Yard sales are great: You get to purge and the landfill gets a break. But could they be better? Don't get me wrong; I have fond childhood memories of digging through other people's trash to find treasures, counting out quarters, dimes and nickels for a book or toy. But throwing a yard sale is a lot of work. So when my neighbors mentioned the prospect of a collective yard sale spanning our entire street, I jumped at the idea.
Street sales are a win-win for buyers and sellers.
Gathering things to sell can be a weeklong time investment, and that doesn't even factor in making and posting signs, listing the sale in the local newspapers, pricing items, setting up on the lawn, getting change from the bank...All for hit-and-miss attendance. It's enough to discourage anyone who works like a dog all week just to be able to kick back on the weekend. But a street sale is a commitment.
Street sales also benefit yard sale buyers. A street sale is the motherload of yard sales, with yard after yard brimming with items just waiting for a new home. Think abut it: Would you rather hop across town from place to place or simply hit one street where you can browse before deciding?
Street sales are also great for quiet side streets, like the one I live on, because it will attract far more buyers than a single yard sale. Cars stopping at the intersection will be able to see a whole street of yard sales, and people out for a walk or bike ride won't be able to resist the variety of things up for grab.
How to Throw a Street Sale
- Mention the idea to a few neighbors. If even a few people are interested, pick a date and start spreading the word down the street.
- One person can be in charge of placing an ad in the local newspaper's yard sale listings, and a few others can make signs to direct traffic in from the main streets (unless you actually live on a main street).
- Have another neighbor arrange for a local charity to pick up leftover items at the end of the day. There's no need to hang onto stuff you don't want, and you definitely don't want to throw good items in the trash.
- Start collecting and pricing things about a week before. Dig through the basement for old board games that are no longer played, mine the garage for extra gardening tools, and weed out old CDs and DVDs you've lost interest in. Not sure what to change? Scope out a local second-hand store and charge half what they do.
- On the big day, put out your stuff and get ready to bargain with those hard-core yard sale aficionados.
- Just don't forget to take a little time out from selling to browse through your neighbor's stuff.
Cara Smusiak writes on behalf of Naturally Savvy.com about how to live a more natural, organic and green lifestyle.
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