A booming secondhand market and finally, some nice weather, is making for a spring estate sale bonanza!

These 5 steps will help you turn your old coffee maker and costume jewelry into cold cash!

  1. Whip up enthusiasm- post ads on craigslist, duct tape fliers on corners and even scrawl chalk arrows on the sidewalks of nearby intersections. Saturdays tend to get the most traffic because people are doing errands.
  2. Keep the day manageable- sell from 9AM till 2 or 3PM. Customers may show up early, but don’t let them buy. You want a crowd milling around when you open.  Have at least $50 in singles and fives to start the day.
  3. Make it look good- Keep small kitchen appliances spaced out and orderly.  Smaller trinkets should be in a tray or bowl.  As items are sold, shrink your selling space- people don’t want to think your stuff has been picked over.
  4. Don’t get greedy- charge no more than $1 for a book- and accept 50 cents at the end of the day.  CDs should go for $2 max. A button down shirt would be $1 or $2.  Just because you paid $150 for a designer jacket doesn’t mean you will get $75 for it now.
  5. Work with a partner- have one person doing the bargaining and collecting the money plus have one keeping an eye on the crowd. Plus you will need food and bathroom breaks!

Items that sell well include:

  • Furniture- including dressers, sofas, cocktail tables, and more. Be sure you are not selling recalled items (including drop side cribs)
  • Bicycles- adult and kid models
  • House wares, such as small kitchen appliances, sets of dishes, flatware, vacuums, storage containers and more
  • Collectibles including old comic books, lunch boxes, PEZ dispensers and more. Do quick research on eBay to set fair prices.
  • Jeans- kids and adult pairs sell very well
  • Small decorative items, including things from Lenox, Waterford and similar companies
  • Christmas and Halloween decorations, sold during fall

And at the end of the sale, contact a non-profit to come pick up all the items that do not sell.

Content contributed by Ruth Hartman of Ruth’s Reselling and Jessica Kane of FlexContainer, Inc. 

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