Yard sales are a familiar sight on weekends and nice days, when homeowners post signs on telephone poles and community message boards in the hopes of luring passersby to swing by their homes and check out what they have to offer.
While many people visit yard sales looking for antiques or other unique items that likely can’t be found at traditional retailers, yard sale shoppers should know that their efforts can be great for the environment. Shoppers can browse through gently used items that no longer serve utility for the seller but may be just what buyers are looking for. Rather than throwing out belongings that get little use, people who organize a sale are reducing their contributions to nearby landfills.
With yard sale season in full swing, the following are some tips for buyers and sellers alike.
Map out your sales. Look at advertisements and plot which sales you plan to visit. If you have specific items in mind to buy, you may have to visit several sales before you find what you need.
Buy only what you need. Don’t be tempted to stock up simply because the deals are good. Decide whether an item will be put to good use or you’ll be selling it yourself in a week’s time.
Leave young kids at home. Many kids will grow bored after the first yard sale, if not earlier. Hire a sitter and shop unencumbered.
Bring small bills. In a world where credit and debit cards prevail, yard sales stand out as cash-only endeavors. Save the seller the hassle of breaking big bills and using up all of his or her change by bringing along small denominations and even some change.
Shop with a plan. If you are looking for something specific, you have the best chance of finding it by shopping early. For the best bargains, shopping toward the end of the sales may garner some deep discounts.
Advertise the sale. The more shoppers the better, so advertising your yard sale can be advantageous. Put an ad in your local newspaper. Some papers have community calendar sections where they also can make mention of the sale.
Place signs around your neighborhood. Be aware that there are ordinances that govern where signage can be located. Check with your town’s municipal office to determine if you need any permits for your signs or the yard sale itself. Make sure signs are legible for drivers and pedestrians alike.
Avoid yard sales on major holiday weekends. Many people are away, and you may not get the traffic you’re hoping for.
Have a nice display. First impressions can mean a lot. Buyers are more apt to visit neat, well-laid-out sales than those that are just a bunch of boxes that have to be dug through.
Be reasonable when pricing items. Be objective in your assessment of your things. What has value to you may not have as much value to someone else. Pricing items at one-third of their initial cost is a good starting point. This leaves room for negotiation.