Pleasant weather is a plus and that makes fall or early summer the best times for a sale.
Weeks prior to your sale, gather up some boxes. Go from room to room with a box. Less clutter means less mess and less stress. Remember: the more stuff you have, the more room you need and it takes longer to clean room. Keep only what you actually use.
Once you have gone through your house, your attic, and your storage rooms. Take some time to clean your merchandise. Wipe it off. Wash it off. The better it looks, the faster it will sell and for a better price.
Every item should have a price sticker on it. You can buy printed price stickers at most stores like Wal Mart or Target. Or a cheaper method is to use a piece of masking tape, write the price on the tape with a marker, or pen.
While you are pricing, it is a good time to sort items. Put all the kitchen/cooking tools/cookbooks together. Sport equipment together. Home decor items together. This is how you need to display them as well. Grouped together.
You will need tables, especially folding tables. Maybe you have friends or relatives who can loan you table. Also, consider using plastic shelving units or small bookcases, which are great for displaying small items. You can use two dining room chairs, their seats holding a short plank for a table.
You will need a rolling clothes rack or tie clothes wire between your porch posts to hang clothes. Clothes sell better on hangers. All your better quality clothes should be hanging with the size and price clearly marked.
Next, you need a sign for your yard. It needs to have bold letters and placed close to the street in front of your house. You will also need to put smaller signs at key intersections near your home. Include your address, the time of the sale and directional arrows will help people to find your sale. If you want to place an ad in the newspaper, remember they are expensive so there goes some of your profit. Check for Yahoo email groups for buy/sell lists in your area. You can join the group and post your sale to the list. Check out Craigslist in your area, too.
If you don’t live in a good location for a sale, you might consider teaming up with friends/relatives for a sale at a home in town.
When you put out your sale, neatly group your items together, and put the large items such as furniture, exercise equipment, yard toys along the driveway as these will draw in customers. Make sure there is room enough for customers to walk around your tables and look. You will need plenty of small bills and change on hand the morning of your sale.
Lastly, Greet your customers with a welcoming smile, and don’t forget a comfortable lawn chair and a cold drink for yourself.
Good luck with your sale! If you’d like to read about one of the funniest yard sales ever, check out my short story, “The Yard Sale,” available on Amazon.