Each year our city’s Recreation Department organizes a community yard sale. It’s a great way for the community to join together, do a little Spring cleaning, recycle thousands of items, and earn a little cash.
How to Plan a Community Yard Sale
In a prior post I talked about how to plan a school yard sale. You can read all those details HERE. If you’re fundraising for a school and have the volunteers to assist in a rather labor-intensive event, then it’s a great way to raise a few thousand dollars for your school. But if you only have one or two people running the show, then a community yard sale is a better option.
A community yard sale is a city/town-wide event where several homeowners host their own yard sale on a single day. Unlike the school yard sale that takes place at a singe location, a community-wide yard sale spans the entire city.
As the organizer of the community yard sale it’s your job to set the date of the event, take registrations and market the event. So let’s get into the details…
Choose a Date
Yard sales are most popular in the early Spring and mid to late Fall. Our community always chooses a Saturday between the last week of April and the first two weeks of May, being careful to not coincide with any holidays.
The yard sales run from 8 or 9:00 AM until 2:00 PM.
Homeowners pay a fee (typically $10-$15) to your school (the event organizer) to be part of the community yard sale. What the homeowners get in return for their fee is a guarantee that you’ll advertise the event to attract shoppers.
Advertise the event for a full month prior to the yard sale date. This gives homeowners plenty of time to clean out their homes and prepare for the sale. Follow are some ideas to advertise the event:
- local newspaper
- social media: facebook, twitter
- create a facebook “event” and invite followers to attend
- large sign: placed outside the school for everyone to see
- email: email school parents and other parents and ask them to share the info with their community
- eventbrite; post a free add on Eventbrite
- craigslist: 2 days prior to the event post a free ad under the “For Sale – Garage Sale” section; do this again 1 day prior to the event; for each ad you place tag your city/town name and the names of your surrounding towns to attact shoppers from outside your community
The day before the event get on facebook and start posting reminders about the event. Continue to do this the morning of the event because people will forget to get out and shop unless you remind them!
Incude in all of your advertising the form to sign up for the community yard sale and have their home listed on a master list and map.
Following is a sample Registration form:
As homeowners sign up, keep a master list of the family name and address. Then plot these on a town/city map. The list and map should be made available to the public a day or two before the event. Post copies online and have paper copies available at the school, including on the morning of the yard sale.
The more advertising your do, the more shoppers you’ll attact, the more homeowners will sell and thus be willing to participate again next year.
Our community also supplies each homeowner with a small sign on a wooden stake that they can display in their front yard indicating they’re a community yard sale participant.