Athens is bustling with energy right now, as everyone celebrates this special time of year when the weather is kind, and it seems that everyone in town is planning a festival or party. Unlike the sweltering heat of the summer, the fall is cool and breezy. The leaves are turning, the shadows are longer, and the air smells nice.
October is my favorite month, and a fantastic time to have a yard sale! You can get rid of your junk, clutter, knick-knacks and what-nots, and maybe earn a dollar in the process. In preparation for my own yard sale, I have thought about ways to improve my entire experience. In the past, when my husband and I have had yard sales, it was a lot of work, but we did manage to make a little money in the process. I think there are some small improvements we could make to increase our profit and decrease our work load. As a buyer, I could probably stand to be a bit more discerning about what I bring home. After all, the point is to find a bargain, not to fill my house with more useless junk!
Here are some tips I have come up with for both buyers and sellers of "the other man's trash."
Tips for Buyers:
1) Check Craigslist, Patch, or the Athens Banner-Herald for advertised yard sales. But also keep in mind that some won't be advertised, and these may indeed hold the greatest treasures. It helps to have someone with you to keep an eye out for signs.
2) Make a list of items you need. Think of your yard sale visits not as a frivolous shopping trip, but in the same way you might think of a trip to Lowe's or Wal-Mart. Make a list ahead of time so you don't spend money buying more junk.
3) Have small bills and change handy. Without the correct change, you could miss out on something really awesome.
4) If you bring your kids, give them a little money and let them shop, it will keep them interested and they might learn something, too.
5) Don't forget your reusable shopping bags or basket!
Tips for Sellers:
1) Post your sign ahead of time. Purchase a large piece of poster board, in white or neon, and write on it with a fat black marker or poster paint. Use your best handwriting and make it as large as possible. If the sign is up on Thursday or Friday, people will have your sale on their mind when Saturday morning arrives.
2) Check ahead of time that your sale doesn't conflict with holidays or other events in your community.
3) Don't forget to get change at the bank on Friday. You will lose out on sales if you do not have the proper change. Have plenty of $1 bills and quarters.
4) Join together with neighbors and friends to make set up and clean up easier, share in advertising costs, and turn the whole experience into a fun time.
5) Group similar items together and give them the same price, and price your items to sell. You can create a $1 table, or a .50 box. You might even consider having a "free" box in which you can put old magazines, games with pieces missing, etc. The goal is to get rid of stuff, right?
6) Wipe down dirty items with a damp rag. A few minutes of cleaning up will make you a few extra bucks.
7) Purchase stickers that have various prices already printed on them, to save yourself some time.
8) If you have lots of stuff in your garage, keep the door shut to avoid having to tell people that certain items are not for sale. My husband keeps his tools in the garage, and many of them are very expensive, so we would not want anyone snooping around in there.