20 Tips to a Successful Yard Sale

Holding a yard sale can be a great way to purge, de-clutter, and get rid of things that you’re not using; turning all that clutter into cash. Here are 20 tips for throwing an awesome sale:

20 Tips to Holding a Successful Yard Sale

  1. Yard sales take time and planning, don’t wait till the night before to gather everything up and start pricing things.
  2. Advertise in a variety of places. Start with the free ones: local yard sale websites, Craigslist, Facebook, and if you’d want to pay for an ad, focus on free shopper newspapers that are primarily classified ads.
  3. When you place your ad consider listing some of the specific items in your sale, like “kid’s clothes age 5-12 boys and girls, toys, tools, or furniture”.
  4. Signs, signs, signs! Post on busy, nearby streets, and guide folks in. Be sure to put your address on every sign. Make sure they’re readable from passing cars,
  5. Do not forget to take your signs down when the sale is over. You don’t want folks wandering around your driveway days later.
  6. Price everything, and put bigger tags on larger items. If you’re selling multiples, you can make one large sign that says “all books .25 cents,” or “all clothes .50 cents.”
  7. Be objective in your pricing. People come to garage sales for bargains. When you’re pricing things, think of the price you’d pay for something, not what you’d like to get for it.
  8. Be willing to negotiate, with one caveat. If you’re selling antiques, electronics, collectibles or other specialty items, you’ll have a negotiating edge if you know what they’re worth. Check out eBay and other online sites, but don’t expect top dollar.
  9. Have realistic expectations. Don’t expect to make a fortune. Remember, this is a good way to say goodbye to all the stuff you’re not using and pass them on to someone who can.
  10. Try to set everything up in a welcoming, organized and attractive way. It will be more appealing from the street and more people will stop. Put larger and more interesting items near the end of the driveway to lure people in.
  11. Move out or cover items that are not for sale.
  12. Have plenty of grocery store shopping bags for folks and newspapers to wrap breakables. It’s the nice thing to do.
  13. Be prepared with change. There’s really no way to judge how much you’ll need, but $100 in assorted bills is a standard. Be ready for those early morning $20s, and if you’re selling lots of more expensive items, you’ll need more change. Remember this might require a trip to the bank, which you’ll need to do a day or two before your sale.
  14. Keep a calculator handy.
  15. Don’t leave your cash box unattended. Use an apron with plenty of pockets instead.
  16. Don’t take checks unless you’re willing to see one go unpaid. It might be nice to know where the nearest cash machine is located, and direct your customers there.
  17. Be ready for “early birds.” Do you want to allow early sales? If not, tell them prices before you open are double, or put “no early birds” in your ad.
  18. Check with your homeowners’ association. It’s possible they have restrictions on garage sales.
  19. Give the kids something to do, selling coffee, donuts, or lemonade. Keep pets inside and out of the way.
  20. Have Fun!

Be sure to check back in mid-month for tips on becoming a Yard Sale Pro (for when you’re doing the buying, not the selling)!