How To Have Your Best Yard Sale Yet

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Over the years I have thrown many yard sales and I always try to make my next one more successful than the last. Although my last one is going to be hard to beat. I personally made $600 in 6 hours with just one $100 item an one $50 item, the rest of the sale were all items $10 or less and a lot of those were only $1.

10 tips that will help you maximize your yard sale profits

In my circle of friends I am known as the yard sale diva for taking my junk and making it sell. I even receive complements from my buyers saying that my sale is the most organized they have ever seen. Truly though there is no reason anyone else out there could not have the yard sale success I have if they just follow some key tips

10 Tips For Maximum Yard Sale Profits

1. Gather all you yard sale worthy items into one area of your home.

Clean any thing that needs cleaning. Put similar items together in piles or boxes. Ziploc bags work great for small toys with lots of pieces.

free 2 page printable checklist to help you have your best yard sale

Use this article as a guide to help you grab everything out of your home you don’t need and add it to your yard sale pile.  You can also grab the handy 2 page printable checklist based on the post that I made just for my subscribers by subscribing to my weekly newsletter below.

2. Spend a morning cruising a few garage sales in your area.

This will help you get a good idea on just what items go for at a yard sale in your area. A general rule of thumb I hear is 10% of retail value (new) but that does not always hold true. I have seen items go for as much as 40% of original value at yard sales. Good pricing is critical if you over price people will walk away and if you under price some people won’t purchase it thinking the item is somehow damaged  (seriously I have seen this mentality over and over in my years of hosting yard sales too high and too low has the same effect, they both equal less buyers)

3. Pick a good date for your yard sale.

If you are not in a community that hosts a community wide sale, and you are not on the roads that most people would travel to get to such a big event, then do not plan for you sale to land on a day of a community sale. You will get little traffic. Instead try to pick a day that doesn’t have any huge neighborhood sale going yet is still a popular days for yard sales. In my area the best day seems to be Friday.

4. If you don’t live in a good location for a sale ask friends who do.  

Trust me all the signs and advertisement in the world won’t help you if you don’t live in a high traffic area or if you don’t live in a popular neighborhood.  Ask friends in good yard sale areas if they are having a yard sale this season and if they are could you join them.

5. Hold A Group Sale

Once you have a date and a good location, try and rally as many friends as you can to join you. Multiple family sales always attract more traffic, which leads to more profit. Plus a day spent with friends is a whole lot more fun than a day spent by yourself.

6. Use as many free  or low cost advertisement sources as you can.

Get some brightly colored poster board and cut it into 2 to 4 pieces. Put the address and time of the sale on each piece using a black sharpie that works (not one that is barely hanging on to color). Place these ads at all major intersections that drivers might turn into in your area.

Put the word out on Facebook. Take a picture of the best of your yard sale offerings, and post it with  a spiel listing time and location above it. Repost it several times the week before your sale, at different times of the day. Then on the morning of your sale make one of your yard sale signs your profile pic for the day, so every time someone sees your comments they will know there is a sale going on at that location (remember to remove it when you are done).

The night before the sale be sure to place an ad on Craigslist. In the ad include 4 pictures of your largest selling items. Make sure in the description to add, in location and time. Use landmarks to help describe where you sale is at. List a few major items you didn’t picture.

4 Essential Yard Sale Supplies

  1. Plain White Price Stickers
  2. Bright Poster Board Paper -for creating signs
  3. Thick Black Sharpie– for creating signs
  4. Thin Black Sharpie – for clear and easy to see prices on price stickers

7.Make sure prices are clearly labeled.

I know some say you should  have a price tag of some sort on each individual item. Doing so does make it easier especially if you are having a multi family sale,however sometimes you just run out of time.

If this happens to you put the like items out in a box and mark on the flap of the box with your sharpie “all items in this box .50 cents”.

Or you can try taping a sign to the front of a table of clothes that reads “all items this table $1”.

I don’t recommend the color coded sticky program, where each color  tag means a different price. I find it confusing as a yard sale shopper and often spend less time shopping at such sales and just move on.

8. Don’t ever stand still the whole day.

Work your sale. A messy sale sells less. Spend every second between sales, refolding clothes, gathering like items and putting them back together. Laying out toys in a different way so that they can be seen more. Repricing  items that seem to be getting little attention. Putting the books in a box so that all the titles on their spins can be easily read. All these things will add up to increased sales.

9. Always be friendly.

When someone comes into your sale, don’t rush up and start telling them your life story but don’t just sit there chatting to your friends and not acknowledging that you even see them either. Send a  friendly “hi” out in their direction.

Once they have been looking a few seconds ask if they are looking for anything in particular. If they pick up a dress and you know you had a sweater for sale that looks great with it, go and get it and bring it over to them and tell them so.

Give them a complement. If you like their purse, tell them so. If they are driving your dream car, tell them so. This will engage them in conversation keeping them longer at your sale which could mean more profit for you. If nothing else it makes the day go by faster and gives you an opportunity to brighten a strangers day.

10. At the end of the day -give it away

I wish I would listen to my own advice on this one more. Don’t restore your items for next years sale. If it didn’t sell and its value is not worth listing on eBay or Craigslist then send it on the donation truck at the end of the day.

End your sale about one hour before your local thrift store closes. Delegate one person for the job of dropping your stuff off. As the sale winds down fill their vehicle with your stuff, and send him or her on their way while the rest of your clean up tables and take down signs.

This way you can enjoy not just the money from the yard sale but the extra space in your home.

Do you have any more tips  on throwing a successful yard sale that you would add for my readers?

Not enough stuff for a yard sale but you still want to sell it? Try using a Facebook Buy and Sell Group – Here are my tips of how to successfully sell in such groups.

Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Selling & Earning Tips on Pinterest.

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  1. Great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is some really good advice…you should try to get this article published. I liked the advice about “working” the sale.


    • Victoria says:

      I am glad you like the article. Working the sales, is so important! It really does bring in a better return.

  3. Thanks for the tips! I’m always so nervous about hosting my own yard sale, but could greatly use the extra money (isn’t that the truth for so many?). One little question – Do you have any tips for what to do if you have young kids (like under 4) who will be there during the day? I mean I will have my husband to watch them, but when you are selling some of their toys – tips on getting the toys out there and not start a million tantrums? I know an impossible question, but still…

    • Victoria says:

      I tried to gather their toys at night or nap time when they were sleeping, and then I set them up while daddy was keeping them busy inside. If they are going to be around for the duration of the sale that might not work for you. When they are that young it is really hard to explain to them that they don’t need them any more. I hope your sale goes well.

  4. I work the sale too!! You can usually tell the people that want to be left alone and the people that want to talk… but you should always say “hi” cas then they know who to give the money to!! lol
    And I have found that putting the address on the sign is kinda a waste of time… cas really how many sales with that bright blue sign with the big arrow pointing the way, are there? I’ve found that when I’m driving trying to find a sale if they put an address I can’t read it fast enough when I’m driving by in my car so I alway just put “Sale” or “Yard Sale” and a very big arrow. People always say the bright signs are the best!
    Another tip I would suggest is to tell your neighbors that there might be extra traffic in the area the days you are open. I have a great neighbor that always moves his car so I can tell people that they can use that parking spot.
    Love all the other tips you gave too!!

  5. This is wonderful! Thanks for all the tips. I am having a garage sale next weekend to add funds for our upcoming adoption, so this came at a great time!
    I agree about acknowledging shoppers presence, I hate going to a sale where people don’t even look up as you walk over. It makes me not want to buy anything right then and there! I am bookmarking this as a checklist for myself as I prepare my sale! Thanks!

    p.s. I found you through Thrifty Thursday link-up!

  6. Great post! We are hoping to have a sale next week so this was good timing. I hadn’t thought about putting the sale on craigslist so I appreciate that tip.

  7. Great tips! I’m hoping to have a garage sale this fall (after we move to a place that allows them) and have started garage sale boxes. It’s so nice to see something we no longer need and immediately put it into the “sell” box.

    Thanks for linking up at Thrifty Thursday!

  8. My cousin told me that she made all kinds of money from food – hot dogs, pinto beans, etc. I thought that was really odd. BUT during my last garage sale I made pinto beans (a loved meal in WV!), cornbread, goulash, candy, cokes ———- I made more money on that than my items for a garage sale!!!!!! Families bought large amounts for their lunch or dinner and some ate at the sale!

    • I saw a lady doing this as well and doing very well with it. I wondered about the legalities of it though. I guess it would depend on what the rules are where you live.

  9. Another easy way to unload your unsold stuff is to have a local charity come and pick it up!

  10. Hello from one garage sale diva to another! We just had a garage sale last weekend and made $2375.50. My top tips would be signs, place, time and items. I always think outside the location box. Know someone that has a business that is closed on the weekends? Ask if you can use their parking lot. Besides having a huge space to set up it, it usually has parking spaces for customers. We also just had a g-sale at an empty rental house that we owned. There was a weekend free from the time one renter moved out till the next moved in. Instant totally clear garage ment tons of room to hold the sale. As far as signs go, a huge arrow with “garage sale” is all they want to see. I don’t put an address or times on my signs. I put that info into my craigslist post. Besides I reuse my signs from sale to sale and the address might not be the same. Use neon paper and use leftover house paint in a bold color. That way your signs won’t run if it rains. I love to reuse political signs or other signs that are no longer useful to glue my neon garage sale signs to. I also always start my sales the night before from 5:30 pm -7:30 pm. I get all the people just getting off work and the people that can’t come the first day of my sale. We made over $750.00 in those 2 hours, it allowed us to better spread our items out on the tables and much less to pull back out of the garage the actual day of the sale. (Know the days that people garage sale in your area! In one state we lived in it was Saturdays and another state it was Fridays.) We usually have our sale Thursday night, Friday and Saturday. Get multiple people in on your sale. That way we take shifts so no one has to sit there all day. Also for gathering items to sale, think outside the box. If I had bought 5 boxes of cereal at rock bottom prices and didn’t like them, they went out at the sale. Shampoo, conditioner and beauty products that I got cheap or didn’t like went out at the sale. People love buying those items. Canned goods sitting in the pantry I’m not gonna use, equals money in my pocket from the sale. I also keep all my sale stuff for the next sale that will be held in a different location/town in a month or so. Different people want different stuff. At the end of the g-sale season, whatever is left is then sent to the thrift store. There is usually very little left. Always try to have the sale as close to the start of the month as possible. People still have money to buy, as opposed to the end of the money when cash is short. Start your sale with a ton of small bills and change. Just a few of my tips that make our sales super successful.


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