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Tips for a better yard sale

By Staff
Michelle Blaylock, Mom's Corner
Did you know that there are actually five seasons a year? Yes, according to my friend there are five seasons a year – spring, summer, winter, fall, and yard sale. I really should have known what she was thinking. She is an avid yard seller. She also loves to have yard sales. Of course, she is one of those super organized people, so having a yard sale for her is a breeze! I'm not nearly as organized as she, so I have to work a little harder to get ready for a yard sale. I have learned some tips that help considerably.
First of all, I have found the best way to get ready for a yard sale is to do it all year long. As my kids outgrow things or I find things I don't want to keep, I put them in a large plastic tub. I also try to price them as I go if I can.
Next, (I know this is obvious for most people, but I'm one of those organizationally challenged people) you need to have a plan. I have found checklists to be the best for me. The internet site has a very good checklist.
Although, I do think it did get something out of order, because it starts with "Preparing Your Sale Items," then the next step is "Clarify Yard Sale Regulations." I recommend doing this first just in case you discover a problem. For example, where my in-laws live there are regulations on how long you can hold your yard sale and how many you can have a year.
When it comes to preparing, I have discovered I sell more clothing when I hang up as many as possible. I use safety pins to keep things like pants and shorts on hangers. I also try to put the size on the price tag. I find baggies to be very handy for holding children's shoes, books, jewelry, game parts, etc. Zip ties can also be very useful to keep things together as well.
When it comes to signs, I think simple is best. Signs that list stuff for sale are often cluttered and hard to read. My husband makes signs with just our address and arrows pointing the correct way. After our sale, he goes back and gets them so we can re-use them. As for the newspaper ad, I try to make a point of mentioning anything that people often look for like baby items, tools, etc.
One of the things I always hate is setting up the cash box. I was never sure how much change I needed. This checklist suggests $20 in coins, $50 in ones, and $40 in fives.
On the day of the sale if you're not lucky enough to be able to have someone care for your kids, make plans to include them. Remember my motto, "Busy kids are happy kids." I try to include them as much as possible. If possible, I try to set them up their own little area to sell snacks. I have offered doughnuts, coffee, hot cocoa (depending on the weather), soda, homemade breads or rolls, cookies, pies, chips, and quite a few other things. I have found shoppers appreciate having a break and often time parents with hungry little ones are very thankful to have a handy treat to give them.
Finally, the night before your sale, try to get a good night's sleep. Yard sales are a lot of work, but they can also be fun. I find it better if you can do a yard sale with a friend. That way even if the yard sale is a bust you still have gotten to spend time with a friend.
If you have a tip hint or suggestion to share, please send it to: Mom's Corner; P.O. Box 1496; Hartselle, AL 35640 or (don't forget the hyphen!).