Way to Save #16: Throw A Yard Sale

Open your own temporary store by having a garage/yard sale. You probably have lots of stuff that you don’t want or need, and that’s just money that’s lying around your house. Spend a day going around your home and identifying everything that you haven’t touched in a year. That’s stuff you should probably either sell or donate to charity.

If you decide on a yard or garage sale, talk to neighbors first and see if they’ll join you: the more stuff you have and the more people you have, the better off you’ll be. Publicize the sale with signs around the neighborhood (providing they’re legal) and a newspaper ad several days in advance of the sale. List your best items in the ads (e.g., tools and antiques are top draws.) Prepare carefully for the sale. Segregate items by price ($.25 table, $.50 table, etc.) and use colored tags to identify items. Make it simple for shoppers and for you.

If you don’t sell everything, that may not be all bad, because in some cases, you might be better donating items to charity anyway. For example, if you’re going to sell a shirt for ten cents, you might be able to donate it to Goodwill and get a $1.00 tax write-off. That could save you more in taxes than you’d have gotten from selling it for cash. When you have a sale, beware of shoplifters. Believe it or not, people will actually steal things that they could buy for a dime!

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