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The sun’s out, which means people are taking walks, riding their bikes and chasing after ice cream trucks. In other words, it’s time to clear out your clutter with a good old-fashioned yard sale. But there are countless mistakes that people make when planning a purge, and the biggest no-no of them all is not having a plan. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how to make cash at your next yard sale:

The perfect yard sale needs the perfect sign

While you can rely on people’s renewed faith in the great outdoors, there’s no guarantee that passersby will pass by your sale. So, the first thing you need is a sign. Make sure it is immediately inviting with an eye-catching statement like “THE ONLY YARD SALE WORTH KNOWING ABOUT.”  Once you’ve hooked someone in, they’ll want the details, so follow up with the date, time and address right at the top. Below the lead information, list some of the best stuff on offer (price included) to give potential visitors a taste of what’s to come. Think about people taking pictures of your sign with their phones; key information should be big and close together so it all fits in the shot.

Canvas your neighbourhood

Once you have your signs ready, tape them up in your local area. To spread the word further afoot, you can use Craigslist and Kijiji. Posting your flyer on Facebook and Twitter will help motivate friends to share, too. This digital blitz will not only save you time, but also paper.

Generate buzz

On the big day, entice your pals with cocktails (or lemonade) and snacks; the more people buzzing around, the more likely you are to get people’s attention. If you have an adorable child, get him or her to sell lemonade!

Get set

Now, it’s time to set up. You want to direct the flow of purchase: Make sure your small furniture and must-have items are the first things people see (if you can’t display larger pieces outside, have someone ready to take people in). Next, have storage containers and other modular pieces (a.k.a. items that are perfect for toting around the accessories from the first section). Then, entertain your shoppers with books, DVDs, old magazines and games in one place. The goal of each section is to fit a theme, because then buyers will know that everything is in its place. Lastly, hang or arrange all of your clothing in a way that feels like your favourite store. Clothing can be the hardest thing to get rid of at a yard sale, but if you treat it well and hang it with care, then shoppers will look twice. Note: Wrinkled or dirty clothing is a big no-no.

Don’t even think about bringing any of that stuff back inside

So, you didn’t sell everything, and that’s totally fine. But the best rule of thumb for yard sales is to never bring your old stuff back in. While you took a lot of care presenting and trying to sell your things, it just wasn’t meant to be. Collect all of your belongings, pack them up and donate them. Take it all into your local Value Village or a nearby donation box, because your old things don’t have to be destined for a landfill; they can be given new life by someone who needs ’em.

Ready to get your sell on? We’ve created this handy infographic (double-click to zoom, right-click to print) to remind you what it takes to create a user-friendly yard sale that encourages people to drop some cash. (We’ve tested it, so we know it works.)

yard-sale
Infographic by Lisa Walker

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