We love going to yard sales! Once a year we host a yard sale – but it is a LOT of work! Because we are moving out of state we had a few bigger items to sell and made over $400 in one day! Nothing was price more than $20 though. Here are a few tips of how to have a successful yard sale.
1. Advertise advertise advertise!
The more people who know about your garage sale the more people will come! I used to spend hours making my own garage sale signs thinking it was cheaper only to have one hard rain ruin them all. Now we either go to the store and purchase them for about $4 each or buy yard sale signs on Amazon which is much cheaper! They are typically weatherproof and sturdier! Before the yard sale let everyone you know hear about your sale! List it for free on Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, yard sale forums, newspaper ads, etc. On the day of the sale make sure you have VERY clearly marked signs. Use fat markers to write with so your sale information can easily be spotted while driving by. Every yard sale we’ve had we have people telling us how great our signs were and how they couldn’t miss our signs. That’s GOOD!
2. Clearly mark your prices!!
No one wants to attend a yard sale where they have to ask the price of everything they see. Make your prices very obvious to spot! If you have clothes organize them by size and mark it as so. Yes, it may take a little longer but you can do this before you set the yard sale up and you are more likely to sell your clothes rather than having them all mixed up in a pile. When we sold our baby/kid clothes I had large tubs for each size as shown below with large signs on them clearly marking sizes and price. I also spaced my tubs out throughout the yard sale down the driveway so that people sifting through them wouldn’t mix up the sizes.
3. Location location location!
A big part of the success of a garage sale is it’s location! We are fortunate to live off of a main road known for yard sales so we typically get a ton of traffic to our sales. If you live off the beaten path try to find someone to pair up with that lives closer to a main road. You can also check your local flea markets as sometimes a table is only $5 each to rent.
4. Organize it neatly.
Make sure there is plenty of room for your customers to walk around and see everything. Look at my photo below and notice how there is a wide aisle for people to walk up and down with minimal traffic jams. No one wants to go to a crowded sale. In fact we actually had three rows of stuff at this yard sale so you are seeing the middle row and one of the end rows. Make sure the clothes are as visible as possible – not everyone wants to sift through things. Plus easily seeing clothes can lead to impulse buying. Pair shoes up together. Group like items together – make a kids stuff area, a tools area, a household area, etc. Since I was selling off all of our baby/toddler items I kept all of the “kid” items separate from the other items in our sale. Many people come looking for one specific thing so keeping it organized will make it easier for them to look.
5. Team up & save up!
If you don’t live in a good location for a yard sale or simply don’t have enough stuff partner up with another family and combine your yard sale with theirs! You’ll likely have a bigger turnout and you’ll have more help! OR if you live in a subdivision like we do recruit the rest of your street to all do yard sales that day which will drive higher traffic to your area! Our family has one yard sale a year. Partially because it’s a LOT of work and partially because we only have enough stuff for one yard sale weekend. Have a designated area in your garage or basement for unwanted items. Save them up throughout the year and pull them all out when you have a yard sale.
6. Price things to GO!
There are two reasons for a having a yard sale – one is to get rid of stuff and one is to make some extra money. The better you have things priced the more people are willing to buy. Have a freebie pile and freely hand them out- people will enjoy the freebie and you’ll get rid of your random “junk”. Be willing to haggle. Know your lowest price for something and don’t budge. My “important” items in the sale I always price just a little bit higher than what I want for it knowing that most of the people in my area will talk you down a little. Although you do want to make a little money you also don’t want to give everything away for free. I price my items at what I would pay for them if I were attending a garage sale. When I can purchase something on sale brand new at Walmart for the same price I see it used at a yard sale – that is not a good deal!
7. Recognize a need & pay it forward!
Sometimes I come across people that share their life stories with me, or that I notice are pregnant, or have children whose clothes are tattered…… I try and take the opportunity to help them out a little. If it is something we are getting rid of anyway why not pay it forward a little? Today a family came by with a mom who was due to have her baby at any time and I could tell they were in need of baby items. I found a bag of newborn diapers that I definitely couldn’t use and told her she could keep them for the baby. A small act of kindness can go along way. When you’re done with your yard sale call your local charity or thrift store and donate your stuff! Find a pregnancy center to donate to or a homeless shelter! You’ll feel good about helping someone else out and it’s tax deductible too!