OK. Everyone has had one at some point in their life. Most of us have walked away thinking, "Never again!" ....too hot, mean ladies chewing your prices down, kids breaking things, a ton of work and very little profit to show for it. Yes, those are all legitimate reasons not to have a yard sale, but if you need the money, read on. Follow my lead and let this be the year of the killer yard sale!
START BY ADVERTISING. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to have a yard sale without putting it in the paper or at least Craiglist or Postaroo. A small ad, should cost you about $24 bucks. (People LOVE to see "Multi-family yard sales" advertised, is there a neighbor or friend who might throw in a couple things to beef up the sale?)
DUMPSTER DIVE. I am serious. Apartment complexes all across the city have dumpsters with microwaves and vacuums, old fridges or broken lawnmowers sitting out beside them. They are there in hopes that someone will take them. That someone is you, and that profit is yours! There is no shame in picking up stuff to sell. At the end of my year at college, people would throw out everything under the sun, and my friends and I raked in loads of yard sale-able stuff.
WHITTLE SOME STAKES. Anymore, the police are told to rip down yard sale signs that are posted on telephone poles. It damages the wood or something. Anyway, people MUST be able to find you. A balloon on the mail box is NOT enough. Do it up right, with florescent signs pointing the way from all the close intersections.
THINK AHEAD. 2 Days before the sale, formulate a game plan. What creative way can you display hang-up clothes? What make-shift tables can be made? Note: People hate yardsales where everything is laying on the ground! Make your signs and label your stuff. You can always lower it later, but get it labeled. Now you have 2 days left to consider if there are any extra little things you can do to make extra money.
GET CREATIVE. Could you sell coffee for a buck a cup? How about turning some background music on so people feel festive? On a hot day, sell bottles of water out of an ice cooler for a dollar. They will sell, and you will have some extra pennies to count!
DONATE THE LEFTOVERS. Goodwill and Salvation Army will take almost anything. They don't come and pick it up anymore, but if you can just scribble down a word or two description of each leftover, you can actually get a great tax write off at the end of the year for all that stuff. Just ASK FOR A RECEIPT. I have forgotten too many times. The program I reccommend for keeping track of this is called "It's Deductible" They put a government approved value on each donated item. It will amaze you just how much you have both made and saved by doing this.
There you have it. You knew most of this already, but if you follow all 6 steps, you should have some good number of pennies in your pocket following all that work!