We know mobile boot-sale apps like Pre-loved and Schpock are growing in popularity, but we still believe in the good old-fashioned yard sale. After-all, with second-hand apps, you can only sell to other users. Whereas by hosting a physical yard sale, you can sell to your whole community, and get to know them at the same time (although that may not be a positive!)
It’s time to target the impulse buyers, the bargain hunters, the fanatical collectors. Read on for our top five tips for getting the most out of your Garage Yard sale:
We’ve been to enough yard sales to tell you that people will buy absolutely anything. Yes, we’ve sold half used lipsticks, pairs of old socks and already scrawled-on colouring-in books. If people think they’re getting a bargain, they’ll pay for almost anything, so put out everything you no longer want.
You don’t want to put potential customers off by lack of stock. Your house might look completely cluttered, but when you put your bric-a-brac out on a few tables, it might not look as much as your first thought. So invite your neighbours to bring their unwanted belongings along too. But make sure you keep your items separate - we don’t want any rows over who owned the broken toaster.
The only way to advertise an old-school yard sale is some old-school advertising. Make some handmade signs for putting up around the neighbourhood, put notices in your local convenience store and community centre and post reminders on local community groups on social media.
Consider your sellables as a full package. If you worry too much about how much money you’re getting for each item, you’ll hardly think it’s worth it. Keep the prices low and the ten and twenty pences will all add up in the end. And at least you can take satisfaction from giving your unwanted items to a good home.
For the less-confident shoppers, negotiating can be a bit intimidating, so put tags with guide prices on some of your items, especially those that are worth a bit. But be prepared for the experienced hagglers. While it’s important to keep your prices low, don’t sell yourself short. If they’re not prepared to give you the price you want, just say so.
One of the most overlooked processes when it comes to retail is the amount of change needed. You don’t want to miss out on sale, so make sure you have an abundance of five-pound notes, pound coins and fifty, twenty and ten pence pieces.
If your sale is too chaotic, you’ll put off potential buyers. Think about organising your items into different sections like “electricals” “children’s toys” and “unwanted gifts” so people can find what they’re looking for. Ensure there’s enough space for people to get in and out and to move around in.
It’s unlikely your yard sale will be booming, so you need to do some work to a welcoming environment. Get some helpers involved so it always looks busy to an onlooker. Play music in the background to avoid any awkward silences. And don’t intimidate your buyers by looking at them too often or following them around.
We all have busy lives and find it difficult to stick to set times, so maximise your chances of getting people in and shifting your stock by putting it on a Saturday or Sunday when most people are off work and keeping it open for as long as possible. 10 til 4 is a good guide time. This also means any early birds can promote you by word of mouth for new customers later in the day.
Want to spruce up your garage before you let people in? Get inspired with our gallery of garage doors.