'Yard Sale Queen' gives tips and tricks for your next yard sale


(WEAR/SBG) - Turning a hobby into a business, it's a dream so many people share. A local mom decided to do just that about a year ago. Her endeavor has been such a smashing success she's had to hire other mothers to help her run the operation. Just call Megan Walters the "Yard Sale Queen."

Meet the "Yard Sale Queen". Megan Walters shows us how to run the smoothest & profitable yard sale you've ever had, tonight @ 10pm, @weartv

-- Kathryn Daniel (@WEARKDaniel) September 25, 2017

She laughed, "Well, I've been doing yard sales since I was like eight years old."

She's been shopping at them and hosting them, taught by her grandparents.

Walters is the daughter of a deputy, wife of a firefighter, mom of four boys, constant volunteer, and fundraiser. She knows how to stretch and make money.

Our "Yard Sale Queen" has 4 boys. Throwing & shopping YS, helps her stretch a $ a country mile. Her inside tips @ 10pm, @weartv #C3N #save

-- Kathryn Daniel (@WEARKDaniel) September 25, 2017

Walters expanded, "Earlier this year I did a yard sale for our Boy Scout Troop and we made over $1,800 and that went straight to the troop."

On a whim, Walters decided to form a garage sale service with a simple Facebook post that morphed into a page.

"It was explosive. It was just for family and friends initially and word of mouth," Walters said.

To her amazement and delight, she was instantly booked months in advance.

She said, "From tables to chairs, we handle advertisement, put the signs out."

Walters and her crew clean, arrange into categories, display, price, tag and run the sale from the clients' front yard. The only two things her clients must do are show her what to sell well in advance and leave during the actual sale.

Walters explained, "I do that because I've learned that the homeowners are very sentimental. It's extremely hard for them to watch their stuff walk away."

Walters takes any unsold merchandise to a charity of the clients' choice, makes an itemized list, and returns with a tax deduction form. Her fee is usually 30 percent of the sales' profits.

Her events vary in size from one simple table of stuff to the occasional whole house full of things.

"We've made from $300 to up to $4,000 collecting for the sale," she said.

Astrid Jackson helps Walters every weekend. She shared that while clients are thrilled with the cash they receive, they're almost as excited about clearing out spaces in their houses.

"I think a lot of people have so much stuff it doesn't even feel like a home anymore," said Jackson.

The Queen and her court shared a few of their top yard sale tips with Channel 3's Kathryn Daniel. Walters emphasized a successful sale always begins with signs.

She said they should be bright and very simple, with only "Yard Sale" and an arrow on them. She advised that people need to put out more signs than they even think they need. There is no such thing as too many good signs.

Secondly, she said people should prepare themselves for a simple fact, that they are never going to get retail prices on garage sale items, so price things to move.

"If you've cleaned it out, you're probably tired of it, you don't want it," said Walters.

There is one caveat to this particular rule. If you do happen to have a really valuable or rare item, be firm on the price and be prepared to just hang on to it until your next sale. Walters said the right buyer will eventually come along.

Her third bit of advice pertains to clothing. Walters said clothes are the hardest items to move at a yard sale.

Hanging them up does help, and if that doesn't spur sales, consider selling them by the bagful for a set price. Walters insisted there are some things she just won't sell, and you shouldn't either.

"Any underwear, any socks," she laughed.

Jackson added that sellers should place large items close the curb to attract drivers.

"Furniture, big pieces like dressers and things like that. Those are the first pieces people kinda grab," she said.

Jackson expanded by saying that garage and yard sale "regulars" love to refurbish items, so people should not be afraid to put things out that aren't perfect.

Walters said that running her year-old business has had an unexpected effect on her and her family. She said that she realized that after working continuously with so much "stuff", that she's becoming a minimalist, and a more patient mom when something inevitably breaks in her household of four boys.

Walters grinned, "Now I'm just like, it's not that big a deal. We'll find one next week at a yard sale."

Walters and her gang are making money, meeting tons of folks and helping other mothers along the way.

She said, "One mom told me after a sale recently, 'You made me the exact money I needed to give my kid the birthday he has asked for." Which made "Her Majesty" feel really royal indeed.

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