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07.26.2004

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this saturday only! how to have a yard sale by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3 4
continued from page 2

Post signs at the nearest busy intersections and at the sale location itself. If you don't want people to show up on your doorstep at the break of dawn, you can put up your signs the morning of, but make sure that you leave yourself lots of time to do so (if you know you're going to be pressed for time the morning of your sale, do the signage as late as possible the night before). Novice yard seller that I was, I didn't start posting my signs till 45 minutes before show time. The first intersection alone took me 15 minutes, as I tried to figure out which posts would best show off my lovely signs, and indecisively ran back and forth across the streets. Even after getting my technique down, I found it took about 10-15 minutes per intersection, including driving there. The result was that by our specified start time, I had just reached my third intersection and was feeling very frazzled. Meanwhile, back at the base, the other four members of my yard sale team were wondering why I wasn't back yet to help them out with the deluge of buyers.

show us the goods
After you've figured out what goods you're ready to send off to other homes, invest a tiny bit of time towards sprucing up your grimy old junk. Dust off that little end table, wash those cast-off kitchen utensils, take a little time to make your goods reasonably presentable to the world. Yeah, everyone knows that this is used stuff, but you should do what you can to ensure that they don't look used.

With your goods cleaned-up, it's time to start pricing. Don't get all greedy, unless you want to find yourself with a heap of leftovers by the end of the sale day. Folks come to yard sales looking to score a good deal, and you have to be able to deliver it if you want stuff to sell. Remember, this is all junk you're trying to get rid of, and anything that you don't sell will probably just end up at the Goodwill anyway. Price stuff to move; think about how much you'd be willing to pay for it yourself, then add a smidge more to the initial price to account for the inevitable haggling. Alternatively, a rough guide is to figure out how much the item would cost new, and quarter the price.

Make the prices for all goods obvious. There's little that irks me more than digging out a fabulous little treasure at a yard sale, and not being able to figure out how much the seller wants for it. Either group items according to a price, and affix a very clear label to the group, or individually sticker each item. If you do decide to go the stickered route, plop down that label in a place where it can be easily removed without damaging the item. And if you're doing the sale with friends -- which you should be -- devise some kind of a system to easily distinguish what items belong to whom. Color code with different markers or different sticker hues; use different shaped stickers.

the big day
Set your alarm clocks kids, and give yourself as much time as possible to get your stuff out there and on display. For our 8 am sale, we dragged our butts out of bed at the ungodly time of 5:45 am -- and found that we barely had time to get stuff set up in time, even with five people involved in the process. Organize your goods -- electronics on one table, kitchen stuff on another, clothing on a big sheet by the house, whatever. Put your big, attractive items closer to the street -- sofas, dining chairs, and the like -- to attract the drive-by yard salers. As things begin to sell, keep moving more stuff out towards the front to keep your sale offerings looking plentiful.

don't stop: amble this way for more!

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