Inside: Use these helpful yard sale tips to make your garage sale a success. Get the clutter out of your house and make a little money too!
Does it feel like you have too much stuff in your house?
Do you want to earn some extra cash – and get rid of some things you don’t use?
A yard sale could be your solution!
When organized the right way, a yard sale can be an excellent way to clear your home of clutter and stuff that you no longer need while putting some money back into your pocket.
Whether your primary goal is to simply get rid of stuff, earn some spending money, or a combination of the two, keep reading to learn the best yard sale tips to make your garage sale a success.
What is the fastest way to organize a yard sale?
Organizing a yard sale does not have to be a complicated process. In fact, you can quickly and easily organize your next yard sale by following a few simple steps:
Step 1: Figure out what you’re selling
Figure out what you’re going to sell.
Kitchen clutter? Kids’ clothes? The exercise bike gathering dust in the corner? A little bit of everything?
Step 2: Set a date
Choose a date and time for your yard sale.
Step 3: Advertise
Advertise your yard sale!
What do I need to prepare for a yard sale?
The biggest factor in whether or not your yard sales is a success? Preparation. A good yard sale doesn’t happen on its own – it’s the result of your planning and effort.
Use these eight yard sale tips to make your sale more successful.
1. Determine how to organize your items
When you’re running a yard sale, organization is one of the most important things you can focus on.
If you’ve ever been to a messy yard sale, you know just how frustrating it can be to try to find what you’re looking for. Chances are, you left without even buying anything at all.
An organized yard sale can be a great experience for a shopper – clean, easy to navigate, and simple to understand. This should be your goal.
The way you organize your yard sale will ultimately depend on a few things – your yard, the equipment you have on hand, the items you’re trying to sell, and the weather.
But there are a few best practices you should always keep in mind when organizing your yard sale:
2. Hang clean clothes
Don’t fold them up, pile them on tables, or leave them on the ground. If you have large amounts of childrens’ clothing, sort by size and clearly label them to make them easy to shop.
3. Group similar items together
Make it easy for shoppers to find what they are looking for by keeping books, toys, clothes, electronics, kitchenware, and other categories clearly marked and separated.
4. Use a tablecloth for a polished appearance
Nobody wants to see your storage boxes hiding underneath your folding tables. Hide them and elevate the look of your yard sale with a tablecloth.
5. Don’t stack framed pictures on the ground
Find a way to hang them up so your shoppers can envision them on their own walls.
6. Selling electronics?
Make sure you have an outlet nearby so people can test them out before they buy.
7. Figure out what payment methods you can accept
Yard sales have historically been all-cash, but modern technology makes it possible to accept digital payments from your driveway.
Many people are comfortable using PayPal and Venmo to send money quickly, easily, and securely online. If you’re comfortable using these services, you can make life a lot easier for your yard sale shoppers by offering the convenience of electronic payments.
8. Prepare your check out table
When your shoppers are ready to pay and leave, you want it to be as easy and painless for them as possible. You should have a check out table set up in a visible spot, and you should have someone assigned to manage it at all times.
Make sure your check out table is well stocked with:
- Newspaper to wrap fragile items
- A calculator (your cell phone works just fine)
- Anything you need to process payments – a Square device, for example, if you want to accept credit cards.
How much petty cash should you have on hand at a yard sale? It really depends on the items you’re selling and whether or not you plan to take digital payments.
Many people are comfortable with Venmo, PayPal, and other tools that let you send money quickly and easily online. If you’re willing to accept these payment methods, you probably need no more than ten dollars in petty cash – including change.
If you’re operating a cash-only yard sale, you may want to keep a bit more on hand.
How to make more money at your yard sale
For many of us, making money is a big motivator for holding a yard sale. It’s a great way to earn some extra cash without a ton of effort. And getting rid of clutter? That’s a bonus.
If you’re running a garage sale and want to make the most money possible, use these yard sale tips and take these steps:
Start your yard sale early and on time.
Many yard sale shoppers are out first thing in the morning, on the hunt for great buys before they’ve been snapped up by other shoppers. Prioritize these serious shoppers and you’ll reap the benefits.
Make sure everything you’re selling is CLEAN.
Nobody wants to buy a dirty rug, sweat-stained clothes, or dishes with stuff caked onto them.
Implement smart pricing strategies to sell more stuff.
You need to make sure your prices are clearly visible – if people need to track you down to ask how much something costs, there’s a good chance they’ll lose interest and leave.
You can also offer bundle pricing on items like clothing, books, movies, CDs, and board games to encourage shoppers to buy more.
What sells at a yard sale?
You probably won’t have much luck selling your fine jewelry at your yard sale, but there are plenty of things that DO sell well, like:
- Clothing – especially clothes for kids
- Kids toys and sports equipment
- Home decor pieces
- Games of all kinds – board games as well as video games
- Costume jewelry
How to be your own best salesperson
When you’re running a yard sale, you’re doing it all. You’re the manager, the cashier, the security, and the salesperson.
Even if you don’t have experience working in sales, you’ll want to keep these yard sale tips in mind to maintain excellent customer service during your garage sale and turn browsers into buyers:
Greet everyone who visits your yard sale with warmth and sincerity.
Be confident and ready to sell.
Ask shoppers if they’re looking for anything in particular – and know where everything is located so you can point them in the right direction.
Be prepared to haggle with humor.
Some people won’t risk haggling, but others will always ask if prices are negotiable. Regardless of your stance, smile and be polite.
Thank each shopper for stopping by, even if they don’t buy anything.
How having a yard sale helps motivate you to declutter
Having a yard sale can be a great motivator to declutter your home. You’ve got to find things to sell somewhere – why not start with the stuff that’s simply taking up space in your house?
There’s guaranteed to be some clutter somewhere that’s just collecting dust.
And once you see how much stuff you’re able to clear out during a single yard sale? You’ll be planning another to get rid of even more clutter that’s taking up space in your home.
Why you should consider a multi-family yard sale
If you’re friendly with your neighbors, you may want to see if they’d like to participate in your yard sale, too!
Many shoppers love multi-family yard sales because they know they’ll have a large variety of items to choose from.
Making your yard sale a multi-family sale will help you promote your sale – and since your neighbors will be promoting it, too, you’ll reach even more potential buyers.
How to choose your yard sale date – and why two days are better than one
A big factor that will determine your yard sale’s success is the date you choose. Weekends are popular choices for obvious reasons – mostly the fact that people aren’t working.
But for even greater yard sale success, you’ll want to choose two dates for your sale – not just one. Two days are better than one because you’re creating twice as many opportunities for potential shoppers to visit, which is helpful for folks with busy schedules.
And since you’ve gone through the effort of setting up your yard sale, why not take advantage of that?
The best ways to advertise your garage sale for high traffic
The one thing you need for your yard sale to succeed?
If you don’t have any shoppers, you can’t make any sales. And sitting in your front yard with your stuff for fun? Probably not the best use of your time.
Advertising your yard sale is absolutely critical to your success – and it’s easy! Want to tell the world about your next yard sale? Use these avenues to promote your sale:
Post a message on Facebook to announce your sale to local friends and family and promote your sale in any local groups you’re in. You can also post an advertisement for your yard sale in Facebook Marketplace.
Craigslist is still a great spot for those seeking yard sales to find hidden gems. Post on the ‘garage sale’ section of the page for the best traction.
Are you a member of your local NextDoor group online? If so, share the news about your upcoming yard sale there with members in your immediate area.
Post signs and flyers
There’s nothing like good old-fashioned marketing! Grab some poster board and a marker and make some signs to post in your area, or print flyers to hang on street signs and bulletin boards.
Use balloons and bright colors to get more attention.
Use These Yard Sale Tips & Have a More Successful Garage Sale!
A yard sale can be a great way to earn some cash and get stuff you don’t need out of your house – but it won’t go well if you don’t prepare properly.
By putting in the work to get organized, set up your yard sale, and spread the word, you’ll be rewarded with success! You’ll get more stuff out of your home and more money in your pocket.
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Thank you for this. Getting rid of the clutter is hard to do if I’m ‘selling it all online’, but a yard sale & online sale could be the answer for me. Very good tips & points to keep in mind as I’m going through all the rooms (one at a time!).
Now to set aside a 30 minute time each day to sort through stuff for online & yard sale decluttering.
Thank you again!
I’m glad you found it helpful, Linda!
people WILL haggle, so maybe hike the $ up a little from what your absolute bottom line on the item is. but you’ve made the decision that the item is OUT so sometimes just getting what you can is better than nothing. don’t price anything below 25c. so roll[s] of quarters will be the smallest coinage you need to start with. if items aren’t worth that, combine: 2/25c or 3/25c. making change will be less annoying. if you sell jewelry, try and have one ‘worker’ [multiple family sales lend to more inventory and more sellers on site] to sit with the display. those are the items most commonly stolen. also best not to have a cash box, but secure-on-person fanny packs or crossbody bags. too much information on a sign makes it hard to read: KEEP SIGNAGE LARGE & SIMPLE. sometimes just a neon colour with YARD SALE and an arrow. if you need multiple signs to bring buyers in off a main road, make sure they all match. signs out ONLY when open. [the frames of old political signs are marvelous for this.] i’ve been doing yard sales for 30 years and have learned by doing how to simplify and make less work