A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned -
Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Yard Sale Tips

Yard sales, rummage sales, garage sales. Whatever you want to call them are a great way to de-clutter and make a little extra money into the bargain. Once you have a date in mind, ask your neighbors if they would like to participate. Several houses displaying items for sale will bring in a bigger crowd.

During our last sale we opted not to advertise in the local paper, but instead put it on Craig’s list and put out signs. If you put out signs the night before be prepared for people to knock on your front door before you’ve opened your eyes and even remember it’s yard sale day.

Check your city web page for restrictions. For instance, Fort Worth (Texas) requires a permit that can be obtained online at no charge. No more than two sales can be held per year on the same premises, garage/yard sales cannot run for more than 3 consecutive days and only 1 sign is permitted. Benbrook on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any restrictions on sales, but signs can only be placed on private property, ten feet from the curb. Ask permission before putting signs on someone’s property and be sure to pick up all signs when the sale is over. If you belong to a home owner’s association there may be further restrictions.

Price everything. I keep a box in the garage for items I no longer want and throughout the year stick a price tag on them before placing them in the box. A general rule for pricing is 25% of the amount to purchase new. Put large signs on large items together with information, such as whether an electrical item or power tool works or has any mechanical problems. Also put larger items nearer the curb. Most people will stop to look at furniture or a lawn mower.

Make sure you have plenty of dollar bills and coins. I price in 25 cent increments and keep only quarters and mostly dollar bills. If you are the first stop for the yard saler you may have to give change for $20 as most people stop at the ATM before hitting the yard sale trail. I don't take anything larger than a $20 because I have no way of knowing if the $50 is genuine (no one counterfeits dollar bills) Use a fanny pack, apron, or shirt with large pockets. After accumulating large amounts, put them in the house and don’t carry them around with you. Never leave a cash box on a table or anywhere that can be easily removed.

Clothing will sell better if placed on a hanger. Either string a clothes line between a couple of trees, across the garage or put a pole between two ladders. Use metal hangers or ones that you don’t mind losing. Price better quality clothes individually, but keep an area with a sign “everything for $1.”

Take time to put similar items together. If someone is looking for picture frames, they will want to look through all that you have and not rummage through boxes. You’ll sell more if the display is pleasing to the eye, so straighten up the items periodically and fill in any blank spaces.

For larger items, I look for the same item on E-Bay or at a store web site and print it out, then tape it to the item so that people can see how much the item would cost at full retail price.

Have fun with the sale, it can be a great social event and a time to meet neighbors.

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