Tips For Having a Successful Yard Sale

Whether you call it a yard sale, garage sale or rummage sale…the end result is still the same. You’re cleaning out your house and garage of unwanted items and hopefully making some money in the process.

Having a successful yard sale doesn’t just happen. It takes work. Sometimes a lot of work. If you want to score some cash, you have to put in the hours. And now that spring is upon us, it’s the perfect time to start going through your closets, storage rooms and yard barns for all those unused items that need new homes.

The following list of tips is in no way complete, but is a good place to start if you’re thinking about having a yard sale in the near future.

Organize Your Items

Everything has a place in your house so it’s only natural that everything has a place at a yard sale. Clothes should all be in one place (preferably on racks or lines), as should books, DVDs, toys, décor and housewares. Messy, disorganized yard sales can be frustrating for customers and could lead to folks simply walking away.

Have Everything Priced

Another pet peeve of mine is going to a yard sale and finding that nothing has a price sticker on it. Everything should be priced, either individually or as a group. If you want to put all of your books in a box and say “50 cents each,’ that’s fine. If nothing is priced, buyers tend to get frustrated and are less likely to stick around.

Advertising Is The Key To Success

Putting up a few small, hard to read signs at the end of your street is simply not enough. Posting your sale on social media (Facebook, Nextdoor, Craigslist) with nice, colorful pictures will make a big difference between a good day and a great day. To reach the older demographic, you should also advertise in the local newspaper at least a day or two before your sale.

Toss out broken/non-working items.

Just don’t do it. Most folks aren’t going to buy something that’s broken or doesn’t work. If you want to have a free box with this kind of stuff in it, that’s fine. Just be prepared to set it on the curb beside the trash can at the end of the day.

Make sure everything is clean.

Dirty clothes and dirty toys won’t sell. Period. No one wants to buy something they immediately have to wash or scrub down. If you wouldn’t buy something in this condition, chances are no one else will either. All of the dirty clothes should be washed and even if it’s just a baby wipe, take time to clean the dust and dirt off of the toys.

Take down the signs when you’re done.

Another pet peeve of mine is when folks fail to take down their yard sale signs at the end of the day. Rather than mapping out a yard sale day, some folks go roaming on Saturday mornings and may stumble across your sign. Which is great, if you’re actually having a sale that day. Believe it or not, people remember bad experiences at yard sales (just like they do at brick and mortar stores) and won’t come back a second time if they got burned on the first visit.

Start early and on time.

Most folks don’t like to wake up early on their days off, but in the case of diehard yard sale folks, they will get up at the crack of dawn and hit the road.  Which means you need to get up even earlier and be ready to go when you said the yard sale would begin.

Don’t be afraid to haggle.

You know it’s coming. No matter what you have something priced at, someone will come along and try to talk you down. Your best bet is to price items near what you hope to make and then maybe offer a discount if multiple items are purchased. Just remember, what you don’t sell at the yard sale will have to be dealt with at the end of the day, whether it’s going back inside your house or being hauled off as a donation. The more you sell, the less you have to bother with.

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