Host the Best Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale

Adoption Fundraiser, Adoption Through Foster Care / Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale


I finally convinced Matt we needed to get rid of some stuff (LOTS) before our home study, and we thought having a yard sale would help us raise some extra cash for adoption expenses. We were shocked when we realized we had raised over $1000 with a one day sale!

Here’s the plan:
Step 1: Gather Lots of Stuff
Step 2: Pick a “Good” Saturday
Step 3: Post Ad on Craigslist
Step 4: Make LARGE Signs to Your House
Step 5: Make a Large Sign for the Yard
Step 6: SELL, SELL, SELL (and cheap!)

And, here’s the detailed plan of how we did it….

Step 1: Gather Lots of Stuff

We spent Spring Break cleaning out every cabinet, closet, and cluttered area we could. Matt even went through all of his garage stuff to pull out anything that wasn’t necessary. We piled all of it in a room so that it would be easy to drag out for the sale.

Family and friends are also usually generous to donate things for your sale if you let them know in advance. It helps them have more space and you to have extra items to sell.

Step 2: Pick a “Good” Saturday

“Good” is the keyword. We had planned to have the sale the weekend after Spring Break, but we ran out of time, and it rained all day that Saturday. Instead, we put it off a couple of weeks and saw that there would be mid-70s temperatures and 0% chance of rain. We scheduled it a week out hoping the 10-day forecast could be reliable (you never know in Texas) – and thankfully (this time), it was… Weather makes a big difference in the traffic that you can expect. We had TONS of people coming through all day. I even tried to pack up around 1 pm, but we still had people dropping by until after 3:30!

Step 3: Post an Ad on Craigslist and Facebook

Craigslist is your friend! We posted an ad the Monday before the sale with a LONG list of most of the things we would have for sale. The longer the list, the more keywords people can search for and find your ad. We had several people ask to come buy specific items before the sale, and we were happy to do so since we usually get better prices selling from Craigslist than in a yard sale. We made $150 before the sale even started! I also typed in a paragraph of all the surrounding cities so that our ad would come up if they searched a nearby city instead of ours. Facebook posts are also great about getting the word out. Local Buy Sell Trade groups are also great to post to on Facebook.

Step 4: Make LARGE (readable) Road Signs to your House

One of my big pet peeves is small yard sale signs that you can’t read. The worst ones flap in the wind where you can’t see them at all or have such “itty-bitty” print that no one could ever read the address!

I used a large hot pink poster board and made thick, bold letters. Use as few words and the shortest words possible. My sign said “HUGE” and “Yard Sale” below with a giant arrow – that’s all you need. We put this out on the major intersection of the entrance into our neighborhood with another smaller sign and giant arrow leading them to our street.

MANY people commented on my signs and mentioned that the ONLY reason they actually stopped was because of how big, bright and nice my signed looked!  The sign did it’s job! Woo hoo!!

Step 5: Make a Large Sign for the Yard

I opted not to put out a container asking for donations. Instead, I chose to make a sign which we hung on our garage door to let others know they would be contributing to our adoption fund.

We were surprised at how many people gave us extra, told us to keep the change, OR simply chose not to haggle. We usually always have those who haggle on even the best prices, but not today. We definitely think the sign helped. If nothing else, we sparked lots of conversation with others throughout the day, and that alone was great. We LOVE opportunities to talk about adoption with anyone we can.

Step 6: SELL, SELL, SELL!!!

We chose to price EVERYTHING cheap, cheap! No offer was refused. Our focus was to get rid of it all so that we didn’t have to be stuck with it or have to haul it off at the end of the day. We did not waste time pricing everything beforehand because we knew that we may change prices or bundle in order to sell more. We also made sure everything was accessible and spread around our driveway and yard.

We made an effort to smile and greet EVERY person. We also promised everyone who walked up that we would make them a good deal on anything they liked and that their purchase would go to a GREAT cause. We even bundle priced for many people who chose to make “piles” or fill a box of what they wanted. Almost every person left with something. A few people even came back a few times with other friends and family.

In selling cheap, we found that most people gave us more than we were asking. I think Matt may have gotten into a peaceful argument or two on how much ABOVE our asking price he would agree to let someone pay (kind of a strange thing for a yard sale). AND we were left with next to nothing. I think we hauled 6 small boxes for donations when we finished (which is awesome knowing that we started with several truckloads and a garage full). We also believed that we were blessing others by giving them great deals, and in turn, many would bless us back.


What’s the best adoption fundraiser you’ve had before?

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