A Stoop Sale, Step by Step

Stage Your Sale
It helps to mimic stores like Fishs Eddy by using display stands. Funky objects make conversation pieces. Draw attention to your best stuff: If you have a good chair, display a nice blanket on it.

Home Sweet Home
People must be able to carry stuff home. Decorative pillows, toys, rugs, end tables, lamps, and certain kitchen appliances—espresso machines, toasters, coffeemakers—always sell.

Women’s clothing sells better than men’s—dresses, blouses, jackets with fake fur, anything funky. For guys, jeans sell well. Labels help.

What Doesn’t Sell
Broken furniture scares everyone away. If you can’t plug electronics in, no one will take them. High-priced items like antiques don’t sell: It’s not the right venue.

It Pays To Advertise
Put your sale on Craigslist as much as ten days in advance. On the day of, post a handful of printed signs in the vicinity—but take them down after the sale so neighbors don’t get annoyed.

The Rummage Factor
People like to dig through things—they feel like if they get to the bottom they’re going to find something really great. So fill up a box with stuffed animals.

Be Organized
Sort everything by category. Line up books and CDs so everyone can read the titles; display clothes on racks or wire hangers. If you don’t, people will think you’re trying to sell them junk. Which you are, but …

Keep It Clean
Wash everything, especially dishes and silverware. You can ask for a little more if you use Ziploc bags.

Size Matters
If you don’t have enough stuff, team up with others. People trust a large sale more.

Time And Place
Must have direct sunlight and, obviously, good foot traffic. (You don’t need a permit.) A corner is ideal, or a popular restaurant that’s closed on Sundays—the best day to have your sale, when strollers are more relaxed, and you have Saturday to prepare.

Tips and stoop sale courtesy of Tom Schultheis, who’s held a dozen this year already.

A Stoop Sale, Step by Step