For some inexplicable reason, otherwise intelligent people turn stupid when they have a yard sale.
Harsh? Perhaps. But that doesn't make it any less true.
In yard sales, as in everything else, "because that's how everybody does it" is rarely the best strategy.
Want to get rid of your junk and make a few bucks in the process? Here are nine simple suggestions that drive people to your yard sale and encourage them to buy.
1. Don't treat the items you're selling like crap. If you're piling the items you're selling on your lawn -- or worse, on your driveway -- you're signaling to buyers that you think the stuff is worthless old junk. Display it on tables, for goodness' sake. Borrow some tables or fashion them out of cardboard boxes if you have to. And use tablecloths.
2. Display items at a comfortable level whenever possible. Another reason not to pile your stuff on the lawn. Bending over is uncomfortable, for some it's even painful. Discomfort is not conducive to shopping.
3. Clean your merchandise. Wash it, rinse it, dust it... Do what you have to do to make the items you're selling look attractive rather than germ-laden. You'll not only sell more of your stuff, you'll get better prices for it
4. Don't piss and moan about buyers within earshot of other buyers. Anyone who frequents yard sales and flea markets knows what I'm talking about: some vendors, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they're insulting every buyer who hears them, talk among themselves about how "they" all want something for nothing, how none of "them" know the value of anything, what slobs "they" are when handling the items for sale... "They" are the people you want to give their money to you. Be polite and don't talk about them behind their backs.
5. Don't put up signs that say "yard sale today." How are passersby supposed to know if the sign was put up this morning or last week? Put the day, date, times and the address of the sale on there. Make your signs big and use letters large and thick enough for drivers to read without getting into an accident. And be sure to take your signs down after your yard sale. Not doing so makes you a slob.
6. Make a curb-side display of 3 - 5 of your best items for sale. As the day goes on and these items sell, replace them with other attractive items. Remember, you only have a few seconds to convince people your yard sale is worth the stop.
7. Don't sit in a lawn chair watching your buyers. It makes them feel stupid.
8. As things sell, consolidate your merchandise. A half-empty table makes people think all the good stuff has been sold. Keep your tables looking full. Put away empty tables when you no longer need them.
9. Last but not least, run an ad in your local paper and post your sale on Craig's List. Provide the date, times, address and a nearby landmark or major cross street. And list the types of items you're selling.
Image: Yard Sale Bloodbath