Well, it’s no secret to you that I spend Saturday mornings hitting the local tag (aka yard aka garage) sales. For years I’ve maintained a private rant about poorly executed sales—now I have a forum to expound. Read carefully, if you want to have a successful Tag Sale, and avoid being ticketed by the Tag Sale Police.
There is one reason for signs—to direct traffic to you sale. SO PUT AN ARROW ON THE SIGN! The only info that needs to be on the sign is your address, the date of the sale, and a BIG, BOLD Arrow. I need to know before I get to the corner which way to turn. Your sign should be big, bright and clear. It should be of stiff, large poster board. Computer printouts are easy but useless—to small to be seen in the distance, and too flimsy. They will flop over in half an hour and no one will be able to read them. Bold block lettering on bright orange, pink, or florescent green is ideal. And did I mention the arrow?
I plan my tag sale trip around the ads in the paper, and/or on Craig’s list. But I stop at any sale along the way. And with the cost of ads going up all the time, I can understand some sellers hesitating to have this bite taken out of their potential earnings. Here’s my tip: If you live on or near a major thoroughfare, you can probably get by with just signs (with big arrows). But if you live in the back of beyond, on East Podunk Road, you’re gonna have to make the advertisement investment if you want anyone to come to your sale.
You can sell whatever you want, but please—make sure it’s clean. Nothing turns me off sooner than looking at grungy junk. (Clean junk is fine.) The best sales are somewhat organized by category—but no need to drive yourself crazy. Just separate grandma’s jewels from grandpa’s tools and baby’s rubber duckie. You should have a source of electricity if you are selling electrical items. People will want to check if they work. And BTW—you can sell stuff that doesn’t work, but play fair and label as such.
Why are you having a yard sale? Because you want/need to get rid of your stuff. Price accordingly. I don’t care if you paid $75 dollars for it new, and only used it once. It’s not my fault you’re a stupid shopper. I got out of bed early Saturday morning cuz I’m looking for bargains. If I wanted to pay full price, I’d have gone to the mall. Things at your yard sale should be cheap, cheap, cheap. You can plan to lower prices later on, but remember, you’ll get your biggest influx of people in the first three hours—they won’t come back again. Be willing to negotiate. Don’t be insulted if I offer you $2 for the Lenox vase you got for your wedding. That’s what it’s worth to me. If you don’t want to sell it for that price, just say “No, I really want to get $10 for it.” I just asked. (BTW—you may be packing it back up at the end of the day.
More tag sale do’s and dont’s soon!