Last fall, we had our first yard sale. We had recently moved to a new neighborhood where they hold a neighborhood-wide sale twice a year. It’s great because the neighborhood draws more interested people than one family sale would draw alone. It’s also a fun weekend to chat with neighbors, and sometimes buy each other’s stuff. One man’s trash is, after all, another man’s treasure! It was a great time for me to get rid of some items, especially since I had just had my last baby and quit my office job. I had a ton of maternity clothes, office attire, and baby clothes from opposite seasons to get rid of, as well as a decent amount of home decor items that had worked in our old home but not in the new one.
One funny note: I was shocked at a couple of the things people bought! I think the most surprising thing was my maternity bathing suits. Yes, they were practically new, but I had my doubts anyone would buy used bathing suits. But they did!
Here are some things I learned from our endeavor that I plan to put into practice this spring:
- Flat is better than hanging for clothing items: For whatever reason, people gravitated toward the table of folded clothing rather than the rack, which surprised me.
- Label sizes: This is not a must-do, but I labeled sizes and brand on folded items to keep people from just ripping the table apart. It seemed to work and I didn’t have to spend much time refolding.
- Decide pricing beforehand: Know what you want and have it clearly marked; this is helpful when suddenly you have a crowd of people looking all at the same time! I also tried to make all similar items the same price to keep it simple.
- Start early: Yard sales buyers are early birds! Don’t sleep in and miss potential sales.
- Stay out there the whole advertised time otherwise you might miss the late folks!
- Have plenty of change to start with: Luckily my mom reminded me to do this or I would have been in a mess. We started with $50 in change, mostly ones, with some $5s and $10s. We definitely made way more than our initial $50 back!
- Offer grocery bags: It’s just nice and they can carry more stuff!
- Have a spot in your house to put stuff to sell: This way as you go about your normal routine and find items you want to sell, you can have an easy drop spot in the weeks before the sale.
- Be ready for wind: Have rocks or other weighty items to place on clothes or lightweight items.
- Be ready for rain: If it starts to rain, is it easy to carry everything inside quickly?
- Get someone to help you: As with all endeavors, I was wildly optimistic about what I could do with a baby — haha! Luckily my mom volunteered to help, since I had to take my one-month-old in frequently to feed, change, etc. My husband kept the four-year-old occupied.
- Do a multifamily sale: I really think this was the biggest benefit; buyers could hit one neighborhood and see several sales in one day! We also were able to advertise the entire neighborhood.
- Start preparing several weeks/days before: Also at my mom’s (experienced) insistence, we started sorting, labeling, and preparing items long before the actual sale. Otherwise we would have had a very long day before!