By Gina Noe
Yard sale season has arrived! If you, like me, love yard sales, this weekend will be a great opportunity to shop the first US 25 yard sale. If you just hit the sales in Madison County it will probably keep you busy all morning.
My mother used to say I needed a bumper sticker that read “I brake for yard sales.” Rita Smart, my predecessor, swore I had my dog trained to bark when she saw a yard sale. I enjoy the hunt; you never know what treasures you will discover.
Yard sales can often be a win-win for both the buyer and the seller. As people transition from winter to summer by spring cleaning, they often notice the amount of stuff that has accumulated in their house over the past several months, or years. It is also a time when people begin to anticipate the items that they might need to purchase for the summer, such as children's clothing or sporting equipment.
Hosting a yard sale is a great way to eliminate unused items while also earning a little extra cash. Another bonus to yard sale shopping is that you can find the items you need at bargain prices!
If you are considering hosting a yard sale this weekend, or anytime this summer, here are a few tips to consider:
• Plan in advance. Preparing for a yard sale takes time. Start by accumulating the items you want to sale in one spot. We have a place designated in our basement for this purpose.
• Sort and display items in similar groups such as household, crafts, sporting goods and clothing.
• Consider your location. Will buyers be able to easily access your sale? If not, talk with friends or family members about hosting a joint sale at their location. Community sales usually draw a larger crowd than individual sales, so get the whole neighborhood involved if possible.
• Price all your items before the sale. Attend other yard sales to get an idea about pricing. Consider what you would be willing to pay. Be realistic; understand that even though you have a sentimental attachment to an item that does not make it worth more to customers. You can use masking tape or stickers for pricing. Stickers are available with prices already printed. To save time you can also color-code smaller items and make a poster listing the price associated with each color sticker. Remember, buyers like to negotiate prices, so be flexible.
• Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular days of the week to host a yard sale. Most start at 8 a.m., but don’t be surprised if you have early birds knocking at your door at 6 or 7 a.m., so be ready the night before. People tend to have more disposable income at the beginning of the month, so consider having your sale the first weekend.
• Advertise! Use classified ads, flyers, Facebook, Craig’s List, and other social media. The day of the sale put up signs in key locations at major intersections and street corners that will help people find your sale.
• On the day of the sale, make sure you have plenty of change, bags and packing supplies. Have a dedicated cash box and never leave it unattended.
• Have a plan for what is not sold. Some can be given away, some can be saved for the next sale and some may end up in the trash.
Good luck. I’ll see you at the yard sales.