Make your yard sale a success

Posted June 4, 2010 5:38 p.m. EDT
Updated June 4, 2010 7:49 p.m. EDT

— It's a summer ritual, it seems – finish the spring cleaning and have a yard sale. But how do you make your sale stand out?

WRAL Smart Shopper Faye Prosser says having a yard sale is more complicated than just putting some stuff in the driveway.

"Make sure it's really worth your while, that you don't have a bunch of old stained kids clothing, that you really have some valuable items that make it worth your time," she said.

Then, you have to make sure the price is right.

Prosser says one of the trickiest parts about planning a yard sale is being objective about your stuff. Just because something meant a lot to you doesn't mean somebody else is willing to pay top-dollar for it.

"People aren't willing to pay for your emotional attachment to an item," she said. "They're willing to pay how much it's actually going to be worth to them."

Prosser says a good rule of thumb is to price items at 10 to 30 percent of their original price.

And price everything or group together items of the same price

Display items so they are easy to see, prices are showing and electronic items can be tested with an extension cord. Hang clothing for easier viewing.

Advertise your sale with signs that are large and legible. Also consider advertising on websites such as Craigslist and Garage Sale Tracker.

Prosser says it's also a good idea to join with neighbors to have a multi-family yard sale to attract better traffic.

Spread out your merchandise and don't put a bunch of stuff in a box and force customers to sort through it. And remember, Prosser says, customer service is No. 1. Be friendly and engaging.

Also, remember the little things, such as having enough change – quarters, dimes, nickels and $1, $5 and $10 bills – on hand.

Carry the money in a purse, pocket or fanny pack. Don't leave it in a cash box while you walk around. Provide plastic bags for people to use for the items they buy.