You'll earn more if you present it correctly

Yard Sale Presentation

by Chris Stevenson


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How to Have a Blow Out Yard Sale

There is nothing more important than your yard sale presentation, whether you sell from a lot or hold your sale on your property. Unfortunately, most yard sales are thrown together at the last minute, where items are packed in boxes, strewn on the ground, and disorganized according to item types, function and size. There is nothing more discouraging or inconvenient to the potential buyer than having to bend down to sift through mountains of clothes or rummage through boxes that hold unrelated items. Treat your yard sale with respect, just as though it was a mini shop or market place.

Your first chore involves getting everything off the ground. Good yard sale presentation means having items that are easily accessible at waist level. Many serious buyers (with the most cash to spend) are senior citizens, who have disabilities that make it hard for them to examine goods that are not easily within reach or eyesight. Folding card tables, planks of plywood set over sawhorses, old ping-pong tables, small or large dinette tables, slats of wood set upon cinderblocks, and professional folding metal display tables are excellent ways to elevate and display your items. Everything off the ground!

Good Presentation Considers Gender: You need to have male-oriented items separated from female items, for simple access. For example, tools mixed in with makeup cases or toys will cause confusion and frustration. Toys have their own place and will attract the younger crowd and so do women's clothes. Keep these items separated and well organized. You do not want a traffic jam resulting from buyers who have specific needs, walking all over your sale to find related items. They will often give up the search if they've found they are spending too much time looking for something.

Condition Affects Yard Sale Presentation: When applicable, clean and launder items that are obviously dirty. This includes infant items and products, where hygiene is a major factor. It only takes a spray cleaning solution and some towels to bring back the luster and appeal of just about everything you will sell. Hang freshly cleaned clothes on hangers. Use clothesline strung between poles or use a nearby chain link fence to array shirts, pants, suits, dresses and other apparel. You don't want these items on the ground, spread out on a blanket. It is difficult to gauge size, style and color when clothes items are clumped together or thrown into a box.

Test and Repair Before Your Yard Sale: All electrical or battery operated items, tools, or appliances should be tested and in working condition before the sale. This can be a major deal breaker. If an item is electrically dysfunctional, you should state the fact, or place a note on the item, so there are no questions about reliability or function. For example, you do not want to hookup/test a television set on the spot to test its picture and sound grade, while you are tending to customers. This can throw your timing off, scrambling for extension cords and trying to troubleshoot problems, when you have a sale to run. Clean, launder, and repair all items and appliance prior to your sale.

A Good Yard Sale Prices Goods Reasonably: Post-it notes work well and adhere to just about anything. The reason you price is to give the buyer a ballpark figure beforehand, so they can be prepared to negotiate. Think below wholesale prices. You'll find it impossible to sell even new items at original retail. Mark down accordingly.

Protect Your Sale Against Theft: Keep jewelry and semi-precious collectible near the seller's station, preferably next to or to their side. This will guard against theft and leave the impression that these items are worth more to the seller. Always keep somebody in attendance to collect proceeds, monitor the crowd, and answer questions. Smiles and friendly attitudes boost profit. Happy Sales!

Take the Next Step:

  • For more on garage and yard sale presentation, please click here.
  • Have a question regarding garage sale pricing? Check out this discussion on garage sale pricing in The Dollar Stretcher Community.

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