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12 Tips for Having a Successful Yard Sale

We have been in the yard sale mode lately. Do you want to hear what I bought this weekend for under $30?

Disney Cars bike with training wheels, 3 pairs of kid pajamas, package of pull-ups, soccer shin guards, 5 glass bottles for decor, a ceramic plate, 2 paperback youth books, swimming wings, a book on decorating with handmade furniture, Diego Rescue Pack backpack, and a Griddler Cuisinart that is almost like new. Score!

In another couple of weeks we are going to hold our own yard sale. Here are 12 Tips for having a successful Yard Sale that I’ve learned in my years of visiting them and having my own.

12 Tips for having a successful Yard Sale

1.  Get tables. Borrow, beg, or buy portable tables to display your items. When items are displayed at height they are easier seen and touched. Use doors or wood planks to create quick tables too.

2.  Lay out blankets or sheets. You’ll probably never have enough tables. The next best thing is to lay out blankets or sheets in the yard. Even books that are laid out flat can be seen better than ones in a box that someone has to sort through. Just stay away from keeping things in boxes!

3  Display clothes nicely. Should be hung up and separated according to size and/or type. I will not even attempt to go through a pile of children’s clothing unless I know I am looking at the sizes I need.

4.  Be out in the yard. I actually call Yard Sales a Garage Sale, but I still don’t keep everything in there. People like to drive by and scope things out before they stop. If everything is hidden in the garage they will just keep going and not stop.

5.  Price well. The worst is going to a sale where prices are too high. Turns me off and I just walk away. If prices are low you’ll sell more because people are happy.

6.  Price tags. Please use them! ugh. I HATE asking people what the price is. If the owner is busy they might not see me to come over and tell what they are asking.

7.  Negotiate. Everyone likes a good deal and many will try to talk you down. If you really want to get rid of it then bargain with them, especially if they are buying a pile of stuff.

8.  1/2 price after noon. After a certain time have everything go half price and announce it ahead. People will come back!

9.  Free items. The word ‘free’ draws in a crowd. Advertise free lemonade and cookies. These can be bought inexpensively using kool-aid and generic cookies. Also you can have a Free Box filled of kid meal toys and other misc items that would probably be thrown away if not taken.

11. Put out signs and advertise. Start with the busiest road near you to place a sign with an arrow. Continue to put an arrow sign at every turn. There is nothing worse then driving around because you can’t find the house the sale is at. Advertising your sale in the local paper or on Craigslist will give it extra attention. I always have a plan the night before on the houses I’ll be visiting first.

12. Get rid of everything. When the sale is over you don’t want it back in your house. Furniture, electronics, or other items that are worth decent money, list them on Craigslist for free. People can search terms and will come pick it up! Donate smaller items to Goodwill or a local charity.

Do you have anything to add to the list?




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  • these are awesome tips!!! I especially like the freebie section. My biggest tip is to CLEAN your items off - I will NOT buy grimy dish sets and dusty books. ew. :)
  • For having a successful yard sale, you need to do proper advertising. Moreover, one should present stuff in an organized manner with appropriate price tags. Great tips.
  • The little toys that come from kids meals and other places I put in a big low box lid with a box of baggies and put a big sign on front of the lid/box that says fill a baggie for 25 or 50 cents. I get rid of a lot of the little toys that way. On the things I absolutely want to get rid of, I have found that saying free discourages people. I found that a sign that says Make an Offer and I will take the first offer to get rid of that horrible thing I want out of my house! Because I am desparate to get rid of it, I will take just about any offer or counter with asking for a few dollars more and make sure I am not too stubborn about making money so that I can get rid of the item. I am also very OCD about setting my sale up with almost all clothes hung on clothing/coat racks (that I acquired cheap at other sales). Like you, I will not "dig" through a pile of clothes and do not expect others to do so. Also if there is a lot something I want to get rid of, I will offer grocery bags full for a set price. That helps get rid of a lot too and people are happy to get a good deal. Just keep in mind, it's about getting rid of stuff, not getting rich!

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