Yard Sales: What You Should Know

how to have a successful yard sale

A garage sale (also known as a yard sale or moving sale) is an informal event for the selling of items that have been used by private individuals. The sellers don’t need to obtain a business license for this or have to pay sales tax on it in most cases. Typically the goods in yard sales are unwanted items from the household of the seller: shoes the seller has outgrown, clothes they never got to wear or no longer wear, electronics they don’t use or need anymore, for instance The conditions of the goods vary, but they are usually reusable.

WHY YARD SALES?

The major motivation for yard sales is to minimise unused possessions and make some money. Some other reasons for yard sales include:

Spring Cleaning: OK, we don’t have a Spring season in Africa (at least not most of Africa), so this is metaphorical and represents any really deep and thorough cleaning of the household. When you do this, you’ll inevitably find lots of items you don’t use anymore, some you had forgotten you even had and a lot of other oldies but goodies that are still usable, but just not needed by you anymore. You could clean these up and have them sold at discount prices in a yard sale.

Moving: So you’ve found your dream home (hopefully, on meQasa.com) and find you have far too much to carry which would increase your moving costs. This is a perfect opportunity to declutter and hold a yard sale. Just get together the items you can do without or can easily purchase over time after settling into the new place and if you price them right, you could stand to make a killing and also reduce the load you have to move with you into your new home. Killing two birds with one stone has never been more profitable.

HOW TO GO ABOUT IT

meQasa Yard Sale sign
Sample Yard Sale Sign

Yard sales are conducted typically in your front compound/yard, garage, drive-way or some other open area of your property. Some sellers prefer to hold their yard sales in a high-traffic public area in the neighbourhood to get access to more customers and also reduce the possibility of having their property damaged.The seller’s items are displayed to passers-by and your siblings or older kids can help. You spread the word mostly through hand-made signs posted at vantage points along the road or other places where they’re very likely to be seen. Some people, in order to get even more visibility, create flyers and place classified ads or newspaper ads. Social media is also a fantastic way to let people know about your sale event. In some cases, if you’re connected or rich enough, local television stations will broadcast your sale on a local public channel. A typical sign should show the venue for the sale, the date and the time period the sale will be happening, and maybe some of the things that will be on sale.

Garage sales occur most frequently in suburbs and peri-urban areas on weekends with good weather conditions, and usually have designated hours for the sale. Buyers who arrive before the hours of the sale to review the items are known as “early birds” and are often professional restorers or resellers. Such sales also attract people who are searching for bargains. Maybe they just moved into  new place they need to furnish and do not want to spend too much. Price bargaining is routine,meQasa Yard Sale directions sign and items may or may not have price labels affixed.

To be very successful, follow the Chinese proverb: “Don’t open a shop unless you like to smile.” Essentially, the more positive your attitude, the more likely you will be to run out of inventory and fast! Great chance to meet others that live close-by, help others and make some good money.

WHAT QUALIFIES FOR SELLING?

Items typically sold at garage sales include lightly used clothes, books, toys, household decorations, lawn and garden tools, sports equipment, old video games and board games. Larger items like furniture and home appliances like a microwave or mini fridge are also sold. You can sell just about anything legal.

Depending on where in Ghana you live, you may need to check with the local authority to know such things as if there are any restrictions on what can be sold in a yard sale; where signs may be placed in and around the neighbourhood; how often you can hold a yard or garage sale in a year (so as to prevent unscrupulous persons from running a business without license and without collecting sales taxes under the guise of a yard sale); and even where on the owner’s premises a sale may take place.

Yard sales are very fun events when done right. The money you make can be used to defray some of the costs you may have incurred in finding your new home if you are moving and had to pay registration fees to the agents. Who knows, there just might be so much money left after your successful garage sale, you can buy the latest versions of the items sold for your home.

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