How to have a successful stoop sale

April 14th, 2016 9:04 AM by Nelson Aybar

The fresh air of spring inspires many to open their windows to let the fresh breeze in and hopefully clear away the clutter that has accumulated in their home over the past few months. In order to actually see that clutter disappear, one of the most effective ways is to have a stoop-sale.

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Jeni Aron, a professional organizer and professionally known as the Clutter Cowgirl, lent us some ideas on how to make sure your stoop-sale is a success.

Some things to consider first before getting into the nitty-gritty of having a stoop-sale:

  • Aron warns that sometimes people don’t consider how they would feel when their neighbors see them with their wares on sale. Make sure that you’re okay with this before you proceed.

  • With stoop-sales comes lots of strangers; Aron recommends that you become comfortable with the idea of others handling and going through your things.

  • Although you might consider something valuable, that doesn’t mean that everyone else will -- so prepare yourself for low-bidders or people not wanting to buy what you have to sell.

  • If you have something valuable that you would like to sell, go through more traditional channels like or to sell them, rather than anticipating that you will find just the right buyer who happens to be walking by.

With those considerations addressed, Aron has a few tips on ensuring a successful stoop-sale.

  • Although it might be tempting to put anything you have out for sale, Aron suggests really curating the items that you offer. Putting junk in either a “free” bin or not out at all, Aron thinks that the best strategy is to offer items that have a true value to others.

  • Look to get 25% of the price that you paid for an item, though Aron reminds us that getting stuff out of the house is better than getting the full price that you are asking.

  • Which leads us to: don’t be afraid to haggle! People who stop by may be inclined to ask for a discount. This is your chance to shine and offer a 2 for 1 deal, moving more items out of your apartment and still making some cash.

  • Try to keep all items at eye-level, so bring out some tables and chairs to prop items on, rather than putting them on the ground.

What are some items that sell well at a stoop-sale? Aron suggests that the following are always big winners:

  • Comic books

  • Vinyl records

  • Books

Price these items low, at $1 each and you’ll see them float away to new, happy homes.

As far as items that should never be included in a stoop-sale, Aron has some ideas on that as well. Avoid putting out for sale:

  • Any used cosmetics

  • Opened food of any sort

  • Lingerie

While you may think, “But this eyeshadow has only been used once!” -- and that might be true, the sanitary considerations outweigh anything that you might earn from selling it. Besides, lumping used cosmetics with some other great stuff that you might have to sell casts an unsavory pallor on the other items.

Finally, put out old-school, handwritten signs to advertise for the big day. Attract customers to your stoop-sale by using chalk on the sidewalk of your nearest major avenue to advertise the location, and go ahead, put arrows leading the way! Be friendly and chatty with your guests -- you never know who will buy what and it’s best to treat the entire day like an adventure, which is exactly what it is.

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Posted by Nelson Aybar on April 14th, 2016 9:04 AM