Monday, March 21, 2011

Clutter Into Cash: Yard Sale Part Three

In this final post, here is a list of additional information that will be beneficial to your yard sale.

**1** Check local ordinances regarding permits for your area. If you have a Homeowners Association, read your Covenants to make sure yard sales are permisssable.

**2** You want to place signs in high traffic areas near your home but you have to be careful regarding right of ways and easements.  Local law enforcement  or a City Hotline can provide you with this information.

**3** Get the kids involved. My children get to keep any money from the sale of their toys. The money is theirs to use as they wish. It is several lessons rolled into one: decluttering, choosing how to handle money, deciding what is needed and what has outlived its current usefulness. My oldest child understands this completely and has become quite adept at gathering and pricing things for a fair profit.

**4** Try keeping things as orderly as possible. True, it's 'yard sale' not 'upscale'.  However, in order to buy your items, people have to be able to actually see them. Refold as needed. Try grouping like items together. I once dragged a living room  table outside just to display an entire box of Halloween knick knacks. The first guy who stopped took a single glance and bought every piece. I made $20 for less than five minutes worth of work.

**5**  Keep a few carboard boxes available. You will need these to haul the leftovers to your favorite donation site. Get a receipt for tax purposes.

**6** There are a few exceptions to the donation rule. If --and only if--you are planning another yard sale, it is acceptable to retain the items you truly feel will sell in the future.  Great sellers would include, but not be limited to,toys, puzzles, books, kitchen items and tools.

**7**Consider an old fashioned lemonade stand.They are just plain fun. Place this venture close enough for customers to be tempted while still allowing plenty of elbow room. There is no need for anything elaborate. A small table with some chairs for the kids to use will be sufficient. Cover the table so it looks clean and bright. A plastic pitcher filled with ice and beverage along with some cups are pretty much all you need. Let the kids make a colorful sign and you are all set.  Our next yard sale will be coming up shortly and my oldest has already asked to set up his own lemonade stand with the proceeds going to the same animal shelter where we adopted our puppy.

**8** Save plastic bags for your buyers' purchases.

**9** Let people know if you intend to have a future sale. A great yard sale will draw repeat business. I once commented to a lady that she looked familiar. 'I should,' she said. 'I came before and bought about 50 skeins of yarn and all the baby clothes you had.'  I like that kind of familiar. I hope to see her again!

**10** It is acceptable to impart important information to a buyer. No one will be interested in knowing a certain  bowl was used by your  Aunt Effie to set up housekeeping with in 1954, but I did manage to sell some relatively obscure book once when I let the buyer know it was the last year the book was saddle stitched. Keep your information brief, interesting and neutral.

As the series ends, let me say that yard sales can serve a multitude of purposes. You free up a lot of needed space. That means less time managing and cleaning things you didn't really want to manage and clean in the first place. Now you have a little more time. You end up with a little cash (I hope you end up with a LOT).  With minimal investment you have taken steps to improve your space, time and finances.

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