Last updated on July 22nd, 2021 at 11:01 am
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.
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
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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.
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
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.
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