Rummage Sale

Moving or Downsizing? A Timeline and Tips for a Successful Rummage Sale

Rummage Sale

Anyone who has moved, downsized, or cleaned an attic has asked this question: “How did I end up with so much STUFF?” A rummage sale is one of the best ways to part ways with things you no longer need and make some money in the process. 

A rummage sale isn’t as simple as slapping some price stickers on your things and putting them in the driveway. The most successful sales require more planning, but it’s totally worth it. You’ll thank yourself when you have fewer things to move, more space for storage, and more cash in your wallet! 

Here’s a timeline and expert tips for organizing a rewarding event:

2 to 3 Weeks Before: Choose the Best Day, Time, and Place for Your Rummage Sale 

Check out your calendar well in advance so you have ample time to prepare for your upcoming sale. Keep in mind that Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular for yard sales, but also avoid holiday weekends as people might be headed out of town.

The adage “the early bird gets the worm” applies to rummage sales, too. Yard sale shoppers will likely be out and about earlier in the day so it’s wise to get started around 7 or 8 a.m. You could even do some spying on your competitors to see when their sales start and swoop in a half-hour or hour ahead. 

Once you’ve nailed down a day and time, pick your place. Review your local regulations to see if there are any restrictions on yard sales in your area. Once you get the green light, you can decide where you’d like to set up your sale. The most popular options include driveways or front yards, but you will want to make sure there’s plentiful parking nearby and enough room for people to walk around. 

5 to 7 Days Before: Get the Word Out to Garage Sale Shoppers 

Now’s the time to advertise your rummage sale. A classic method is creating flyers to post around high-traffic areas of your neighborhood. Use bright-colored paper and big lettering so it grabs the attention of passing pedestrians. Just be sure to check with your HOA first, if you have one. 

You can also create a post on websites such as Craigslist or Nextdoor to announce your upcoming sale and highlight particularly desirable items. Another way to attract shoppers is through Facebook Marketplace. All you need is a Facebook account to get in front of potentially thousands of locals. 

48 Hours Before: Price and Tag Items

Around two days before your scheduled sale, take the time to evaluate your items and set fair prices. Explore similar items online or visit secondhand shops to get a good idea of average costs. You can purchase brightly colored stickers to display the price. Also determine how you will accept payment: cash is always an easy option, but you may also consider convenient digital platforms such as Venmo or PayPal.  

Your rummage sale’s pay station should be set up ahead of time. If you choose to do cash, set up an easy way to organize money and give shoppers change if needed. Additionally, keep a calculator nearby to quickly add up costs, as well as spare grocery bags to help people carry their goodies. 

It’s Here! What To Do the Day of Your Rummage Sale

Your preparation is about to pay off! During the morning of your rummage sale, set up your items according to categories, such as kitchen tools, sports, and recreation, clothing, books, and music, etc. Bundle items that go together so nothing is lost in the mix. Once everything is organized and ready to go, you can start welcoming shoppers to your sale. 

A few bonus tips to make the most of your day: 

  • Offer bulk deals and be open to bargaining. Rummage sale shoppers know how to haggle and want to get the best price possible. Reducing the price of an item they’re interested in can increase the chances of them buying or you can offer something like a “buy two get one free” deal. Of course, you might have items you’re not willing to sell for less than the market price — in these cases, simply write “firm” on the sticker.
  • Provide refreshments. Thoughtful details can attract more people to your sale. For instance, you may provide water or lemonade if it’s a particularly hot day. In fact, kids love running a lemonade stand; you could even let them collect tips for spending money! 

Do You Still Need More Space After Your Rummage Sale? 

We all have special belongings that we don’t want to part with at a rummage sale or donate to Goodwill, even if we don’t have the room for them. In this case, consider self-storage options. With Storage West’s highly rated facilities across the Southwest, it’s a reliable, convenient, and affordable way to keep your things safe. 

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