Editor's Note: This is the first in a three-part series focused on spring cleaning. Next week's story will focus on thrift shops. If you have a shop to recommend, email Stephanie Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The season of flowers and sunshine has sprung upon us, and with it, a certain task might have popped up on your agenda – spring cleaning.
Whether you are looking to move or to rid your house of dated items, methods are available to help you start anew.
One of these methods is a yard sale.
Yard sales take many forms. You can hold a group yard sale or an independent one, or you can take part in a community-wide yard sale or post items online.
Pat Asbill of Ridge Spring began the 44-mile Peach Tree 23 Yard Sale around eight years ago.
This expansive event weaves through Modoc, Edgefield, Ward, Monetta, Ridge Spring, Monetta and Batesburg-Leesville, according to its website.
“Everything you want to find, you can find on the Peach Tree,” Asbill said.
An open application process allows for anyone to apply for vendor space, according to the website.
This process goes quickly, as people start applying at least five months ahead of time, Asbill said.
The Peach Tree 23 Yard Sale runs annually on the first Saturday in June.
For more information, visit www.peachtree23.com.
Jennifer Lariscey of Clearwater is adept at many yard sale styles.
She has organized group yard sales, held traditional yard sales and participated in online yard sales.
“They both have pros and cons,” she said. “Online is better if there is rainy weather. It's also better for people who aren't in a hurry and can wait for a buyer. You also have to think about people who won't show up to scheduled meets. Traditional yard sales are quicker and more personable.”
Online group yard sale pages might have rules attached to them, like Facebook's Aiken County Online Yard Sale page or the CSRA Sprucing it Up Online Yard Sale page.
Kelly Young of Augusta, creator of the latter Facebook page, said her online yard sale page specifies what items people can post and where they must live.
“This one is more in tune with sprucing up your home and yard,” Young explained. “I accept people if I can see they are in the CSRA area.”
If online yard-selling suits your schedule and needs, Lariscey does advise: “You have to make sure you're safe, though, since you never know who you're going to be talking to online.”
Online yard sale pages can be found through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
For those who wish to set up a physical yard sale, there are other factors to consider.
• Set a goal: Think about what you are trying to accomplish from your yard sale. Are you trying to turn a profit or are you getting rid of your dated items? Will this be a regular activity for you?
• Check for any possible regulations: This applies to those who live in neighborhoods where certain rules may apply.
• Organize: Gather everything you are considering selling. Think through each item before you advertise, so you have no second thoughts about selling it. Consider the worth of each item, and think about how much a customer might be willing to pay for it. As you think of prices, record them to refer to later.
• Weather: Stick to warmer months. This could include spring and fall. However, rainy conditions can still occur, so always check the weather beforehand.
• Pick a day: Weekends tend to be the best time for yard sales. Saturdays are recommended, so if it does rain on your intended day, you can move the yard sale to the following day. Also, consider starting early in the morning, since that's when yard-salers tend to start.
• Advertise: Use all possible resources for this. Advertise on your social media networks. Place an ad in your local newspaper's classified section. Put out signs around your neighborhood. Place fliers in nearby stores and businesses. The day of, perhaps, place a sign in front of your neighborhood and/or yard, so those interested know exactly where to go.
• Setup: Wake up early enough so you don't have to rush through your setup. Make sure your items are clean and up to the best condition possible. Set up as close to the street as possible. Then, showcase your best items to help best attract the attention of passers-by. Place valuables in safe areas (like away from the table's edges) but keep them well-displayed. Folding tables help keep items organized and well-displayed. If you plan on having yard sales on a regular basis, think out your display. Make your yard sale stand out with qualities such as decorations.
• Pricing: Display your prices clearly on either signs or tags. Know the reasoning behind each price, so if a customer looks to negotiate, you will know how much you are willing to compromise.
• Customer service: Greet everyone. Think about the families coming and consider putting out a small children's area so the children are entertained as their guardians shop. Also, consider providing light refreshments, especially for the extra hot or extra cool mornings.
• Breakdown: Pick a time you want to end your yard sale. You may get stragglers, so think about if you are willing to last longer than anticipated. In the end, you might not sell everything. Consider one of the following: keep the leftovers and hold another yard sale, turn to the Internet and sell the items there or donate the items to a local thrift shop.
Sources: Additional sources used for this story include longtime yard saler Cassie Loftin of Augusta and publications “Better Homes and Gardens” and “Reader's Digest.”