10 Tips for Yard Sale Success

Warmer weather is here and that means spring and summer yard sales! Yard sales are a fantastic way to not only make some extra cash but to get rid of a lot of the clutter around the house! How successful your yard sale is really is up to how many people show up and whether they buy but there are a few things that you can do to help that along. Check out these 10 tips for yard sale success and then put them into action when you plan your next one!


Warmer weather means lots of yard sales! If you're planning one this year, these 10 Tips for Yard Sale Success will make certain that you have a successful, profitable sale!


The biggest things to remember is that yard sales are packed full of items that are no longer wanted. This means that you need to be absolutely certain that you want to get rid of something before you toss it on a table. If not, you’re likely to want to jack the price up on it or even remove it without selling it. That means bad juju for your yard sale. These tips work incredibly well. My last yard sale earned me $1100.00!


Keep Your Yard Sale Organized

I have walked away from many yard sales in the past that I’m sure had fantastic items simply because the tables, racks and other items were not neat and organized. It’s not that I expect things to be perfect, I just don’t want to have to guess at what is on a table to see what you have to offer. By keeping things tidy, you accomplish two things. People can see at a moments glace what you’re selling (which after all is how a yard sale gets its customers) and it makes your nice items stand out so that they will sell well. If your sale is cluttered and folks can’t walk from one area to the next, there is a good chance you won’t sell too many items in that area.

Keep your prices low

No one wants to go to a yard sale only to find retail pricing. Items that are for sale should be priced reasonably while still earning you money. Let’s face it. If it’s in the yard sale pile? You don’t want it anyway. Don’t try to rip someone off just to earn a buck. It will only result in less sales and less money for you. Also? Don’t jack up your prices expecting people to negotiate. A lot of folks are not comfortable negotiating so instead of doing so? They will simply walk away and you will lose the sale.

Be certain that your prices are clearly marked

As someone who frequently hits a yard sale? There is nothing worse to me than having to ask what the price of an item is. Be certain that each item is tagged and marked clearly with a price. If you’re short on time, a quick way to do this is with tables and racks that are all marked the same price. Have a .25¢ table and a $4.00 clothing rack. Just be sure to mark them clearly so that people can see. I tend to grab THESE pre-printed price stickers for smaller items and THESE hang tags for larger items like furniture.

Get rid of the boxes and bags

While digging through boxes and bags can generally result in some awesome deals, it can also be rather annoying to have to do. Add to it with the fact that you could miss and item and potentially lose out on big bucks and you’ll find a reason to never use either of them in a yard sale again. Take the items out of their boxes and forget about using a trash bag for anything. If you MUST use one of them, be sure to clearly mark what is in it. If you aren’t sure what all is in the bottom of that bag? Give it a cute name like “Hodge Podge Mix” and admit it. Some of the greatest deals that I’ve found on camping gear and outdoor items have been in those Hodge Podge boxes…and they’ve been items that were worth twice what I paid for the entire box.

Keep Away from Junk

Okay, so if you aren’t sure what it is because it’s missing so many pieces, if it doesn’t work, if its pure and simple trash? Just don’t. The idea behind a yard sale is to sell items that are still usable to someone who may need it…NOT to stick it to people by passing your junk to them. Put junk where it goes, in the trash or recycling and leave the great items on the sale tables. Also, if it’s unsafe? Don’t try to sell it. You don’t want to be responsible for someone getting hurt just because you were worried about making an extra dime.

Showcase a few items

If you’ve got some extra special items like antiques, baby gear in great condition (no car seats please), outdoor gear, and the like, showcase them! Set up a separate area where you can set that crib up (please be sure it meets safety standards before you sell it), pitch that tent so they can see that it’s complete or feature the antique table you’re offering. By showcasing those items, slightly away from the everyday or “normal” items, you give people that wouldn’t otherwise stop a chance to see what they’re missing. I once stopped at a yard sale that I otherwise would have driven past, solely because of the high chair they had showcased with other baby items. I picked up a $15.00 high chair for my Emma that lasted her until she outgrew it and they got rid of an item they no longer needed.

Consider having an inside sale

If you’ve got a garage or covered carport, consider having the sale there instead of in your front yard. The reason behind this is of course weather. This allows you to say “rain or shine” on your ad and it provides your shoppers a bit of protection from harsh sun or winds. It also protects the items that you have for sale in case it does rain or the wind gets too strong.

Go Big

Let’s be honest with ourselves. What are we more likely to stop at? A sale with one or 2 tables and racks or a table with 5 or 6 tables and 3 racks? The larger one. Why? We’re more likely to find something we need or want! Get a friend (or two!) together and have a multiple family yard sale. You’ll have more items to offer and you’re all likely to make more cash.

 Advertise Well

If your yard sale is not advertised well, how do you expect people to find you? Yes, putting a sign up on the street corner is one way but don’t overlook the newspaper, Craigslist, local Facebook groups and any other local places that you frequent. They will be invaluable to making sure that your yard sale is a raging success because without people visiting your sale, you won’t sell anything. Of course, you still will want to put up the signs on the street corners (facing both ways) and a sign out in front of your home too.  Be sure that any signs are large and neat enough to read from a car window. A well advertised yard sale is a successful yard sale. I personally use THIS yard sale set every time I have a sale. I like that the signs are visible and easy to manage. I print out black arrows and add them to the sign too instead of writing my address then place them facing the correct direction leading people to my home. Then, in front of my home, I use THIS tent sign so that people don’t miss it and drive past.

No Return Policy

Finally, after the sale is all said and done, you’re left with the items that didn’t sell. Do yourself a favor and do NOT bring them back into the house. Don’t hold onto them for “the next sale,” don’t put those knick-knacks back on the shelf, just don’t allow any of it to return to your home. You put it out there for sale for a reason, why would you bring it back in? Take it to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, offer it on Freecycle, or donate it to a friend instead of bringing it back inside. Your home will be less cluttered and in the long run, you’ll be happy that you did it.


Ready for even more yard sale tips? My new e-book, Yard Sale Pro: How to Have a Wildly Successful Yard Sale is packed full of them! Grab your copy today! Your yard sales will never be the same again!

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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family . By the age of 30, she had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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