Sip & Sell Sidewalk Party

Spring is the perfect time to purge your closets, clear your clutter and organize your nest. For a fun twist, turn your cleaning extravaganza into a neighborhood potluck-style party that'll give everyone a chance to hang out, and maybe rake in a little cash at the same time!

A Sip & Sell Sidewalk party is the perfect excuse to gather your friends and neighbors together. You can all take turns working the sale and the register, and enjoy the opportunity to catch up and hang out. 

Make Your Plan

Select the weekend far in advance so everyone has time to gather their goods together. Get all the administrative details in order ahead of time too, so you can have fun the day of the sale.  

Here are some things to you might want to put on your list. And even though this party's your idea, don't be afraid to ask participating friends to pitch in with the planning:

  • Early Promotions - Put ads in flyers, local papers, supermarkets and schools. Send out emails to local friends, and be sure to post the details on Facebook.
  • Hanging Signs Day Of - Enlist someone to create and then hang posters at street corners pointing the way toward your location. Make sure they’re easy to read and list the house number where people can find you. 
  • Displays – Find out the types of things everyone's planning to sell to make sure you have enough coat racks, bins, tables or shelves for displaying your wares.
  • Select a Space – Set up on your driveway or use the garage and ask neighbors for parking permission for yourself and potential buyers. 

Pro Tip: Check with your town hall to see if you need permits for the sale.

  • Pricing – You can decide to label your goods the day of the sale or in advance. Just be sure to set guidelines so everyone prices items equitably (for instance, all CDs = $1). An easy trick to sell small odds and ends or toys is to use zippered plastic bags to contain, label, and price them. 
  • Unsold Merch - Make a plan for what to do with leftover items. Find a volunteer to make one big Goodwill run to keep it easy.
  • Making Change - Have plenty of small bills and change on hand, and use covered metal tins to organize funds.
  • Proceeds: Agree in advance how proceeds will be divided: you can split profits evenly to make it easy or have cashiers keep tabs on which item's whose as they ring up purchases. (Use different colored price labels to keep track, or have sellers write initials on their price tags).

Good Karma Option: Make it a fundraiser and donate all proceeds to the charity of your choice.

Feed the Folks

No need to get elaborate here. A simple potluck buffet inside works great (if it's outside, shoppers might think it's for them!) For a cute, festive set up, put out dishes garage sale style in a mish-mash of your own pots, baking pans, and small appliances with faux price tags to label contents. 

Outside, but set away from prying shoppers fingers, provide a cooler with drinks so guests can help themselves all day. Coffee, beer, and wine are optional, but will help keep everyone energized and in a party mood.

Tip: Want a stress-free way to feed your crew? Use sale proceeds to pay for pizza or subs.

Party On!

Invite guests to arrive well in advance of the sale start time to be ready for early birds. Trust me, they’ll be there! Plus, that'll give you time for a quick just-for-fun pre-sale swap among guests.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Make setup fun by holding a relay race to see who can get their goods outside the fastest, or a contest to see who has the most original display. Organize and label displays by type (clothes, toys, kitchen gear, books, CDs, etc.) so shoppers know what’s what.

Big ticket items should go by the street to lure drivers. You can also boost sales with a large “Free with Purchase” table. Bring in the guys (who usually aren't yard sale fans) by putting tools, lawn mowers and sports equipment in plain view of the street.

Create an upbeat mood for sellers and shoppers alike by piping in some party music and consider a bake sale bonus to keep 'em happy and well-fed. 

If older kids will be attending, let them set up and run their own table to sell their used toys or let them set up a lemonade or hot cocoa stand. For the younger kiddies, consider hiring a “mommy’s helper” to entertain them inside.

Your Sip & Sell Sidewalk party is your chance to relax, chat, people-watch, and enjoy a casual day with friends while knocking one more thing off your to-do list. Nothing's a better incentive for accomplishing a chore than making it a party!

What’s your best sidewalk sale score?