By JENNIFER HUNT
CNHI News Service
Spring is a time when many give their house a thorough cleaning. During this cleaning ritual, you may find you’ve accumulated way too much stuff. A yard sale is a perfect way to remove household clutter and make some extra money.
Having a yard sale does not necessarily mean it will be a success. Careful planning and preparation beforehand can help you have the most successful yard sale possible.
Planning is essential and should be done well in advance of the yard sale date. Start by sorting through your unwanted items. Make sure the items you plan on selling are gently used, not broken or missing parts, and devoid of stains, missing buttons or broken zippers. Organize similar items together. This can help you with pricing later.
You also may want to check with your local government to determine if they have any regulations about the number of yard sales you can have during a year or if they require a permit. This information is usually available on local government websites.
Location is an important key to a successful yard sale, as your customers may not want to travel far distances. If you have a family member or friend who lives near a main thoroughfare, subdivision or other desirable location, you may ask them if they would like to have a multi-family yard sale at their location. Another option is to talk with your neighbors about having neighborhood-wide yard sale.
When you price your items, make sure your asking price is reasonable for the piece and its condition. Visit a few yard sales around the neighborhood beforehand to see the prices for similar items. You can purchase yard sale price stickers at many grocery stores or make your own with masking tape and a marker. When setting your prices, remember that your customers may like to negotiate so you should be willing to be flexible.
Timing is very important to the success of yard sales. Friday and Saturday are very popular days for yard sales. People usually have more disposable income at the first of the month compared to the end of the month. Many yard sales also are planned to coincide with local festivals. Many customers like to get out early to get the best deals, so plan on starting your yard sale by at least 8 a.m., but be aware that some may be at your door earlier.
Advertise your event. Check with your local newspaper about the price and deadlines for classified advertisement. If it’s not too expensive, newspapers are a great way to get the word out to others in your community. You also can promote your yard sale to your friends on social media or by giving fliers at groups to which you belong or that might have a special interest in your sale, such as young mothers if you have children’s clothes or a book club if you have lots of gently used books.
Don’t try to run a yard sale alone. Have at least one friend or family member help you keep an eye on your items, and never leave the cash box unattended.
More information about family financial management topics is available at the Boyd County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
JENNIFER HUNTER is assistant extension professor for family financial management at the University of Kentucky.