Those novels you read on vacation, the shirt you haven’t worn for five years, the toys your college bound student won’t need, and the sheets for a single bed that you don’t own anymore. Sound familiar. We all put things away for a rainy day or because they remind us of a favorite event.
This is a great time of year to reorganize, declutter, donate, and stash stuff in boxes for a future yard sale.
In fairness to yourself before selling or donating anything that you feel might be worth something check the ebay price of the same or similar item.
If you feel something is very valuable check with a professional auction house. Bonhams Auction House opens its doors once a month so that they can assist you in appraising your property. Is it treasure or trash? They are a neutral party who can provide an auction value estimate. They limit you to five items and the service is free. In Los Angeles they are located at 7601 Sunset Blvd or call 800 223 2854 for more information. This is a fun experience regardless of the value. They treat you well and let you know if there is any historical information about your item.
If you decide to go forward with a yard sale here are some good rules to follow:
Put a price on all items! You can have individual prices or grab bags where everything in the bag goes for a set price. Put stickers on everything and you can also segregate areas for different prices. All fifty cent items on one table. Remember nobody comes to yard sale to spend big bucks. Everything you sell is one thing you don’t have to carry back into the house.
Don’t let early arrivers throw you off. Post a sign that says when you start and don’t let anyone into your home. You want good coverage so if you don’t have enough family members, invite friends to help out or sell stuff along with you. If you can get your neighbors to join in – all the better. Everyone has a unique inventory so the more the merrier.
Get change the day before and post that you will only give change up to $10. Most yard sale shoppers know the drill and will come with appropriate coinage. Since many items will be $.10 or $.25, get a few packs of quarters, dimes, and nickels plus twenty to fifty in singles. Keep your cash on you or with a helper who is designated the cashier.
Feel free to sell sodas or lemonade for a modest price. This is a great learning experience for small children. Let them set up a stand and feel they are part of the experience.
Now to let people know about your sale. Many local papers have free listings, put it up on bulletin boards at your grocery store, school, church, and gym, and post signs at all major intersections in your neighborhood. Many people still drive around looking for yard sales and neon colored paper will attract attention.
And the most important thing about a yard sale, have fun, watch your stuff enhance another person’s life, and make a few dollars in the process.