Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yard Sale Advice

Once again I'm asking for your advice! We're going to be having a yard sale on May 2nd & 3rd, weather permitting. (We were going to do it last weekend, but storms were in the forecast, so we postponed it.) We've been getting things together & pricing, but I could use any suggestions you have.

Here are some specific questions:

How much cash should you start off with in the box? What's the breakdown?

What's the best way to sort/display clothing? We've got a LOT of clothing to sell.

How do you get everything set up by the time you want to open? (Getting up earlier than 5 a.m. is out of the question.)

How do you handle a toddler while you're having a yard sale??

I'm no stranger to yard sales; my family had several while I was growing up, and I had to help with them. I'm good with a cash box, and I'm a pretty good pricer, too. But I have yet to have a yard sale that I think went smoothly. There's always something - extra trips to the bank for more cash, doing without lunch because I didn't plan ahead, or not being able to keep things organized during the sale.

So please, share your wisdom with me. And stop by my yard sale May 2nd & 3rd...


Fresh Girl said...

I'd start with forty or fifty dollars in the cash box, with plenty of ones and change.

My mom tries to sort and display clothes like you would in a store -- men's stuff together, women's together, etc. She strings clothes line where she can to hang clothes on, hangs poles from the carport ceiling to hang them on. Shoes get put on low benches made out of planks and concrete blocks or she opens up a folding ladder or two and sets them on the rungs. If you have clothes laid out on a table, fold them like you'd see them folded in the store. So much of it is in presentation. If people have to dig through boxes of stuff, they're not going to look as long. You might think about not putting all the clothing out at once if you have a LOT...just bring more out as you sell it. Especially if this is a two day sale. You can always tell people you'll be putting more out as the day goes by.

We set up our carport sales the night before, for the most part. We always have big ones and getting up and doing it the day of is just not going to happen. After everything's set up, we cover it all with sheets and use the cars to block the front of the carport. It helps that ours is behind our house so it's not easily seen from the street. If you have a garage with a door that closes, this would be easy to do.

And be sure and have the prices on everything before hand -- that'll make setting up easier.

I'd suggest a babysitter for the toddler. ;) If you can get a couple of friends to come over and help -- let them put stuff in the sale, too. Maybe one could watch Wendy and one could do nothing but run the register, so to speak. Somebody needs to be walking around acting as security and answering questions. It's hard to do it all by yourself, I know, so enlist help if you can!

Fresh Girl said...

Oh yes, and if you're short on tables, take some doors down and lay them across saw horses or chairs. Voila! Instant tables. :)

LESTER said...

My only advice would be to get as much set up as you can the night before. Whether you set up tables in your garage or just plan out where you are going to put stuff, every little bit helps. Some poeple always come early to these things no matter what time you put, so some may be coming while you are still setting up.

Last year we had so many clothes and not enough tables, we just put tarps down on the lawn and set clothes on them. It worked out better than I thought it would.

I agree with the other comment that you need poeple to help you out even if it is one other person part of the time. It will be so much easier.

On the toddler thing...I obviously have no idea! Good luck though!

Sandi said...

If you're selling Wendy's clothes, I would organize them by size -- that's what I look for and find helpful at garage sales (0-3 months, 3-6, etc.). For your clothes, I would just separate them onto tables or tarps -- women and men's, shirts, pants, and hang up the dresses or dress clothes.

For pricing of clothes, I would post a sign with some general pricing ($1.50 pants, $1 shirts, etc. -- whatever you want to price them at) and then also write, "unless otherwise marked" or something like that in case there is something really nice that you want to charge more for.
It's a lot easier that way than having to price each individual item AND it's easier for the shopper, too.

CrownLaidDown said...

I always used tables (from our church) for the kids clothes and racks for adult clothes.

We would get $100: one 20, 2 10's, 3 fives, 2 rolls of quarters ($20), 4 dimes ($20), 2 nickels ($4) and 2 rolls of pennies ($1).

Get everything ready in the garage the night before and begin to take it outside just about 30 minutes before you begin.

Do you have a pack n play? Have snacks/ drinks on hand and toys that are different. Employ a 13 year old :) or ask a friend to help with the sale, so you are available for interruptions.

Praying for this to be a great success!

Jody said...

I always begin with $100- in ones fives and quarters. $50 ones, $40 fives, $10 quarters.

Don't mark anything less than a quarter- if it's not worth a quarter make it free. It's easier to do the math.

Use lots of tables. Organize the clothes by gender and size. And mark what sizes are where. There is nothing worse than a garage sale where all the clothes and sizes are mixed and you have to dig. I walk away from those immediately. I have also found that hanging clothing on a rack doesn't work. If you have clothes that need to hang hang them over a table or from a shelf so they show.

I do not begin my garage sale earlier than 9am. No matter what time you set to begin people will begin waiting outside your house 45 minutes before. We set up during the days before, in the garage, then about 20 minutes before our opening time we will open the garage door and begin pulling stuff out onto the driveway- as people swarm our house. It's always insane for about half an hour.

I have my sale only on Saturday so the hubbys can watch the kids. If that isn't an option I will hire a sitter. It's just easier if I don't have to watch them and deal with the people who don't want to pay $5 for a winter coat.

I usually make a bagel run while I'm putting out my signs. And I never host a sale alone. SOmeone can always run inside for food or a potty break.

Hope that helps. And, really organize the clothes and label what sizs are where. You will sell more. Guaranteed.