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Business

July 19, 2009

Trash to treasure: Making the most of yard sales

Tips to help make the most of yard sales

NEW YORK — If one man's trash is another man's treasure, then what untold riches could a yard sale bring?

The truth is that selling your books, DVDs and unwanted gear from short-lived hobbies probably won't fix your money problems. But a yard sale isn't about raking in big bucks.

"We needed to get rid of a lot of stuff, and you earn a little bit of money on the side," said Mike Amundsen, a 62-year-old retired resident of Covington, Ga., who made about $200 from a recent two-day sale.

Aside from getting rid of clutter, a yard sale is also a chance to get to know your neighbors and put entrepreneurial skills to the test.

So regardless of what you call it — a yard sale, stoop sale, tag sale or garage sale — here's how you can make sure it runs smoothly.

LAY THE GROUND WORK

Once you settle on a weekend, check to see if you'll need a permit.

Some cities set aside a few days every year when you can hold a yard sale without a permit. Coordinating your sale to happen on one of those days would also reduce the need for advertising.

"The entire city is synchronized, so everyone knows to go out on that day," said Joel Risberg, who owns YardSaleSearch.com, based in Pomona, Calif.

Otherwise, see if your neighbors want to have yard sales on the same day. The bigger the hoopla, the more people you're likely to attract.

The next step is figuring out what to sell. You don't want to have any second thoughts.

"You can't think that 'Oh this person isn't worthy of the quilt my grandmother made,'" said Jon Fulghum, author of "How to Throw a Good Yard Sale."

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