FOCUS: Yard sale secrets for success


In a few weeks, our community will welcome many folks for this year’s W.Va. Largest Yard Sale on August 5 and 6. I love yard sales and have had many over the years. I like to attend yard sales and always seem to find something I just cannot leave behind.

I found an article in an old Family Circle magazine which shares secrets to prepare and have a yard sale by yourself, with friends or special organizations, and to have several yard sales on the street where you live. These secrets were shared by Diane Benson Harrington, who is a freelance writer and a garage sale guru in Illinois. If you have yard sales, you already know of these tips.

Diane says two days are best for planning a yard sale, due to weather, people shopping and, a two-day sale usually brings in more money. Advertise in the newspaper. When you sign up for the W.Va. Largest Yard Sale in August, you will be included in the areas that have several sales on various streets in the town and special areas in the community. Your yard sale will have a number with the location and the hours you will be open.

When planning your sale, try to have it near the street or in a garage with some special items in view that people will want to stop and see. Try to include at least two big-ticket items. These will draw attention to your sale and folks will stop and look at everything. There is no need to post price stickers on everything. You do need to show prices for various items to let folks know certain items have a set price. People like to look at books. A good price might be five books for $2.00. A few special books might be on sale with a price ticket. Never assume something will not sell or that you will sell everything. Be willing to negotiate.

Try to put your items in groups, such as a table of clothing. You might use a sign such as tops with the size and the price if you want one or two items. Some folks use colored tabs on their items with a large poster stating the price of each colored sticker. Find an easy way of pricing your items that will be easy for the shopper as well. You set up your own sale and be comfortable with your ideas.

Greet everyone who shops at your sale. Find out if they are traveling and where they are coming from. Share some of the stories behind the special items you have for sale. Make sure you have an electric socket for buyers to test a light or crock pot or another electrical item to be sure it works.

You should have someone help you set up and be sure to have plenty of money for change with your sales. You might want to have something to eat or drink for sale for those who do not want to take time to stop and eat a meal. You need a buddy to give you a break if you need one. Make sure your items for sale are well displayed for people to see. Everyone likes to find something special. Good luck.

Be ready for the opening time. People don’t like to wait while you are not ready for the set time your sale is to open. If you like to go to yard sales and know what you think is a good buy, do not expect someone to pay more for your items than you would pay for the same thing. Be sure to thank everyone who comes to your sale and wish them a great time as they shop. Invite them to come again next year.

If you have a two- day sale, you might want to have special buys on the second day that are reduced. When your sale is over, find a place to take the items you do not want to keep. You might donate some of your clothes or items to the Parish House and other places to help those in need.

Parking can be an issue with yard sales. Be sure you do not block traffic. Be sure you do not park in front of fire hydrants, neighbor’s driveways, and be careful of flowers along the path to the sale. Many cars will be in your view. Travel slowly to be sure everyone stays safe.

Every yard sale is different. Every yard sale has a good buy. Every yard sale has been organized with lots of time and effort. You are invited to shop in many different areas with a variety of keepsakes for you to find. You will meet many new people as you shop. Good luck to all who are providing their items for you to find. May you go home with something you never knew you wanted or needed.

People who visit Buckhannon always speak about the friendliness they find in our community. They also admire the flowers we have all around town. Our community yard sales are always appreciated. Let us shine our lights of welcome to all those looking for treasures. Let our lights of patience, hospitality and kindness shine to each person we meet. Let our lights of love shine through the preparations, selling and sharing of the items we wish to pass on to others.

May this coming W.Va. Yard Sale bring you joy as you meet and greet all those who will be looking for something special. Thanks for participating.

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