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How to Get the Most Out of a Yard Sale

So you’ve decided to start your spring cleaning. And all of a sudden you’ve developed a few piles of things you just don’t use anymore or want to replace. Enter: the yard sale. yard sale

Other than spending some much needed time outside, yard sales have a lot of benefits to homeowners. For instance: you are able to clear out clutter, make some cash, and spend some time socializing with neighbors.

Some of the best things you can sell at a yard sale are things like sports equipment, camping gear, quality children’s clothing, books, toys, electronics, and even patio furniture. So if you have a few of these things laying around, it might be time to set up a sale.

If you’ve never done a yard sale before the task may seem a bit daunting. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. But at the end of the day, your goal is to clear out some stuff and make money, right? Of course! So just do yourself a favor and follow these tips on how to get the most out of the yard sale and let the rest fall into place.

Start Preparing Early

It’s a good idea to keep a box or a bin in a certain part of your house year-round for yard sale items. When you’re done with something or simply think it would sell well at a yard sale, throw it in the box so it’s ready when you are. If you wait until the last minute to collect things for your sale, you’ll probably miss out on some pretty good stuff!

Clean and Dust Your Items

Making an item look new can help you sell it for top dollar. Take out a rag and some spray and really wipe down all of your items to get them in shape. You can do this as your putting everything out on display the morning of the sale. With your clothing items, you don’t necessarily need to dry clean and iron all of your pieces, but if they’ve been sitting in a garage or a basement, it might be a good idea to give them a good wash so they’re not smelling like where they’ve been.  

Clearly Price Items

While some people like to use the strategy of “name your price,” you could really miss out on some key customers this way. This is especially true if you’re lucky enough to have a crowd. People like to know prices and if you don’t tell them you’ll likely lose their interest and they’ll leave before you have a chance to talk to them.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t bargain. That’s part of the fun, right? Bigger items you can label “name your price” or “best offer” and have some room for negotiating. Just decide ahead of time what the lowest amount is that you’ll take so you don’t lose out.

Offer Light Refreshments

People like to have something to eat and drink while shopping so go ahead and leave out some water bottles and snacks if you really want to make your customers happy. (Tip: If you have kids, this is a great time for them to set up a lemonade stand or a bake and make some more money!)

Have a Money System

There’s nothing worse than not being able to break a 20 and losing a sale. Go to the bank beforehand and get yourself about $100 in change:

(33) $1’s
(6) $5’s
(2) 10’s
1 Roll of Quarters
1 Roll of Dimes
1 Roll of Nickels

You also want to make sure you have an efficient system set up to exchange your cash from. A lot of people prefer to use something like a fanny pack so that you have your money on you at all times. This helps with convenience but also with safety. You might leave your money on the table one minute and find it gone the next.  Other options include cash boxes with locks on them. This can be rather time consuming however, and dedicate thieves may still just grab it and run.

Advertise Your Heart Out

The last and biggest tip we could give you is to get that word out! We’re lucky that we live in a time where social media takes care of that pretty quickly. It used to be that you’d have to take out an ad in the paper, put signs all over town, and get people talking by word of mouth. Now, you create an event on Facebook and share away!

That doesn’t mean you should leave out some of the old tactics, however. Instead of placing an ad in the paper, put one on Craigslist. There are tons of people who check Craigslist each weekend for yard sales. You can include your big ticket items (entertainment center, flat screen TV, beach cruisers, etc.) and even tease a few things (plenty to decorate your house with).

You also want to do a good job placing signs out around your neighborhood. While most people will use their GPS to find your house, there will be people who are just stumbling upon your sale by accident. Help them find it with plenty of arrows, bright signs, and balloons.

Bonus Tip: Use the money that you collect at your yard sale wisely. It’s a good idea to go into the day with a goal in mind. For instance, we’ll use this money for our summer vacation, or to buy a new sofa for the family room. It will help keep you motivated throughout the day.

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Josh Mente

Real Estate Leader Josh Mente, is a founding member and owner of The MD Home Team of Keller Williams Excellence, and is responsible for business administration and marketing for the firm. Josh’s career path began in 1998 as a loan officer for Eastern Savings Bank, where he managed national accounts. He later joined Option One Mortgage originating more than 500 transactions per year valued at $100M+ in sales. In 2006, Mente shifted his expertise to real estate sales, gained his license and focused on buy/fix/sell transactions. Josh is a member of Elite Real Estate Network (ERN), the 2009 Rookie of the Year for Long and Foster corporate, and in 2012 ranked 206 and 2013 ranked 234 in Real Trends of the Wall Street Journal, ranking in the top 250 agents nationwide for all brokerages. From any early age, Josh was introverted and worked hard to overcome a fears of sales - a business that doesn't lend itself well to introverted people. When challenged by a manager that he didn’t have what it took for a specific job, Josh pushed forward and won approval in his new position. That was a pivotal moment that set the pace for his success in real estate sales. Having earned an AA degree from Montgomery College in business administration in 1995 and a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Towson University in Mass Communications 1997, Josh married his college sweetheart Melinda and they now have three wonderful daughters that provide the opportunity to watch them grow up and experience things for the first time. A committed sports fanatic, Josh spends time on the golf course, and follows the Ravens and Orioles as a season ticket holder. He is a part owner of two restaurants in Manhattan, enjoys music and time away with the family at their beach house in Rehoboth, DE. He hopes to find time for his hobbies that include building furniture, playing guitar, learning Spanish and flying planes.

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