One Person’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

August 6, 2013 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Money. Downsizing. Spending some time in the great outdoors.

Whether you call it a yard sale, tag sale, garage sale, or moving sale, it’s an easy way to make some quick money.

From my personal yard sale.

Here are some eye-catching banners I made for my own yard sale. I hung them right out front of my house so people would know where the fun is at.

My boyfriend and I had a yard sale a few weeks ago and we made more than enough money to cover our round-trip plane tickets from Philly to Boston. It was really quite simple!

Are you at home? Look around you. Is there some stuff you could part with? Ka-ching! Instant start-up funding for your gap year. It doesn’t need to be a daunting task. Here is a list of tips to get you started with organizing your own yard sale to bring in some cash for your gap year adventures:

Location: Be sure to establish your yard sale somewhere that has high pedestrian volume. We chose my mom’s driveway–it almost makes you feel like you’re at a mini flea market. We had it on a Saturday to try to lure people from the Farmers’ Market down the street.

Pricing: Take time to price things, or at least consider what amount you would like to receive (especially for bigger ticket items). Leave room for people to haggle/negotiate. Do you want at least $25 for that mirror of yours? Start by telling the customer that it’s $35; either you will get $35 or when the person offers you less you are still getting the amount you wanted. Keep in mind that sometimes actual price tags can deter people from buying things, but sometimes no price tag is also a turnoff. Consider making a whole table or box with items (e.g., books, dvds) that are $3 each or 2 for $5.

Advertise: Post on your local Craigslist and Patch websites to reach people through the Internet, but also be sure to print out signs and hang them up on telephone poles, street signs, at coffee shops and supermarkets, and maybe make a particularly impressive sign to display at the location of your sale (ahem, see photo above),

Be Prepared: Even though we stated everywhere that the sale would begin at 8 AM and “no early birds please,” people still tried to show up before 7 AM! Be prepared to be stern with people. Let them know that you won’t be bringing items out until the advertised time. This will  not drive away business because there will be many more people showing up throughout the day. Finally, be sure to have a plan for what to do with the things you do not sell. I am partial to donating to Goodwill, keeping the big ticket items to try selling next time, and sometimes rediscovering things of my own to incorporate back into my daily life.

Don’t fret the next time you start thinking, “How will I ever afford my gap year?!” Have a yard sale to help start your savings, and during your down time at the yard sale start plotting other ways to make bank.


Entry filed under: Funds, Research, The Basics.

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