19 Useful Yard Sale Tips

Yard sales can be a lot of work. You want your sale to succeed after all the hard work you put in. Here are some tips to help things run more smoothly for you and to get more customers!

  1. Try to get other family and/or friends involved in your sale. Multi-family yard sales are bigger, so draw more people in. If you advertise “multi-family,” people think big and they think that there will be a bigger variety of stuff. I had family put some items in our sale. We mostly got big items from them, which drew people in. If your family/friends can be around on the day of the sale to help out, that’s even better! There’s a lot of running around to do and someone has to take the money and answer customer questions.
  2. Plan your sale on the same day as other sales. Many areas have been having community wide or town wide yard sales. Lots of people have their sales on these days, so more yard salers are out looking for deals!
  3. Advertise. Use signs and social media to get people to your sale. For more on yard sale advertising, check out my other post!
  4. Organize. Organize your stuff in the sale by putting similar items together. Sell sets of items. Organize the clothes into sizes or types of clothes (t-shirts, pants, shorts, etc.). Organize your money in some kind of cash box or coupon organizer.
  5. Keep track of what money is whose (if you have more than one seller). To keep track of everyone’s sales, we just made columns on notebook paper for each person and wrote down how much each person got as we went, then added it up at the end. We made this easier by making sure each seller had their own colored sticker on their items.
  6. Sell plates or bowls as a set. Price them together.
  7. Use as many tables as possible. I’ve tried laying clothes out on a tarp before and almost no one was willing to get down and look through the clothes on the ground. We had to have some items on the ground because we didn’t have enough tables and people were only willing to look at the large items on the ground. Try to get all the small items on tables. I even laid some items out on plastic tubs and people were more willing to take a look.
  8. Price everything. People do not like to ask how much you want for items. Individually priced items work best, but signs with prices are better than no price. I had signs on tables and a chalkboard sign with prices and it seemed like a lot of people didn’t even notice them. They still asked what prices were (come on, people!).
  9. Ask yourself what you would pay for an item. When you’re pricing your items, imagine you’re at someone else’s sale. If you wouldn’t pay a price for something, chances are, no one else will either. And remember, the goal is to get rid of stuff and make some money along the way. You’re going to have to haul all of your stuff back inside your house or to the thrift store if you don’t sell it, so price to sell.
  10. Be prepared to haggle. People are going to want to pay less than the price you have on items. Either price things a little bit higher than the lowest you would go or be prepared to tell customers (over and over) that you can’t take any less than the prices you marked.
  11. Have lots and lots of plastic bags. I saved plastic bags for about a month before my sale and we still ran out of bags. People continually ask for bags to take their items to their cars. They especially want a bag if they plan to walk to another sale down the street before heading back to the cars.
  12. Have a “fill a bag” price for clothes or other items you have a lot of. If you really want to get rid of stuff, have a cheaper price for a full bag of clothes (or stuffed animals or jewelry, etc.). I adjusted my price to $5 a bag after I realized how many shirts someone could pack into a Walmart bag. But I just wanted to get rid of my stuff!
  13. Start set up early. I started setting my sale up about an hour before the start time (people still came early because we’re on the main road) and we were still getting things ready at least 2 hours into the sale. We set up what we could the night before the sale and covered the tables with sheets, held down by bricks. Everything else was hauled out in the morning. The first day of the sale involves a lot more set up time than the second day.
  14. Draw shoppers in to your sale. Try to display everything so that your sale looks big. Put some big items in the front for people to see from the road, and a few big items in the back so people walk all the way through your sale to get to them.
  15. Plan meals. You can’t leave your sale unattended to go buy food or cook lunch. Have someone available to help watch the sale while you go eat, get food delivered, or make food ahead of time that you can take outside with you.
  16. Use ladders to hang items. We have a long ladder laying across two standing ladders. 
  17. Have a plan for unsold items. We kept a few things at our house and everything else was taken to a secondhand store the day after the sale. It was taken directly to the vehicles from the sale. We put a few things out by the sidewalk for free that we just didn’t know what to do with.
  18. Post pictures of your sale on the internet. Your Facebook friends or your Snapchat followers might see something they like and ask you to reserve it for them!
  19. Have fun! Talk to customers. Get a tan. Listen to music. Reminisce about your old stuff that you’re selling. Invite friends to hang out. Try to have a good time!


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