Kat’s Money Corner: Clean up with a fall yard sale

08/12/2014 8:57 AM

08/12/2014 9:36 AM

I love the fall and I love it even more when I have a clean house. To me, the end of the summer is simply the best time to purge your house of outgrown clothing, old furniture and electronics. Get rid of your junk (soon to become someone else’s treasure) with a yard sale before school and kid’s activities start up again. http://www.bhg.com/health-family/finances/tips/your-best-yard-sale-ever

All Together Now

First and foremost, find out if there are any organized garage sales in your neighborhood. When several homes on the block are having sales, there is a larger variety of items, which will attract more people. If there isn’t an organized neighborhood-wide sale, putting one together is fairly simple. Pick a date and create a half-page flyer and tuck it into mailboxes (or on your neighborhood Facebook page!). http://www.modernette.ca/how-to-have-a-successful-garage-sale/

If you have a large neighborhood and a lot of interest, consider asking participating neighbors for a few bucks each to pay for advertising in the local paper. Include your contact information so people who are selling big ticket or unique items, such as a collection or even vehicles, can get that information included in the advertisement. Post your sale on Craigslist, community webpages and bulletin boards.

When you schedule your garage sale is hugely important. Aim to start your sale at the beginning or the middle of the month. A large majority of people get paid on the 1st and the 15th so if you can find a weekend that falls closely to one of those dates, you’re more likely to attract potential customers. This brings up another point – have your sale on the weekend. You may get some traffic on a Friday afternoon but Saturday is, hands down, the best day to sell your stuff.

Plan Ahead

Once you’ve got a date picked out , it’s time to start arranging your yard sale. Here are some organizational necessities that will make your sale go smoothly:

· Go to your financial institution and get $10 (or two rolls) in quarters, twenty-five $1 bills, eight $5 bills, four $10 bills and two or three $20 bills. A garage sale is a good excuse to dig the dimes and nickels out of your change jar, too.

· Make sure you have enough tables and racks. Your stuff won’t look very appealing if it’s dumped into a pile on the ground or strewn out over a couple of cardboard boxes.

· Group clothing by age group or size. This makes it easy for people to find what they want and that convenience increases the chances that they’ll buy more. Also, don’t be shy about making a recommendation. If you spy a customer with your husband’s green button-down, point out the sweater that matches it perfectly.

· Clearly label your items. Use pre-made stickers http://amzn.to/1tuB18k or masking tape and a sharpie to mark your prices.

The goal is to get the items out of the house and make a little money, so don’t be too rigid with your pricing. Remember, you’re making money selling your stuff, something that isn’t going to happen when these items are collecting dust inside. Don’t hold on to stuff that doesn’t sell, either. Give what’s left over to a thrift store or arrange a pick-up donation (both are tax deductible) for your favorite local charity on the last day of your yard sale. http://www.kcdonationpickup.org/

Lastly, get the kiddos involved by setting them up with a lemonade stand, bake sale or by having them sell coffee to early morning customers. Not only does this allow you to keep an eye on your little ones and your sale, it’s a wonderful opportunity to teach them the value of a dollar and how to work for their spending money. A lesson like that is undoubtedly worth every penny you’ll make at your garage sale.

Don’t let the end of summer pass you by. Remember these tips and your garage sale will go off without a hitch! And in the end, you will feel ready for the new school year!

Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little one, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.

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