Produced by Shannon Phillips
From the print edition, Summer 2012
1. Super signs
Heiska says she is not a fan of tiny signs, especially those written in ballpoint pen. “A good sign is readable, simple—you don’t need a million words on it, just the date of sale and street name—and with a bold arrow pointing in the right direction.” Balloons add interest and similarly coloured or designed signs also let people know they are being directed to your sale.
2. Curb appeal
To prevent the dreaded not-seeing-anything-I-like slow drive-by, place a variety of larger items closer to the curb, such as a baby swing, a bookcase, a lawnmower— things that will appeal to a wide group of garage-salers. “If people only see one type of thing during the drive-by, and it’s not what they are looking for, they will keep driving. Heiska also suggests keeping more valuable items further up the driveway: “you don’t want them to mysteriously disappear (be stolen).”
3. Price per item
It may seem easier to place a number of similarly sized items in a box, but digging around in boxes takes time—“time wasted that I could be on my way to the next yard sale on my list,” notes Heiska. So price items individually. However, items such as little toy figures or doll clothes can be lumped together and placed in little baggies for quick sale. If going the box route, Heiska recommends placing them on top of a table. “Not everyone who shops at a yard sale can physically bend over and pick things up off the ground.”
4. Think pretty
“When people take the time to display stuff nicely on table, what it says to me is that the people took good care of their items—and don’t think of their stuff as ‘junk,’” says Heiska. “A lot of people think they can just throw a bunch of stuff in boxes, place it on the ground and have a successful yard sale. If I could only go to one yard sale, and one is organized and inviting looking and the other looks like spiders have been making cobwebs all over the stuff, the organized sale wins every time.”
I don't have very much patience for anything that involves...