Just like there’s a season for holiday shopping, there’s a season for yard sales. The best time of year to hold a yard sale is in the spring and the fall, when the weather is perfect (not too hot and not too cold) and people are looking for things to do outside. Since many people love shopping, looking for deals, and being outside during the spring and fall why not hold a yard sale? Take advantage of the opportunity to make some money!

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Where to Start

Start by going through your closets, garage, basement and attic taking stock of all the items you have collected over the years. Don’t be too quick to throw things out—people shopping at yard sales are looking for anything at a bargain price; items such as clothes, baby items, tools, toys, books, furniture, etc. are popular finds.

The best way to make a profit is to follow the “PPP” approach:

Publicity, Presentation and Pricing!

First, you want to make sure people know about your sale, because no matter what you are selling, if no one is there, nothing will sell. Post information about your yard sale to Facebook, tweet about it and email your friends and family. For people that you don’t know, post flyers at your gym, kids’ school, local neighborhoods, library, post office, etc. Make people aware of your garage sale and you will have a better chance of a profit.

Next, presentation—how will you present your items to your buyers? People tend to be lazy and they don’t want to search through boxes placed by the street that could pass for trash; they want to be able to see what you are selling. Below are some tips for how to set up your yard sale:

Clean or wash your items before putting them out.
Categorize your items; put your tools, lawn care and painting items together, your clothes and shoes, kids’ items together, etc.
Find a rack and hang up your clothes. Taking them out of the box will make it easier for people to see what you’re selling.
Make it easy for people to take your items home. Offer plastic bags so it makes carrying their new purchases easier.
Be prepared for demonstrations. You may not want to give away good batteries, but you may need to show someone how something works so have batteries handy.
Make the prices large and easy to read.

Lastly, price your items right. What does this mean? People are not going to garage sales to buy brand new things for full price; people are looking for a deal. Price your items low, but not too low because people may try to haggle. For example, if you have a child’s outdoor sand box in good condition, retailed at $44, try pricing it at a discounted rate of $15. This gives people room to haggle. If you find that no on is buying the sandbox after an hour you should bring the price down. Price your items a few dollars over what you expect to get.

Be smart when preparing for a garage sale. They take a lot of time and effort to get everything together, so do it right, have fun and make a profit!

Tara Chila, blogger for Transit Systems, writes mostly about moving, travel, house & home, kids, parenting, and recipes.

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