We at the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor are excited and hopeful that you will have fun and make money on your BUY-WAY Yard Sale event this year! We have made a commitment to promote yard sale activities along the Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway...and this includes all alignments of it; i.e., those roads that were once the Highway that may have been moved to straighter alignments up to 1928. The Ohio Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor (OLHHC) is not responsible or liable for any personal or public activities connected with this event.
Here are some helpful tips on hosting a successful sale.
The idea of the BUY-WAY Yard Sale is to bring people to rediscover the lesser traveled path of the original Lincoln Highway, once a bustling road that began connecting America by automobiles, and changed the way we travel today. This event encourages small businesses to gain revenues through increased tourism. This activity helps the local economy. It is our goal to "preserve, interpret and promote the Lincoln Highway. Our effort will strengthen education, increase tourism and encourage economic development along America¹s first coast-to-coast paved highway."
Anyone who owns property along the Lincoln Highway is welcome to set up a sale. It can be a yard, garage, antique, collectibles or "whatever" sale. Just be certain you are aware of and considerate of all the highway safety laws, and be aware of how traffic will need to respond when stopping in and leaving your site.
Encourage your friends and neighbors to set up together. Groups tend to attract more stoppers and shoppers! Also check with your local chamber or visitors bureau about local organizations' group sale areas. You may wish to locate there for better exposure.
Plan to advertise in your local paper. Classifieds can be powerful in promoting your location and event, especially if you have one or two unique items to mention. Your local newspaper can help you plan this inexpensive investment that will pull shoppers to you. Run these ads for a few days in advance of the event, being sure to note your "open" times and dates.
Churches, organizations and multiple table hosts:
Attract more shoppers by advertising the number of participants or tables you will be hosting, as well as your location and times. Also specify the charity, if any. This adds validity to your event .
If serving food, be sure to check well in advance with your local health department for proper permits and inspections! Some communities require a special event permit. You may want to check with your village or city hall.
Place banners and signs high enough to be seen from approaching motorists so they have time to plan parking without quick stops or turns.
You may also want to provide a packaging booth for shipping purchased items. Contact local shipping stores, or designated UPS shipper businesses for partnering in this add-on money-maker.
BUY-WAY Yard Sale Signs: Using our BUY-WAY yard sign, draw arrows pointing the direction of your location. There is ample space to the right of the logo for other important wording such as your location or hours, or even a specific featured item.
If the ground where you plan to put your yard sale sign is very dry, you may want to soften it the day before by pouring a bucket of water on the area. The wickets will go in much easier.
Use clear tape to fasten the fold-over sign onto the wicket.
Plastic dry cleaning bags are good for covering signs in the event of rain.
Be sure to remove any signs immediately after your event!
Churches, Organizations and multiple table hosts:
Our large Tyvek banners are designed for indoor/outdoor use, but may not withstand strong thunderstorm winds. Take care to remove the banners if there is an impending storm.
Use lengths of nylon braided rope to fasten.
Be sure to display it as high as possible, and in advance of parking. There is a large area to the right of the logo for adding specific information about your event.
You may want to provide a number of our table banners to your vendors as an inclusion to their table fee.
Lay out your parking lot with 10 by 10 foot sections, using a carpenter¹s chalk snap-line. You may also number the plots in chalk. Allow at least an 8 foot wide causeway for shopper traffic between rows of tables.
You may also want to control the "look" of your event by providing all same color table covers (sold by the roll or packed in multiples at discount, foodservice and party stores).
An additional cover given out with a roll of tape will work as a rain cover for the products, if needed.
If serving food, create a separate area with tables for shoppers to rest and eat, preferably in the shade.
Don't forget entertainment! Get local bands, groups and other talents...even a roving magician will create talk among shoppers.
Have a volunteer relieve yard sale table attendants for restroom and food breaks.
Price your items to avoid the use of pennies. Yard or Garage sale items typically sell for 50% to 90% off the original selling price, but some high-ticket and sought-after items in good condition will sell for prices you'd expect to get by advertising in a newspaper classified ad. Use your best judgment.
Be sure to know the going price of an antique from an appraiser if offering it at a yard sale. Don't give something of a great value at a low price unless you are certain you want to get rid of it.
Have items priced clearly.
It is helpful for your record keeping to have an inventory sheet to monitor your sales. Simply log your item and its sale price; then the actual amount sold. This is also helpful for referring to when pricing items next year.
Another trick is for same-price items to simply be color coded. Display a color code sign; i.e., a red dot sticker equals a dollar; green is $.50; yellow, a dime, etc.
Plan to have about $30 in change. (Five ones, 2 - 5's and a ten; the last five dollars breaks down as follows: 20 nickels; 8 quarters, and 20 dimes).
Our canvas carpenters' nail aprons are handy for keeping change close at hand.
Price items a little over the amount you'd take if someone haggles on price.
It sounds like the obvious, but really...be sure to say "hi" to everybody who wanders in. A friendly door-opener greeting helps strangers relax and want to buy!
Instead of offering a specific dollar amount off the marked price, you may want to think in terms of 10% off, or 15% off, offering this may actually be less than your "dollars-off" offer and will still be a good concession for the buyer.
Play music in the background. This 'noise' actually helps the shopper discuss an item privately with a friend. In many cases helps the sale happen.
Have an electric extension cord available so anyone can test an appliance if desired.
Put a note onto the item about its working condition even if it doesn't work (and be honest, of course) You'd be surprised who may buy it for parts or fewer functions.
Make sure your items are clean and free of dirt, grease, etc. Have paper towels ready for any typical accidents.
Build a Project Kit!
Here is a valuable idea that will save you time, money and frustration at any event you become involved. Buy a cheap or used toolbox, then fill it with those mission-critical tools that you will need at the drop of a hat to save the day. Here are some items: ink pen, pencil, masking tape, duct tape, clear tape, double-stick tape, push pins, thumb tacks (maybe take just a few and place them into a small vial, you don't need a whole box of each), rubber bands, small wood screws, post-it notes, thick tipped black and red permanent marker, small bullet point permanent marker, scissors, X-Acto knife with a protective sleeve, box cutter, small measuring tape, length of nylon rope, 6-foot extension cord, 3-prong electrical plug adapter, pocket calculator, pad of paper, sheet-sized cardboard for emergency signs, and the obvious...a tack hammer. A multi-head screwdriver is a lifesaver, pliers, bottle opener, small clamps and (roll up a mini-roll of) paper towels! Believe it or not, you can put this together for under $20 new from a deep discount or closeouts store and it will be your best friend at future projects!
Remember that you are welcome to use this logo to promote your yard sale activities, but NOT to produce items for resale. For resale signature items, please call 419-468-6773.