‘Storage Wars’ and your yard sale guts

Posted by on November 2, 2011 in For sellers, Tips

We here at Yard Sale Secrets watch A&E’s “Storage Wars” with great interest because they do pretty much the same thing that we do as we approach a sale.

In the hit cable TV show, the “stars” visit rented storage units and bid on the contents. The items inside the units are up for sale for any number of reasons that boil down to a simple fact: The people that rented the units didn’t pay to keep the space.

Once all the proper “pay-up” notifications have been made and ignored, the entire contents of the units go up for sale at auction.

The rules of the auction are important. Bidders can’t enter the unit or touch any of the contents until they win it. Instead, the bidders have to rely on their “gut feeling” about what’s inside boxes, hidden by blankets or obscured by big honking pieces of furniture.

Going to yard sales, you kind of have to do the same thing. After all, you only have so much time to drive around and find all these sales.

With that in mind, sometimes you just do a slow drive by of a sale and see if your gut tells you to “get outta the car” or “move along.”

Of course what every person is looking for varies, but we all listen to our guts.

The next time you set up your yard sale, try to think about what’s going to make people get out of the car and shop. Here are a few ideas to … uh … “entice” their guts:

  • COLORS: Put your most colorful items close to the curb. Usually this means the toys, but a colorful Fisher-Price Little People playset is going to attract more shoppers than a slate-gray weight bench.
  • LIGHTS: If your yard sale is actually inside a garage, turn on the lights — then bring in a few more lights to spotlight your stuff. You need to let people see what you have from afar.
  • SEE-THROUGH TUBS: The next time you buy storage tubs, get the see-through kind. That way people can see the contents at a cursory glance. A tub full of old records might get overlooked by a collector, but a see-through tub shows off the cover art.
  • THE BIG STUFF: If you’re selling a big item — such as a lawn tractor or a cabinet — post one of those “For Sale” signs on it and set it apart from the rest of your items. You know — have your tables of goodies on the driveway and then put that lovely mahogany cabinet in front of your flower bed. That lets it stand out and adds interest to the entire yard sale.
  • SIGNS: If you’re selling something really unique that’s hard to see from the curb, post a little sign in your yard. “BOYDS BEARS FOR SALE!” or something like that will help you tempt those folks from their minivan.

So in other words, don’t let us guess what you have — like the “Storage Wars” guys do — let us know what you have.

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