We are selling them now in lots on eBay.

    Good luck and give us an update!
  11. welovedis

    welovedis Can't wait to be back in the WDW!

    Aug 31, 2000
    While you don't say how big the clothing is, have you looked at completed auctions on eBay to see if you'd be better off listing there than selling at garage sale prices? Gymboree and Baby Gap do anywhere from OK to Really Good on eBay, esp if you have lots of pieces that are like new condition and matching "lines". Accessories from those places also help to bring auction prices up.

    If you set on selling them at a garage sale, the posters here gave you some really good ideas, try to hand and outfit as much as possible. If you place an ad mention the brands of clothing (like Baby Gap Gymboree and any boutique brands if you have them) and also a size range if you can.

    Definitely stage the area as best you can and you'll be surprised at the results. If everything is clean & set-up well it can make a difference is price. Also make sure you price everything because many people (including myself) will walk away if there aren't prices.

    If you have McDonalds type toys that you don't want, but them in a box marked free (1 per child) or something like that. The kids can have fun finding their free toy while parents look over your stuff and they can take something away too.

  12. welovedis

    welovedis Can't wait to be back in the WDW!

    Aug 31, 2000
    One more thing on the clothes---if they are in good shape without holes, rips or stains and you don't want to eBay them you might look into a consignment shop in your area.
  13. jonestavern

    jonestavern <a href="" targ

    Dec 10, 2004
    All the above are excellent ideas.
    Do try to get your neighbors involved having their yardsales

    do we notice this just because the family has 3 generations of signmakers in it? :goodvibes

    Placing of you actual signs is very important.
    Make sure they are water & windproof &, for the love of all that's sacred, able to be read by cars passing at 35 (or more) MPH.
    Drive to your house, notice with new eyes, all the roads that your buyers will be driving down.

    All the info that's needed on your signs is something like:

    Garage (or Multi Family) Yard Sale
    Sat/Sun 8 am - 2 pm
    277 WDW Drive
    Rain or Shine

    don't forget the big direction arrows!
    Print out something on your computer then go to the print shop & have them whip up a few large signs on neon color paper or ask their opinion of your layout. You can get plastic coated, sandwiched poster board at Michael's. Use pre-printed vinyl letters--or if you have excellent handwriting--for your main signs--do a layout utilizing rulers or snap a chalk line etc. You just want the signs legible

    Remember it may not be confusing to you where you live but it may be foreign country to others--keep the arrows--balloons if need extra punch--coming!

    Should you live a looong way down a country road, for Pete's sake, your follow signs should say, as an example: " 4.7 mi further"

    Staging & Display
    Newsprint/bulletin board advertisement
    Proper signage & placement
    Try to get neighbor yardsale going
    Grab bags--grouping of multiple, low-end items
    Lots of change & a method of organizing it
    Bags--used grocery bags

    Anyone else?

    check out Ebay/consignment shop to see if your good items might be worth it to sell off that way

    In my ads, I like to put in the line "Early Birds Will Be Shot" :teeth:
    I don't mind it they come at 7:30 for an 8 am sale--but as OP said they will show up at 6 am! :p
    But of course, a sale is a sale--Good Luck!

  14. jjan

    jjan DIS Veteran

    Sep 17, 2004
    I love that! I have seen quite a few ads that say "Early birds welcome, but will pay double". I think that that is fair.

    My biggest advice is decide which is the most important... make lots of money or get rid of stuff and then keep reminding yourself of that all day long if it is to get rid of stuff. It is always sad to go to a bunch of yard sales and see someone priced so high that nothing sells and they wonder why.

    Also, make sure that you put your money in a fanny pack or something and not leave it lying around.... people will steal it. Also, make sure to keep your house locked... I have heard of people going in and helping themselves to the yard sale money sitting on the kitchen table while you are busy with the throngs of people.

    We also never price something less than .25 cents. If it isn't worth .25 cents then throw it in the free pile... people will buy more stuff if they have already felt like they got a deal and who wants to deal with nickels and dimes etc.

    Good luck! :)
  15. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 <font color=green>I just love those parmesan mashe

    Aug 18, 2005

    Haven't read all of the posts, but did see that someone said "Forget the clothes". Well, you can't --you want to get rid of them.

    Sell them together --like one bag/pile marked "Shirts -- $5.00 for all".

    START EARLY--be out there by 6:30 a.m. setting up your stuff.

    Go thru the entire house -- my biggest problem --a week after our yard sale I always find more stuff to sell.

    ADVERTISE IN YOUR LOCAL PAPER --list everything you're selling --our ad always states "HH (means household items), toys, electronics, tools, books, clothes, jewelry".

    USE NEON POSTERBOARD FOR YOUR SIGNS- -We get ours at Michael's. Put them up the Friday afternoon before your sale, so that people driving home from work Friday afternoon can see your signs.

    We usually put out about a dozen signs. Make sure, after your sale, that you go take your signs down (I hate it when I drive thru town & see a yard sale sign from 2 months ago.)

    My kids always have a cooler full of cold, canned sodas...50 cents each.

    Have lots of change on hand.

  16. jacksmom

    jacksmom DIS Veteran

    Jun 25, 2002
    We are planning a sale in May (any suggestions on best weekend?)! :rotfl2: And I was wondering if baked goods (muffins, brownies, cookies) would sell? We are planning on water bottles and soda (will set up a table by itself for my ds to be in charge of selling consumables)! :rotfl: We are trying to fund another trip! :lmao: And want to boost sales as much as possible! :cheer2:
  17. daisyduck123

    daisyduck123 <font color=green>I just love those parmesan mashe

    Aug 18, 2005

    I've never bought any cookies, muffins, or brownies at yard sales (or sold any of those items) because I don't know what the kitchen conditions of the sellers are (I'm just funny about stuff like that, I don't even eat the baked goods my students bring me unless the mom is a friend of mine). You just never know if people have cat hair floating around their kitchen, doggy drool on the counter,...things like that.

    Many times, I've seen people selling donuts straight out of a DUNKIN DONUTS box --now I have bought these sometimes. You may want to think about that.
  18. kmccain

    kmccain DIS Veteran

    Mar 12, 2006
    I don't know why the clothes don't always go but they are hard to get rid of. When I yard sale, I am looking for clothes for my kids!

    I used boxes and sorted the clothes by sizes in the boxes. Nothing over a quarter and if it has a stain, put it in the free box.

    Advertise free stuff and have a nice big free box. As things slim down, throw more in the free box.

    There are some really great ideas here for you! Neatness helps.

    Make sure you price everything some way. Some people wonÂ’t ask you a price. I don't like colored sticker boards. I put up big signs making everything on a table one price.

    I go to several yard sales in my area where the entire housing development gets together on the same day. They are yard sale heaven! You can hit hundred of them in a day! This might be a good idea for you if possible. You would get a very high volume of people.

    Good Luck!

  19. jacksmom

    jacksmom DIS Veteran

    Jun 25, 2002
    Dunkin Donuts it is then! :rotfl: :Pinkbounc :banana:
  20. ImarriedGrumpy

    ImarriedGrumpy AKA Miss lady who isn't my mommy

    Apr 26, 2005
    I have bought baked goods at a garage sale - usually from some adorable child with pleading eyes seated at a table with a sign saying "help me go to Disney World!" :rotfl2: One of my good friends and garage-sale buddies says she has a rule to never pass by a child's lemonade stand without stopping to buy a glass of lemonade.

    Another friend takes advantage of a neighborhood garage sale weekend and hauls out his grill to sell hot dogs, chips, bottled water, sodas, and cookies. He makes a fortune because everyone is wandering around the neighborhood browsing the 50 - 100 garage sales and he's the only place to get food without moving your car and losing your parking spot!

    I'd say go for it - especially if you can plant a cute kid next to a sign saying "help me go to Disney World"...:earsboy:
  21. ZanneMarie

    ZanneMarie DIS Veteran

    Oct 18, 2004
    I have to say that kids clothing is a staple of my sales. My neighbor and I combine our sales so we have quite a variey of boys and girls and sizes. I do not price super cheap for my brand name clothing and still sell tons. I priced my boys size 8-10 jeans (Levis, Cherokee, and some Gap) for $3-4 and got rid of almost all of them. My little girls size clothing I sold for $2-4 for an outfit, a few really nice ones for even more and sold a lot of them. I think I price higher than I would be willing to pay in some cases but as it sells ....I continue pricing that way. I do take my leftover nice items to a consignment shop and the not so nice items to Goodwill.

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