Today I am participating at the media challenge for The Canadian Breast Care Foundation’s annual Yard Sale for the Cure which will take place across Canada on May 26th. My team, The Designers will be competing against four other teams comprised of traditional media, 'mommy' bloggers, Re/Max agents and more to create the best yard sale display!! So it promises to be quite a fun, but very competitive evening!!
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Yard Sale for the Cure is a series of yard sales that take place on the last Saturday every May in local communities across Canada in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Every dollar raised through Yard Sale for the Cure goes towards breast cancer research, health promotion, advocacy, education and awareness programs.
Nervous about organizing your own yard sale at this year’s event? Below are some top tips from seasoned yardsalers, our favourite how-to articles and our own hands-on experiences to give you the know-how (and confidence) you need to host your most successful yard sale yet!
(list provided by Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation)
1. Make it official
It sounds simple, but the first step is to commit to the idea of hosting a sale. Why? Your determination to make your sale a success will come with a little commitment. Once you register your sale, you can set up your own fundraising page, create a new team, or join an existing one. This makes it easy to share information about your sale and accept financial donations to put towards your total proceeds.
2. Rally the troops
Holding a sale is a lot of fun, but it’s even better when you have someone to do it with. See if your friends and neighbours are interested in hosting sales and ask local businesses to chip in. Its good advertising and you could dream up some fun activities with their help. For example, you can get a local salon to do mini manicures for $5 each, or have a local butcher host a barbeque at your event!
3. Location, location, location
Decide where you want to host your sale. Do you need a permit to host your sale there? Do you need tables or tenting? Where will you put your signs? Think about where everything will go and how you can make it as easy as possible for your shoppers. If you have a big group, consider using the main street or a nearby park. The more sales in one area, the more shoppers will come!
4. Get organized
Start collecting items for your sale. Ask your friends and family if they have anything to contribute. You’ll be surprised at what they’re holding onto and more often than not, they’ll jump at the chance to get rid of it! Organize your sale items by category and pack them into clearly marked boxes. Avoid seller’s regret by doing this a few weeks early – if you don’t go looking for it chances are you won’t miss it.
5. Name your price
People are more comfortable negotiating when they have a starting point so clearly price each item. Use painter’s tape for small items and a sheet of paper for larger items like furniture. A great way to price items is by group, for example, “All CDs $1” or “All items on this table are $.50 each”. Remember, Yard Sale for the Cure™ is a charity sale so don’t undervalue items, but also take care not to overprice them – you don’t want to discourage potential buyers. Here are some tips to help you along:
Clothing – Ask for 5% to 10% of its original value. If the garment is designer or trendy and in pristine condition, feel free to price it a little higher.
Shoes – Ask for 10% to 15% of its original value. Leave out any ratty old shoes, they will reflect poorly on your sale even if all your other items are in great condition.
Electronics – Ask for up to 50% of its original value, depending on how relevant the technology still is. Make sure it works and keep an extension cord on hand for buyers to test it out.
Sporting goods – Ask for 20% to 30% of its original value, depending on condition and age.
6. Spread the word
Tell everyone that you’ll be hosting a Yard Sale for the Cure™ on May 26. Put posters up, mention it on Facebook and Twitter, blog about it, call the local radio station, or use Kijiji and craigslist to advertise your sale. Make sure you mention where it is, what type of items and activities you have, and most importantly, when it starts. Many avid yardsalers will arrive as early as 5am to pick out the best items so be fair to others and stick to your start time!
Want your sale to be featured on our website? Email a description of your sale including any special items to firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Give shoppers a reason to stay
The more you have to offer, the more time people will spend at your sale so be creative. Ask the local pet groomer to run a mobile pet wash for $10 per animal, get a fast-talking friend to run a live auction, or get local musicians to play. If you have kids, get them to do a soccer ball kick at $1 per shot with trinket prizes, let them host their own section of your sale, or encourage them to run a snack stand.
8. Don’t forget the change
A day or two before your sale pick up some rolls of coins from the bank. The more change you have the better – you’ll be surprised how fast it goes! Make sure you have some CBCF donation forms on hand so if someone makes a cash or cheque donation, we get all the information we need to issue them a tax receipt. At the end of the day, simply send in the completed donation forms and donations and we’ll take it from there. Please note that buyers are not eligible to receive a tax receipt.
9. Get down to business
On sale day, greet shoppers with a quick hello or a smile. Be visible and available for questions, but don’t hover. If a buyer asks you for a better deal, remind them that this is a charity yard sale and their money is going towards a great cause. Don’t feel pressured to drop prices early in the day because the items that you have then are the cream of the crop! If you plan on dropping prices later on in the day, keep it a secret or people might hold off for a better deal.
10. Clean up and celebrate
When the day is done, it’s time to figure out what to do with the items that didn’t sell. Don’t want to hang onto them? Arrange for another charity to come pick it up, or drop it off at a local shelter. If you live in a busy neighbourhood consider putting what’s left in a “Free” box outside your home where people can see it. Or pack it in and save what’s left for next year’s sale!
Whatever you do don’t forget to reward yourself for a job well done. And what better way to celebrate than a potluck with all the people who helped make you day such a huge success?
Tomorrow I will post some pictures from this media event!! Have a super day!!