5 Tips To Have A Successful Yard Sale
It’s that time of year. The weather is (mostly) nice and pretty. The flowers are blooming. And the yard sales are happening! I love going to yard sales and finding great deals.
I’ve been going to yard sales and even having my own since I was a kid. My parents were real estate agents and sponsored our neighborhood yard sales when I was growing up. Our neighborhood had about 400 houses and we would have 20-50 homes having yard sales each year. It was pretty impressive. Each year was a little bit better as we learned what to do and not to do.
My mom always made sure to put ads in the local papers. We would put signs up on all the main intersections around the neighborhood. We even had custom signs made for each person holding a sale to put in their yard. It was the best neighborhood yard sale I think I’ve ever seen!
Last weekend was my current neighborhood yard sale and not very many people showed up. Compared to the hundreds of people we used to have when my mom was planning them! I live in a different neighborhood now and I’m not planning things. But I am thinking about planning the next one. I know I can make it so much better! So I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips on having a successful yard sale.
Tip #1 SIGNS!
You HAVE to have great signs. They need to be big and bright with big bold letters. Black writing is best in my opinion but I have seen some colorful signs with white writing. Also, the writing needs to be BOLD! I have seen a lot of yard sale signs in the last several weeks and so many of them you can hardly read.
For example, the signs for this yard sale. The lady in charge of it told me she put up 5 signs. I went around looking for them. First of all, I only found 3 of them. Those 3 signs were all in the same block! One of them had broken and was laying on the ground. The other two were only one sided and you could only see each of them from one direction. Plus, the writing was so thin you can hardly read them. That is the way to NOT do it!
I ended up putting 3 other signs up. They have Bold font, as big as I could get it to fit. I made my signs double sided so that you can see them from either direction. One of my signs is an old real estate sign, the big metal kind. I put cardboard over it and wrote on that. With BIG arrows! So people know where to go! I put that sign on the busiest intersection close to our neighborhood. (Because the lady didn’t have ANY signs there!)
Now my signs were done last minute and if I had known that the others were going to be so bad I would have planned sooner and made much better signs. Oh well. Next time!
Tip #2 Ads
So many people look online for yard sale ads these days. Craigslist is one of the best places to find them, or list them since it’s free! You can also place ads in the newspaper for the older crowd. They are usually avid yard sale-ers who plan out their route and are out at the crack of dawn, looking for the best deals. It might cost you a little bit, but it can also be very worth it.
Sometimes you can put a free ad on your local newspaper’s website. There are also some local yard sale websites. For example, bookoo.com. When we were stationed at Ft Campbell KY, we used bookoo.com all the time. It’s one of the biggest yard sale communities I’ve seen!
Tip #3 Lemonade Stand
What? A lemonade stand? You’re probably thinking I’m crazy since you’re not a little kid wanting to make some money for toys or something. But hear me out.
When I was younger and we were doing all those yard sales, my sister and I always had a lemonade stand. Or hot chocolate, depending on the weather! Sometimes we would even have cookies or other goodies to sell. One year we had a food truck set up and sold hot dogs! And let me tell you, we made some good money!
It may have been my entrepreneurial spirit that I got from my dad, but I knew it was a great way to make money. And if you say something in your ads about having food & drinks at your yard sale, it can even bring in more people!
Tip #4 Pricing
Make sure you are pricing things to sell. This is not a boutique store. It’s a yard sale. People want dirt cheap prices! If you price something too high, then it may not sell at all. Price items a little bit less than you want to get for them to make sure you actually sell them.
If you’re wanting more money for something, your best bet it to sell it on Craigslist or somewhere else, not your yard sale. Sometimes you can get lucky with someone willing to pay the higher price you want, but more often than not you’ll end up taking that item back home.
On the other end of the spectrum, don’t price your stuff too low. I mean like, don’t price a toaster for 10 cents or something. Unless your only goal is to simply get rid of everything. In that case, just take it to a donation center or something. In my opinion, you should make money at your yard sale to make it worth your time. I always try for at least $50 but more is better! I have made over $500 at a yard sale before!
You can have a high and low price for things. For example, books. The high price of $2 and low price of 25 cents. If you’re having a multi-day sale, start with the higher prices on day one and lower them the next day (or two). You can also negotiate with people! Be prepared to do so!
Tip #5 Organization
If you have a ton of things in your yard sale, you need to be organized. It doesn’t have to be OCD organized but keep like things together. For example, keep kitchen things with kitchen things. Have categories. Toys, kitchen, books, home, tools, etc.
If you’re selling clothes, it’s always great to have sizes grouped together. I would even have signs saying what size clothes you have! It makes it easier for people to find things and can even bring in more sales. I went to a yard sale a couple weeks ago that actually had plus size women’s clothing! They had a sign hanging that you could see from the street that said: “Plus Size Clothes” with the sizes. I was impressed.
Another great thing is to have a dedicated “cashier” area. I usually use a money box that keeps my money organized, but you don’t have to. I always have a calculator on hand so that if the person is buying several items, I don’t have to depend on my mind to add it up correctly. I’m not the greatest at math (I’m very much a creative mind!) and giving the correct change has always made me nervous.
Also, make sure you HAVE CHANGE to give! This can make or break you! This last yard sale I did was so last minute for me that I didn’t even have time to go get change. I almost lost a sale because a lady didn’t have change for a $20. Thankfully she came back!
You can absolutely have a successful yard sale! I hope my tips have helped. There are a ton of other tips on Pinterest and more. Don’t get overwhelmed. Just pick a few tips to stick to until you get the hang of them. If you’re just doing one yard sale, the tips above can absolutely make it successful! Come back and let me know how it goes!