As we gnashed our teeth about the terrible heat last weekend, we thought about one of the worst parts of holding a yard sale: setting the darn thing up.
One of the first problems a newbie will encounter is exactly what to put all the merchandise on. And before we go on: Yes, it is absolutely vital for you to put merchandise on some sort of raised surface. It helps keep early-morning dew off your stuff, and it makes it easier for customers (elderly ones in particular) to shop.
Here at Yard Sale Secrets, we’ve seen people use practically everything: folding tables, picnic tables, picnic benches, porch railings, boxes, those neon blue tarps, Rubbermaid tubs, old boards and their actual yard or driveway.
We’ve even seen people drag out their really nice kitchen tables and then load it up. (That of course meant they had to field offers all day on a price for the table — not the merchandise on top of it.)
But really, you don’t have to improvise so much on finding tables for your yard sales. They’re easier to come by than you think.
Here are a few “table resources” for you:
- FRIENDS, FAMILY & NEIGHBORS: Just ask them to borrow their folding tables for the sale. Yeah, this is a “no duh” tip, but we figured we’d mention it since these tables will be free. The only problem here is if you’re having a community sale, because then your neighbor will want to keep her tables for herself. People who go hunting, fishing or camping will often have several lightweight folding tables that you can borrow.
- WORK: Your workplace might have a number of tables you can borrow. Just be sure to ask your boss or the office manager first. The downside on this is that you’ll have to transport them yourself.
- BUILD YOUR OWN: There’s a number of ways you can build your own. The easiest is to get a sheet of plywood (and you might be able to borrow that from a neighbor) and stick a plastic tub under each corner to raise it up. Sawhorses do the same thing if you happen to have any.
- RENTAL STORES: Look in the Yellow Pages under equipment rentals or in the White Pages under the word “rent” and you’re sure to find a business that rents tables. They most often rent tables for weddings and other events, but they also might be willing to rent (and deliver) tables for a smaller-scale event such as a yard sale.
- FIRE DEPARTMENT: Most local volunteer fire departments have banquet space — either in a special hall or their garage. That means they have tables too. Give them a call and ask about renting or borrowing them. This isn’t an uncommon request either, since they often lend out tables for backyard weddings and graduation parties. They might be able to help you with delivering them too.
- SOCIAL CLUBS AND VFW HALL: These places typically offer the same banquet services as the fire department, so they offer the same deals on table rents.
- CHURCH: Most churches have banquet facilities too, so they might be willing to loan or rent out tables. You’ll probably have to pick these up on your own.
- SCHOOL: While it’s a longshot, try contacting the custodial department of your local school. They too might regularly rent or loan out tables.