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- Allow yourself enough time As you begin planning your sale, make sure to allow yourself ample time to get all the prep work done. This doesn’t just mean in the planning phase, but also in relation to your move. Allow yourself time after the sale to be able to donate items that did not sale, and to ensure that your pre-move sale doesn’t interfere with the rest of the things that need to be completed before moving day.
- Find out if you need permits Not all cities or towns require permits for yard/garage sales, but it’s important to find out if yours does. Make sure to allow yourself enough time to apply for and receive a permit before the sale. Better safe than sorry!
- How will you advertise? Come up with a few ideas of places you can advertise your sale. Find out if there are groups or pages on social media where you can post, advertise in a local newspaper, hang signs, notify friends and neighbors – anything to help get the word out.
- Create a task list Create a master task list of items that need to be completed before the sale. This includes rooms and items that need to be sorted, advertising items, setup tasks, and keeping track of your yard sale supply list so you have everything you need on the day of the sale!
Prepping your Items:
- Gathering your items Be methodical about gathering items for your pre-moving sale. Go room by room and sort things accordingly. Have one space in your house that is the dedicated spot to store and organize items prior to the sale, that way you can easily track and manage it all.
- Packaging and Grouping items Once you have your items sorted, package items with multiple parts and pieces so they aren’t separated (this is especially true for toys and games, outfit sets, etc). In addition to packaging things, start grouping like items together. You’ll be glad that you pre-sorted items when it comes time to setup for the yard sale.
- Pricing Items Allow time to visit a few yard sales in your area to get a feel for how people price things, and whether or not items are selling. Think about your pricing beforehand and be sure not to over price items. If you feel it’s something valuable, do your research and price competitively, but be open to negotiating.
- Label Everything Once you have settled on prices, LABEL EVERYTHING. While it might take you a bit longer, write the prices on the stickers you put on items. This will help limit pricing questions and confusion on the day of your yard sale.
- Setting up the Sale If you did your organizing before, setup should be a little easier for you. Make sure like items are grouped together. Put all the clothing items in the same area, all the toys together, group books, etc. This makes it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for.Decide where/how you are going to setup a payment area and ensure you have plenty of directional signs to point people to your sale. Also make sure you have some extra price stickers and pens if you might mark things down later in the sale, and have plenty of plastic bags on hand, just in case buyers need them to take items home (a great way to recycle all those old grocery bags)
Yard Sale Day:
- Be Prepared for Early Arrivals The early bird catches the worm, so don’t be too surprised if people start showing up while you’re still setting up. Be prepared to make sales early and don’t get frazzled if the traffic starts coming before you’re “officially” open.
- Handling the Money Make sure the person acting as the cashier can be easily identified. Either via an apron or in a central area that people can easily access. In addition, make sure you did your homework and have plenty of bills and coins to make change for shoppers.
- Be sure to keep the money secure and don’t leave it unattended throughout the sale. If you will be up walking around, maybe a cashbox isn’t the best idea.
- Items to Keep Handy As we mentioned previously, make sure to have pens and labels handy, as well as bags, and newspaper for people to wrap fragile items in. Ensure that you have plenty of change, and if it’s going to be hot, maybe have a cooler with waters in them.
- Making Markdowns If you think you will make markdowns as the sale progresses, plan for that ahead of time. Know how low you are willing to go on items, and have a system in place for marking things down clearly and efficiently.
Post Yard Sale:
After the sale is over, take an inventory of things that didn’t sell and decide what items you might want to list for virtual sale on social media or sites like craigslist or NextDoor. If you aren’t wanting to try to sell it, find local places that will benefit from your donations and have plans in place to get the items donated before moving day. If you’ve already designated the items to go, don’t bring them back into your home, put a plan in place to get them to people who need them, if you plan ahead it makes it easier to follow through once the yard sale is over.