When it’s time to clear some clutter in your home and get rid of unwanted items, selling these items is a great way to make some extra cash. Sure, you can turn to the internet, but a good old-fashioned yard sale works just as well – especially if you have a lot to sell. Follow these steps for yard sale success!
1. Choose a Date
Timing is everything when it comes to a yard sale. First, you want to consider the season. Avoid the middle of winter when temperatures are frigid, and the end of summer when the days are sweltering. Pick a date in late spring or early fall, and go for a Saturday morning. Saturday is many people’s day off, so they have some time to spare. Having your yard sale early in the morning won’t interfere with people’s plans for the rest of the day.
2. Get Your Neighbors in On It
The more the merrier! Ask your neighbors if they also have items to sale and would like to hold their own yard sale that day. This will be more appealing to potential customers, as well as get the word out to more people.
3. Organize Your Items
Be sure to go through all of the rooms and closets in your home – including the attic, basement, crawl space and garage – to look for items that are no longer useful to you. Separate these items into categories that make sense, and place them into clearly labeled boxes. Don’t underestimate the value of an item – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
4. Obtain a Permit if Necessary
Ask the clerk at city hall if you need a permit for a garage sale. If you do, be sure to complete the proper paperwork to avoid getting shut down and fined.
5. Advertise Your Yard Sale
There are plenty of ways to spread the word about your yard sale. Your local newspaper’s classified section is a great resource, although it will cost you a couple bucks. If you want to avoid any costs, post your yard sale onto websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or Garage Sale Finder for free.
6. Get Your Supplies
A day or two prior to your yard sale, make sure you start to gather all of your supplies. You’ll need tables to display items, a few chairs to sit on, some blankets to lay items on if you don’t have enough table space, and a garment rack and hangers for clothes. Also consider items like a mirror for shoppers to try on accessories or an extension cord to test electronics.
7. Post Signs
Create plenty of large, brightly colored signs to display the day of your yard sale so people who are looking for it know where to go. Signs will also entice passersby to come to your yard sale. Your sign should include the words “Yard Sale” written clearly in big, bold letters with your address and an arrow pointing toward your house.
8. Display Items Neatly
If people walk up to a messy yard sale, they probably won’t stay very long. Display as much as you can on tables in a neat manner, and group similar items together. Keep things organized and tidy throughout the day as items are sold.
9. Price Your Items
Price each item individually at 10-25% of the item’s original price. For larger items, don’t go over $100; people shopping at yard sales aren’t looking to spend much. To price each item, use small, colorful, circular stickers and a permanent marker. At the end of your yard sale, consider putting up a “half off” sign to move any remaining items.
10. Have Change On Hand
Go to your bank and get plenty of quarters, ones and fives so you have no issues with customers paying in big bills.
11. Make Shoppers Comfortable
If it’s a hot day, make shoppers comfortable by offering water and shade. You can even get the kids in on the money-making by having a lemonade stand.
12. Watch Your Money
If you’re using a cashbox, don’t leave it on a table unattended. It’s best to keep your money close to you either in your pocket or in an apron.
13. Deal with Remaining Items
With any leftover items, decide if it’s worth trying to sell them online. Our suggestion is to donate smaller items to Goodwill so you can write it off on your taxes, and try to sell larger items online.