Go Green and Make Money This Summer with a Yard Sale

by Lauren Verini

Have you ever heard the expression, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? That’s the idea behind having a yard sale (or tag sale or garage sale – whatever you call it). Yard sales are a simple way to be more eco-friendly while also making some extra cash and cleaning out your house. There are no statistics available, however one article from The New York Times estimates that a well executed yard sale can “reasonably expect to net $500 to $1,000 or more”.

Whether you’re selling or buying, you are taking part in the reusing and recycling process that makes yard sales eco-friendly. During your annual spring cleaning, put aside items that you don’t want or don’t use anymore but that can still be used by someone else, and save them for your yard sale. By doing this you are keeping items from piling up in landfills. You’re also helping to reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the need for people to buy new products and therefore cutting down on resources that go into creating and packaging these products.

Yard sales typically start to crop up once the weather starts getting warm in the spring and they last all summer long, so its time to get to planning your yard sale.

Tips for successful, eco-friendly yard sale:

– Ask friends and neighbors to join in. The more people involved, the more items you’ll have to sell and the more attractive you’ll be to shoppers. Plus, when you invite friends and neighbors, more people know by word of mouth, which automatically creates more traffic.

– Set a date ahead of time and plan accordingly. Weekends are the best time to have a yard sale but make sure not to have one around a holiday, or when a big event is taking place in your town.

– Promote your yard sale in advance. Craft signs with recycled paper or old cardboard boxes to hang up in well-trafficked areas in your neighborhood, hang up signs on community bulletin board, post on your Facebook page. There are numerous websites where you can post your event for free including Craiglist.com, Yard Sale Search.com and Garage Sales Tracker.com

– Decide what’s worth selling and what’s not. If items are dirty, clean them and if they don’t work, don’t sell them. Any easy way to determine if you should sell or not is ask yourself if you would buy it at a yard sale. Certain items sell better than others including books (especially children’s books), DVD’s, tools, pots and pans, pictures and other wall hangings, furniture and toys.

– Price your items reasonably. People going to yard sales aren’t expecting to pay tons of money for the reused and repurposed belongings, price your items to sell so you aren’t left with a bunch of stuff at the end of the weekend. You can use scrap paper for price tags on items, and when a shopper checks out recycle the scrap paper.

– Haven’t switched over to reusable bags at the grocery store and feel guilty for using plastic bags? Yard sales are a great way to reuse those plastic bags, ask friends and neighbors to bring bags with them.

– If you do have left over items after your yard sale has ended, donate these items to Good Will or Salvation Army, both of which have locations all throughout the country, so people who need it can use them.

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