MOVING AND YARD SALE TIPS
WHY IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE A YARD SALE WHEN PLANNING A MOVE?
Moving sales are one of the best ways to make sure you take time to go through all your belongings and make intelligent decisions about their future usefulness. You’ll be able to handle and evaluate each item to determine whether it’s something you don’t use anymore, something you’ve outgrown, or something you could easily and inexpensively replace once you move.
A great way to coordinate your packing with your move sale is to go through items as you pack and set them aside. Some advantages of having a moving sale are an opportunity to simplify your life by eliminating things you no longer need, saving on the costs of your move by reducing your belongings, and making money on the items you sell.
WHAT IS A GOOD TIME TO HAVE THE YARD SALE?
Choose the date for your sale as soon as possible. Give yourself enough time between the sale and the move to donate, give away, or otherwise dispose of, unsold items.
The best days for yard or garage sales seem to be Fridays and Saturdays. Sundays aren’t bad, but families tend to plan activities for Sundays. Holiday weekends aren’t recommended, since your potential clientele are likely to have made other plans with family and friends or plans to go out of town.
Choose a clear starting and closing time for your sale. Most sales open between 9-10am, but you may want to open yours even earlier, since a lot of people who enjoy shopping at rummage sales want to get there early to get first pick of the items. Most sales close between 4-7pm. Depending on your area, choose the times that you feel will attract the most shoppers and give them enough time to get to you.
WHERE SHOULD I HAVE MY MOVING SALE?
For homeowners, the logical choice might be to have the sale in their garage, driveway, yard or basement. People who live in apartment buildings or other rental properties, or whose homes are far off the beaten path might want to think about having their moving sale at a friend or relative’s house or renting space at a flea market.
Remember to think about parking space for your customers. Moving your vehicles down the street is a good idea for a few reasons: you make room for your customers to park, you create more room for your sale, and you can post additional signs on your vehicles advertising your sale.
We recommend that you let your neighbors know about your sale. It shows “neighborly” consideration to let them know there will be increased traffic that day, but it also gives them the opportunity to consider having their own sale, which could translate into more foot traffic for you. Some subdivisions and communities host subdivision-wide rummage sales on a specific weekend each year. It would be smart to try to coordinate with this because it maximizes your exposure.
HOW SHOULD I ADVERTISE MY MOVING SALE?
You want as many people to know about your sale as possible. The more people who know, the more customers you’ll have, and the more you’ll be able to sell. Posting information to get the word out about your sale helps, too.
Some logical places to advertise are:
- Local newspaper classified ad
- Public bulletin board (Grocery stores, gas stations, library, city hall)
- Word of mouth (tell neighbors, coworkers, friends)
- Local access community TV public notices
- Signs pointing the way
- Internet postings
Many local and free weekly community newspapers will place your moving/garage sale ad free of charge. You can assume that larger and major daily papers will charge a fee to place an ad for you.
Some questions to ask:
- How is the cost determined? By square inch? By the number of lines? By the number of words?
- How much more expensive is it to run the ad on Friday and Saturday than it is to run it Saturday only?
- What are the additional costs for adding bold headlines, or other attention-grabbing print devices?
- When do you need to have the ad in by?
Mention highlights of your sale in the ad, so that people who are interested in those kinds of things will come and shop. Sale items you might want to mention include electronics, furniture, appliances, tools, craft items, art pieces, children’s clothes/toys, collectibles, etc.
Public Bulletin Boards:
Create simple fliers to advertise your sale. Include all the details of the sale so you are easy to find. Good places to post fliers are on large public bulletin boards in your city hall, local libraries, gas stations, grocery stores, and Laundromats.
Fliers should be easy to read, mention the date, time, and place of your sale, and should mention any popular items that you plan to have at your sale.
A great deal of your customers might just be happening by and choose to pop in, but more importantly you want those people who saw your newspaper ad or your flier to be able to find you easily, because they went looking for you.
Make several large signs with big arrows directing people to your sale and post them in high traffic areas around your neighborhood. Make sure that the lettering is big enough to be read easily by people in cars, that your signs are clear, and that you include dates and times (and the address if possible).
Word of Mouth:
Tell everyone you know – you’d be surprised how effective it is to advertise by word of mouth. Tell your friends, family members, and coworkers, and ask them to spread the word.
There are a variety of online community “bulletin boards” where you could post ads for your sale, or you could look into creating a local posting on a national site like Craig’s list.
WHAT SHOULD I DO TO GET READY FOR MY SALE?
- Get pricing labels and label your sale items.
- Purchase differently colored labels if different family members or friends are selling things at your sale. This way, it will be easy to track how much each person made.
- Have a selection of bags and boxes on hand for customers’ purchases.
- Have a stack of newspapers on hand to wrap fragile or breakable items.
- Move items for sale away from anything else that is not for sale (you don’t want a helper to accidentally sell something you intended to keep).
- Place the parts of a set together or mark them for sale as a set or individually.
- Place all the items that “go together” in the same area. For example, put all the kitchen items in one area, and the toys in another, etc. This makes it easier for customers to find something that they will be likely to buy.
- Try to hang clothes on a clothesline or a rack.
- Set up a cashier area and supply it with the following items: calculator, scissors, tape, string, markers, tags, stickers, secure cash box (with plenty of small bills to make change), and drinks for you and your assistants.
- Arrange to have pets securely leashed or keep them in the house during the sale.
Call our offices with any questions!