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    A man buying books at a yard sale.

    How to Organize a Successful Yard Sale

    When you are moving, there are a couple of things you can do with your things. Some people throw things away and other give them to friends or charity organizations. However, there are those who also find ways to make a profit out of their old things. Extra money can always come in handy when moving to New Jersey, right? One of the ways to make the extra buck is by holding a garage sale. And if you are not sure how you should go about doing that, have no fear! Today, we give you some helpful hints and tips on how to organize a successful yard sale.

    Think about the advertising

    A wall with posters to help you organize a successful yard sale.
    Fun, colorful posters are sure to attract customers and help you organize a successful yard sale.

    The first thing to do when trying to organize a successful yard sale is think of the ways in which you are going to advertise it. Are you going to post an ad in the local newspaper? Will you put up posters around the neighborhood or on the community board? Take extra care when creating signs. They need to have:

    • bright colors, drawings, and shapes – anything that will attract customers,
    • big and bold font – so people can read it from the car,
    • enough information about the sale – make sure you put a date and the address – you cannot organize a successful yard sale if people don’t know where it is.

    Making the signs as attractive as possible will draw the attention of your local community. This is also the cheapest way to advertise and can be a relaxing and creative evening for you and your family amidst all the stress of moving.

    Remember to keep your house safe

    There will be a lot of people coming to your yard sale, so be sure your house is safe. You do not want some unexpected visitors popping by to use your restrooms, or help themselves to your stuff. Make sure you lock your doors and close all the windows. You can even pull down all your curtains, to keep curious people away.

    If there is a public restroom nearby, put up a sign so people will know where to go. Otherwise, make a sign that says “no public restrooms,” so no one is tempted to use yours.

    A key in the door - you must remember to lock it up.
    Lock the doors and close the windows, just in case.

    As far as the things in your yard or garage go, try to move them away before the sale day to your house or storage units (Bergen County NJ has some great ones). If you cannot, make sure you rope them off and put up a “not for sale” signs. You do not want anyone confusing them for something you are selling.

    Organize a successful yard sale by organizing the space well

    In order to have a great yard sale, you will need to figure out the best layout for everything. Think about the items you are selling. If you are selling clothes, you might need to have a lot of hangers and clothes racks. If you are selling books, you might want to pull out a bookshelf or two or some boxes (you can even use your packing supplies for this).

    Also, make sure you organize the space well. Try creating aisles your shoppers can move through. Designate entrance and exit areas clearly, as well as the place where customers can pay for their items.

    Using tables and tarps

    One of the best items you can use during your yard sale is tables. Shoppers love to have things in their eye level so putting them up on tables will be great for them. Your things will be easy to see and reach – and thus easier to sell. You can either improvise tables with some planks or borrow them from friends (you might need more than ones you have).

    There are, of course, some exceptions to this rule. If you are selling kids’ toys, you might want to place them at the kids’ eye level. The same logic applies as when selling things to adults – you want them to see your items and want to buy them.

    If you can’t use the table, then you should use a tarp. Nobody wants to see things on the ground. Use colorful painting tarps, blankets or plastic sheets, or anything similar.

    Decide on the price of the items

    A price tag you might use on your items.
    Be careful when pricing your items.

    Deciding on the price of items can make or break a successful yard sale. If you price your things too expensively, you might not be able to sell anything. If your items go for little money, you might be making your professional movers‘ job easier, but you will not earn any cash. This is why you need to think carefully about how much you will ask for each item.

    However, if the goal of your sale is just to get rid of your things and declutter your home, then you should be okay with selling more cheap items than a couple of expensive ones. The rule of the thumb is that you should price it at about 20% of the original price of the item. This is a perfect balance between being a catch for the buyers and an income for you. As a guideline, you can use websites like eBay to see how much other people are asking for similar items.

    Also, don’t be afraid to negotiate deals with your buyers. They will be prone to by more if you reduce the price of the second (or third) item they buy. This prompts them to buy in bulk, which helps you in the end.

    What to do with the leftovers

    After your sale is over, it’s time to think about what you will do with the things that are left. Do not return these items to your home. Since you decided to sell them, they should not go into your new house – you don’t need them. Instead, the best thing you can do is to box them up and donate them to a charity. If there is a lot of things, you can try calling charity services to pick your items up. This way, you were able to organize a successful yard sale and earn some money, but also give things back to your community.