How to Host a Yard Sale
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Kids are natural entrepreneurs. They love to sell lemonade, walk pets, and try other money-making projects. So kids will certainly enjoy helping you host a yard sale. In the process, they’ll also learn about math, money, labor, and economics! Clean Out Your House, Collect Items to Sell. The first step in hosting a yard sale is to find items to sell! This step will also help you encourage children to clean up their rooms as they search for old books, toys, or clothes that they no longer use or want. As the parent, you may have items to sell also. If you have any furniture to sell, that usually draws more people to your sale. But a sale of smaller items only will also work with enough preparation.
Price Items to Sell. Provide children with blank sticker labels. Help them decide what would be reasonable prices to charge for their sale items. Children can write prices on stickers and place the stickers on items. Another idea is to have color-coded dot stickers, along with a sign that indicates that a red dot means 10 cents, a blue dot mean 25 cents, a yellow dot means 50 cents, and a green dot means $1.00 (or a similar “key,” with anything over $1.00 in this example having a white sticker with the written cost). Remind children that used items do not sell for as much as new items do!
Prepare for Handling Money. Children will need some coins and small bills on hand before the day of the sale, so start collecting those items too. You may want to review how to make change from certain amounts of money. A craft project for making a coin piggy bank could be a good activity to do before your sale day: Make Your Own Coin Bank! http://www.education.com/activity/article/craft_a_coin_bank/
Plan the Date for Your Sale. Be sure to check weather reports to plan your sale for a day with good weather. Saturdays or Sundays are the best days for yard sales. Once you have picked a day, you can start advertising the sale.
Advertise Your Sale. You and your children can use word of mouth, poster signs, emails, and Facebook (for the parent or teenage child) to advertise the date and location of your sale ahead of time. Help your children to create posters for hanging in the neighborhood, making sure to include the date, hours, and location of your yard sale. You can hang up posters the week of and on the day of the sale. Try to put posters on some of the streets with busier traffic if your sale is not on such a street already. Posters can also include large arrows directing drivers or walkers to the sale location. A trail of balloons (one balloon tied to each poster) can also help lead customers to your sale.
Yard Sale Day! On the day of your yard sale, you’ll need to put items out in your front yard to be all set up before the sale starts. You may want some tables and chairs for the “sellers” to sit at. Don’t forget your piggy bank or other money box. Children may wish to make lemonade or baked goods to also sell, which can be done the night before the yard sale. The parent should supervise the yard sale, money exchanges, and children’s interactions with strangers. Prepare children for the fact that sometimes yard sales can be disappointing if customers don’t come or don’t spend as much as you had hoped they might.
Clean up and Count up! After your yard sale, you’ll have to take remaining items into the house, or gather them for a donation to a charity such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. Congratulate your children on the hard work. Help them add up the profits. You may want to celebrate by taking children to their favorite shop to spend some earnings. Perhaps your children want to donate some profits to charity? Help them research deserving organizations if that is the case. Tell children that yard sales are good experience for their future in the working world—and good experience for future yard sales too!
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