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! If you are new to hold yard sales, here is how to have a yard sale and my favorite yard sale success tips to help make it the best yard sale ever!
I love holding yard sales. They give me the chance to clear things out and to make a little money while I’m doing it. But I don’t do dead yard sales.
After all, if I am having a yard sale, I want to make money at it, yanno?
Believe it or not, I started having yard sales before I turned eighteen with a friend of mine. It was a great way for me to earn some cash as a teen.
But it was also a great way for me to become a pro at having them.
How to Have a Yard Sale
I may have been at it for twenty years, but learning how to have a yard sale and to make a profit at it doesn’t take years. That is one of the great things about them.
They’re quick to learn how to do and all you really need are a few yard sale success tips to get you started!
They’re a great way to make money that literally anyone can do.
Do You Need a Permit to Have a Yard Sale?
Back in the day having a permit for a yard sale was not a thing. You simply set your items up, advertised and you were good to go. Today, that may be different.
While there are still places that do not require a permit to have a yard sale, most do. If you are unsure, you’ll need to call your local City Hall before you start really planning.
When you call, be sure to ask if a permit is required, if there is a fee to get the permit and if there is a limit to the number of days your permit is good for.
What Do I Need to Have a Yard Sale?
That is the beauty of having a yard sale! You do not need much at all! Sure, it can be nice to have things like folding tables and a portable clothing rack, but the truth is that clothesline hung on trees and makeshift tables work just as well.
The one thing I do highly recommend you have is actual yard sale signs on stakes such as these. We will talk about them later, but I consider them a necessity to have a successful yard sale.
How to Organize a Yard Sale
Sit up and pay attention because this is first on this list of yard sale tips for a reason.
People will walk away from your yard sale and you will lose money if your yard sale is nothing but a disorganized mess.
The simple truth is this; people are lazy when it comes to searching for a deal most of the time. Your yard sale could be the greatest on earth but if what you’re selling isn’t clear, you won’t sell it.
You’ll also miss any lookie-loos who might only stop b/c they have something that catches their eye.
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 a lot of its customers – and it makes your nice items stand out so that they will sell well.
How to Price Yard Sale Items
No one wants to go to a yard sale only to find retail pricing so when you’re thinking about how to price yard sale items, try to keep that in mind.
Items that are for sale in a yard 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.
In other words, 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 be sure you don’t jack up your prices expecting people to negotiate. While there are people who have learned how to haggle for the best deal, a lot of folks are not comfortable doing so. Those people will simply walk away and you will lose the sale.
Clearly Mark Yard Sale Prices
It is a true pain in the rear end to have to price each individual yard sale item, but if you want to have a successful yard sale, you will ensure that everything has a price. Like haggling, some yard sale shoppers simply are not comfortable asking what a price is so if you don’t have something marked, you may lose out on a sale.
This does not mean you need to price everything little tiny thing. In fact, I don’t recommend it. That would be a ton of work and frankly, no amount of yard sale profits is worth that. What I do recommend, however, is pricing bigger items on their own and grouping smaller ones together.
This might mean that you have a table of $0.25 items, another table with $1.00 items and so on. I typically keep these tables to items that are $1.00 or less so I am not overwhelmed with unpriced items when people buy a lot.
For items that you do price, using brightly colored yard sale price stickers is recommended. Items that are hanging or high dollar can be priced with hang tag price stickers to make things easier on you.
Don’t Use Boxes and Bags in Your Yard Sale
While digging through boxes and bags can generally result in some awesome deals, it can also be rather annoying to have to do and in fact, most yard sale shoppers will not go near a trash bagged item unless it is very clearly marked what is in it. Boxes are a bit different, but you will still find that some shoppers won’t take the time to dig through them.
In other words, try to stay away from adding anything in a trash bag or a box of whatever to your yard sale. You will have far better luck selling the items if they are out on a table being displayed.
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.
Don’t Try to Sell Junk at Your Yard Sale
You would not want to buy someone else’s junk so please do your shoppers a favor and do not even try to sell junk at your own yard sale. If it is obviously broken, missing pieces, ripped, or otherwise does not function as it is supposed to, it is better to trash the item than try to sell it.
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 is on this list of things you should never buy at a thrift store or it is unsafe in some way, don’t attempt to sell it at your yard sale. You don’t want to be responsible for someone getting hurt just because you were worried about making an extra dime.
Put Great Items on Showcase at Your Yard Sale
If you’ve got some extra special items like antiques, baby gear you are sure has not been recalled and is safe, camping gear or furniture, show case them to potential shoppers as they drive by!
In other words, set those items up front and center and in a very visible spot from the street. By doing this and keeping them 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 Garage 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.
If your carport or garage can not be seen from the road, showcasing a few things will become even more important since prospective shoppers will not be able to see what you are offering.
Have a Multi-Family Garage Sale
If we were being honest, we would admit that we are far more likely to stop at the huge yard sale than we are the smaller one. It makes sense when you think about it.
We expect to find more deals and bargains at the larger sale so we choose that one to stop at.
When you’re planning your yard sale, reach out to a friend or two to ask if they would like to be included as well. Chances are good they will want to and will have their own items to add to the sale.
How to Advertise a Yard Sale
A well advertised yard sale is a successful yard sale which means you want to take as much time as needed to get as many eyes as possible on your sale. This can be accomplished in a few very simple ways.
First, use Facebook buy/sell groups and Facebook Marketplace to your advantage. Around 72-hours before your yard sale begins, post a teaser ad with the information and a few photos of your bigger ticket items.
Then, on the day of your yard sale and after you are set up, post again with more information and more photos. Do this for as many groups as you can, but please do be careful that you do not spam groups that do not allow it.
Next, you will want to place your signs the morning your sale begins. Now you can do this in a completely random manner, but I find it best to do something a bit more thought out.
I then 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 one final arrow sign with balloons to highlight the sale 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 for free on Facebook, 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.