Yard Sale Recap!

I finally had my yard sale last weekend!  It was on Friday and Saturday from 8-12 each day.  After weeks of 90+ degree weather, it decided to be  COLD that weekend.  And rainy on Friday.  Despite this, people showed up and I made ~$172.  I still had tons of stuff left after which was promptly packed in my car and driven to the Salvation Army.  I think I would have made more on Saturday if I had stayed open later, but by noon I was DONE with the whole shebang and of course cursing the day that I ever thought having a yard sale was a good idea!!

On Friday morning, one of my first shoppers was a lovely lady in her seventies who had seen my Craigslist ad and decided to stop in before a doctor's appointment.  She kept saying,"I can't believe I beat everyone here!" and she also commented on which pieces she had seen in the ad.  She bought $27 worth of stuff and negotiated on several pieces. I accepted any offer she made since she was so delightful.  

On Saturday, a young couple dressed in head-to-toe vintage came to shop despite living three hours away (!!).  They were vintage collectors and resellers who had seen my ad on Craigslist and decided to plan a trip to Springfield to vintage hunt the area based on my ad (!!!).  They were also delightful and it was nice to see how much they appreciated the vintage stuff I had available.  

In my estimation, the Craigslist ad worked wonderfully.  I titled it "The Black Friday of Yard Sales" and posted the following: 

"Hoarder alert! (Except everything is clean and not terrifying. Just sayin'.) We have too much stuff and it NEEDS TO GO!! This sale is a combination of our regular new-ish household stuff/ clothing as well as vintage household stuff and vintage clothing from our antique booth/ Etsy shop which we recently shut down. Everything is priced to move (aka yard sale prices, not "We're too attached to our stuff" prices- I know you've been to those kinds of sales!). The photos are just a small selection of the stuff that will be for sale.

Sale starts at 8 am sharp both days, but not a moment earlier. Follow the bright green signs or plug [ADDRESS] into your GPS. We will shut it down when everything is gone or when we run out of energy. See you soon!"

Here are my tips for a great yard sale:
1) Write a catchy Craigslist ad.  Post it several days or a week before your sale and repost it the day before.

2) Price things to move.  I had an entire table devoted to .25 items and those moved fast and added up.  Don't be so attached to your stuff that you are trying to get 50% of what you paid- not gonna happen!  Remember that the objective is to MOVE stuff out of your house and life.

3) Use brightly colored, well marked signs that you post around your neighborhood the night before.  Make your arrows thick and easily visible from a slow moving car. Be consistent in the color sign that you use so that people recognize it as yours (I used bright green).  TAKE THE SIGNS DOWN when you are done.  There is nothing more obnoxious than following a yard sale sign to a dead end.

4) Be willing to negotiate.  You don't have to accept every offer, but I found that people start buying more after I have accepted their first negotiation.

5) Display your items like a store would.  Group like merchandise and create vignettes (chair + throw + pillow + art work).  HANG UP THOSE CLOTHES!!!!  No one wants to rifle through clothing dumped on a table, or worse, on the ground.  Refresh your displays and tables in between customers.  Make tables look full and organized.

6) Clearly price merchandise.  You can make signs for like merchandise ("all clothing $1") but don't make people ask the price on everything.  They won't do it and you will miss out on sales. 

7) Move furniture and other eye-grabbing merchandise onto the driveway or lawn.  I had several cars slam on their brakes and immediately park across the street after seeing items that I had set out.

I am SO glad it's over but I think the $172 was worth my time.  What are your tips for a great yard sale? Any pet peeves for those who are yard sale attendees?


Danavee said…
I probably would have bought you OUT! I am already spying a few things I know I would have purchased!!!! I WISH I WOULD HAVE SEEN YOUR AD!!!!!!!!!!
I'm glad it's over, too! Haaaaa. I forgot to get in writing that you will not have another garage sale, since I feel obligated to force myself on you to help. It was worth it. My favorite part was where you gave some of the kids something: purses, hour glass, other things.
Danavee- Oh man!!!! I thought about telling you about it but things got crazy that week and it slipped my mind!! :(

Mums- Too late! HA HA!!!!! As of this writing I hope to never have one again. But it seems like I've said that before...
Chrissie said…
I, too, had a garage sale this past weekend with my sister who I sell vintage with at an occasional shop. We cleaned out a lot - accepted any offer anyone made - could have done better advertising - there were 2 neighborhood sales just north of us and I should have put signs nearer to them. Everything is packed up for a donation pick up on Thursday. I keep getting emails from the craigslist who say "Sorry I couldn't make it. Do you have anything left?" No, no and no.
Chrissie- Ugh, those people are the worst!!! Why do they think that is acceptable?? Just plain rude IMO. Glad to hear you were able to get rid of a lot!

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