Holding a yard sale is the perfect way to de-clutter, get rid of unused or unwanted items and pick up some cash as well.
I love having them as it inspires me to de-clutter and really focus on what I want to keep. Somehow, I always manage to find things that I don’t want or need anymore. Here are 5 of the best ways I’ve learned to hold a successful yard sale.
QUANTITY AND QUALITY
Getting more items together can will give your customers a greater selection, and they will buy more. This also gives you a greater opportunity to get “big ticket” items like bikes, cribs, baby swings…etc. Plus, having someone help you on sale day is always fun. Better still, if your town or neighborhood has an annual “town yard sale”, plan to hold it then, as there is sure to be lots of people out and about. Don’t have one in your area? Consider starting one up! You may need permits, so be sure to check with your local town ordinances.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at a yard sale and picked up an item and put it back because it was filthy. Dirt, I could handle, but I’ve seen items that looked like they were run through the ringer of use and just placed outside. Washing off trinkets and household items, hanging up clothing, and making sure things are not broken are key to getting a better price for your items.
Check for completeness of games, and dust off the covers of the books, albums, and movies before you set them out. Placing items neatly on clean tables with like items together makes it easier for your buyers as well.
PRICING AND HAGGLING
Price your items at about 20-25% of retail for great condition, 15-20% for good condition, and 10% for “used but loved” condition. Make sure that EVERYTHING has a price tag on it. I know that sounds like a pain, but the effort will be worth it. It makes it a lot more enticing for someone to buy if they know what you are wanting for it.
Expect people to try and talk you down as well. On big ticket items, I usually price it at about 40% of retail for that reason and I have never refused a reasonable offer. But, feel free to say “No” to their offer. Be polite and firm. If they really want the item, they will buy it. Some are out just for the thrill of a bargain, some are resellers, and some are looking for something specific. And all are great to have at your sale.
Most yard sale shoppers come to the sales fresh from the bank, armed with $20’s. If you don’t have change for that $1 item, they are going to walk away. Take the time to grab some $1’s, $5’s, $10’s and quarters. You will save yourself a lot of headaches, especially in the first hours of your sale being open. I recommend at least $40 in change total. You don’t have to have it all outside with you, of course, just easily accessible.
Make sure to put up good signs that lead potential buyers to your location. Use big, bold colors, and keep it simple. The date, time, and address are necessary. Arrows are helpful, as long as you make sure they are pointing in the right direction. Balloons or banners attached to the corners will also grab attention. And, as a courtesy, with gas prices being so high, when your sale is over, please remember to remove all signs. Otherwise, someone may be driving around looking for your great sale that doesn’t exist.
An add on craigslist is free to list your sale as well, and great for traffic. If you don’t want people to show up at your door at 6AM (and yes, they do that here!) then be sure to note the times of your sale and “no early buyers, please”.
So, grab some unneeded kitchen items, those clothes your kids outgrew, and that vase you don’t know what to do with anymore and get ready to have some run with your own garage sale!
What are some tips you have to share for having a successful yard sale?
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.