Here are a few “special touches” that I sometimes do at my yard sales — just because.
Some Things To Consider…
Mow your lawn the day before the sale. First impressions do make a difference. If your yard sale space looks neat and tidy, you’re likely to attract a few more shoppers than if the place looks like a dump (or like you just don’t care).
Sell pre-packaged (store-bought) snacks for 50 cents apiece. At my last yard sale, I had Snackwells cookies (4 in a pack) and some of those cheese & cracker combos, as well as some Wheat Thins in snack size packages.
Bottled water for 50 cents apiece was also a hit. Sales of these items picked up significantly after 11AM — many people said they were hungry & thirsty after hours of yardsaling. I’ve also sold cans of Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi — whatever I happen to have in my fridge at the moment — for 50 cents apiece.
Have wet wipes or hand sanitizer within close reach. Lots of moms appreciate this, as do those who’ve been to many yard sales already without taking a break.
For items that are in a box, folded up, or deflated… tape a picture of you or someone else actually using the product. That way, people can see what the item looks like. (I did this with an oversized pool float and some camping tents — and they sold!)
I think it’s a nice touch (though completely unnecessary!) to burn a nice-smelling candle inside your garage. There’s just something pleasant about that. Most people notice it and comment on how nice it smells.
Some nice music in the background will help customers feel comfortable, much like in a grocery store. It’s just nice to have that background noise and it helps friends or husbands and wives are able to discuss purchases in sort of a private environment. —Rhonda Earley
The morning of the sale, brew a large pot of coffee and as you’re carrying items out to the lawn & driveway, invite all of the Early Birds to help themselves to a cup of coffee. Chances are, they will stick around until you appear to have put out the majority of your items. And they’ll linger even longer if they have a cup of coffee in their hands. (Be sure to place a garbage can in a prominent location for all the empty cups, etc.)
I always have some plastic grocery bags, as well as some big paper shopping bags on hand. It doesn’t happen often, but when someone buys a lot of little stuff, a shopping bag makes it easier for them. Plus, if I see that someone’s got their hands full with a few items and they’re still shopping… I offer them a shopping bag to hold all of their stuff. Chances are, they’ll buy even more, now that their hands are free!
Have a camera on hand at all times. You never know who or what you’ll see during your yard sale! Plus, I take pictures of my best displays and set-ups that I’d like to replicate at future yard sales. And at my last yard sale, I had a list of cell phone numbers for people who said they’d like to make an offer on some of the larger items — if they didn’t sell. I ended up texting them each a picture of the item, so they’d remember what they were bidding on.
Last, but not least, I always have some fun freebies on hand! Here’s why.
Pay Attention To Your Audience
If you think outside the box a bit, watch how different people shop, and pick up on different personality cues, you’re likely to find some new “friends”.
For example, I found two great teenage pet sitters this way. They were over-the-moon about all the old cell phones we we selling for a dollar apiece!
We also found a mom & pop plumbing company this way. The owner stopped by our yard sale when he noticed all of the “guy friendly” things we had for sale. He ended up buying something, and we struck up a conversation about the hot water heater in our garage — and how we had been thinking of upgrading to a tankless water heater. We liked him and asked for his business card. Fast-forward 6 months later… we just called him yesterday to install our new system!
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I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).