How to Host an AWESOME Yard Sale

Over the summer, the kids outgrew their old bikes, plus Manfrengensen kind of got into biking, at least before his accident, so he had bought himself a nicer one. With the new bikes, plus the old bikes, (as well as some of the other items we’ve collected over the years and have outgrown or abandoned) we couldn’t fit the cars in the garage, so I figured it would be a good time for a yard sale.

I think this was the third or fourth yard sale I have ever had. Usually, I feel lucky if I make a hundred bucks, but this time, I really wanted to make it worth my time, and I wanted to clear out a lot of stuff from our garage and basement, so I went looking for tips on how to hold a successful sale on the boards. There are lots of them, but the site I found looked like this on Pinterest:

The tips were really helpful. First of all, Vintage Revivals suggested that we should try to stand out from all the other sales that were happening in the area. So I put the following ad on Craigslist the Wednesday before the sale, and then again the day before:

AWESOME CRAP FOR SALE – SATURDAY 9-12

GINORMOUS yard sale this Saturday! (September 22nd) Everything must go, or we’re going to have to add on to the house, and there are deed restrictions in the neighborhood, so that would be a real hassle, not to mention pricey. Starts at 9 on the dot. No early birds, or we will have to release the hounds on you. Just kidding, but seriously don’t come early. We’re going to have a hard enough time dragging our butts out of bed to bring the stuff out into the yard by 9. But if you do come after 9 — there will be free muffins for the first 12 people. Not to mention, some kids I know will be running a lemonade stand throughout the morning, so if you get thirsty rummaging, they’ve got the pause that refreshes right there for you.

What kind of stuff, you ask? Well, we’ve got a MacLaren baby stroller, some toys, a bike rack for an SUV, lots of home decor (all very tasteful, no paintings of clowns or kittens), furniture, kitchen items, some lamps, a few DVD players (one of which has a portable screen attached!) DVDs, yard items, a weed whacker, Halloween costumes for kids, clothes. There’s a de-humidifier if you’ve got any moisture problems around your house, a window unit air conditioner that’s almost brand new, some fans. I’m still putting it together, but really, you should come check it out.

All of this awesome crap and more goes on sale Saturday, which is TOMORROW!! Are you EXCITED!?!? I am selling tons of awesome crap beginning at 9 am! Only awesome people (like you) are invited. If you have a dog, I will give you a free used tennis ball. Don’t bring your dog though, it’ll just get in the way, plus I will have enough crap on my lawn, so we won’t need your dog adding to it. But if you tell me you have a dog at home, I’ll throw in the ball.

The first annual Awesome Crap Extravaganza Sale is this Saturday Sept. 22  at 9 am exactly. Follow the AWESOME pink signs  from Divided Highway and Medium Rd (where the Los Pollos Hermanos is) about a mile down to Neighborhood Rd. There’s another moving sale happening on Medium Rd from 8-12, so feel free to stop by there, but then come see me. I’m sure my neighbors have some awesome crap, but there’s no way that it’s as awesome as what I will have out. Plus — muffins and lemonade, are you kidding me? Keep going down Medium Rd to Neighborhood Rd. You will be able to see us from the corner. It’s going to be AWESOME!!

This really did the trick. In the end many of the people who came by said how much they had laughed at the ad, and some said they just had to come check out the sale because if the ad was that awesome, then the stuff had to be as well.

During the week before the sale, I got everything organized. Vintage Revivals didn’t mention this, but you really need to do a lot of organization and pricing beforehand. I collected everything, tagged it, and brought it to a few central staging areas in the house a few days before the sale. This made things a lot easier on sale day because they were already near exits in the house, so we just had to roll everything out.

In addition to the ad on Craigslist, I also posted the sale as an event on Facebook and invited all my friends, noting that they were welcome to invite friends as well. Based on the photos I used on Craigslist and Facebook, I began to get offers on items almost immediately.

Another tip from Vintage Revivals was to price everything to move (Tip Number 3). I only had three things for sale that cost fifty dollars or more, and all but one of those sold. In addition to offering low prices, I was willing to entertain any offer. For example, I had an air conditioner that was priced at $50, but when someone offered $35, I took it. It’s worth it in the end not to have to cart the crap back into the basement. Remember, most people shopping at your garage sale are looking for a deal. Whether that’s out of shrewdness or necessity, you have to respect where they are coming from.

I also borrowed tables from neighbors and relatives so that all of my crap could be well displayed. In all, we had eight or nine tables, plus two racks of clothing.

September and October are good times to sell your old Halloween costumes.

I didn’t team up with friends in the neighborhood, as Vintage Revivals suggested in Tip Number 4, but I did note in my ad that there would be another sale happening nearby on that day. The people who spend their Saturday mornings going to garage sales want bang for their bucks, so it does help to have more items for sale in close proximity.

The night before the sale, we made some baked goods, which I had planned to give free to the first 12 people, but we had very few takers in the end. Many of the earlier patrons claimed to have diabetic conditions, which was something I had not considered while planning. My point is, don’t bother with the baking.

And then I got up early Saturday and posted neon pink signs along the route from Divided Highway to the sale (Tip Number 2), again using the sense of humor about “Awesome Stuff” being for sale. I placed these every 500 feet or so.

And we had a great time (Tip Number 5). We had lots of laughs with the people who came by. Edison was out there playing guitar for most of the morning at the lemonade stand, and we sold almost all of our wares! Overall great tips from our Pinterest find. Thanks Vintage Revivals!

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