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Works for Me: Yard Sale Tips

July 19, 2006

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I’m having a long-overdue yard sale this Saturday, and I found some great tips that I blogged about here. Those are the things that I haven’t done before. But here are some things that I routinely do to make my yard sales successful.

Set Up: I set out everything the night before and cover it with tarps. That means I get to sleep a little later in the AM and have an easy set up process when the sale starts — just move the tarps. The only exception is paper goods, which could get ruined by dew.

Another thing that I do is sort my items by type. I put children’s books in a box separate from adult books. I sort clothing by size & gender and clearly label boxes with what they contain. No one wants to go through an unlabeled box of boy’s clothing when they’re looking for girls’ clothes.

I make sure that I have a supply of plastic bags on hand for those who buy several items. I also keep some newspaper handy for wrapping up breakable items.

Signs: I make sure my signs are colored, and that they’re all the same color. If people know they have to look for a hot pink sign, all they really need to do is follow the arrow. I also put the date on there but try to keep it as minimalistic as possible (Yard Sale, 7/22, ### My Street with an arrow). There’s no need to list what you’re selling or what time you start. I make the arrow and the words “Yard Sale” as big as possible.

Pricing: With very few exceptions, I price everything the same. All books are 25 cents, for example. It is too hard on me (and my customers) to keep track ofwhich books are 25 cents, which books are 50 cents and which ones are a dollar.

I sell my stuff dirt cheap. If it has so much of an emotional attachment that I can’t bear to part with it for 25 or 50 cents, I keep it. My main goal in having a yard sale is to GET RID OF STUFF. Making money doing it is just a pleasant byproduct. And with super cheap prices, it’s nice to be able to look at someone like they’re insane for offering you less than you’re asking. 🙂

Clean Up: When the yard sale is over, I take anything that didn’t sell to the Salvation Army. Since I’ve already gotten it out of the house, there’s no sense in bringing it back in, and sending it to the Salvation Army provides me with a tax write off besides.

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7 comments

  1. Great tips. I also look for youth teams who are trying to raise money for trips, and donate my leftovers to them to sell.


  2. very good tips, especially the sign. My mom and I “grade” yard sale signs, which determines if we’ll stop and if we can’t read the address until we’re on top of the sign and a car is about to rear-end us, we don’t try to find it.


  3. We had a huge sale before we moved, and the “sell it cheap” worked so well! Sure, I had everything priced to sell, but then my husband ran the sale while I was at work and those wheelin’ dealin’ yard salin’ vultures talked him down on a lot. Most of the stuff belonged to me before we met, so he didn’t really care. I couldn’t believe how little he sold some things for. We knew we wouldn’t make a lot of $$, and my main objective was to just get rid of it. If I were to ever do it again, I’d certainly set it up and just let him run it.


  4. Those are great tips, I love yard sales and go every saturday morning.

    I am like udandi, if I can’t read the sign I don’t even bother trying to find it.

    Great tips you shared, thank you 🙂


  5. I’ve never had a garage sale before. It always seems too daunting of a task so I just end up donating everything. If I ever do get up the courage to do one, I’ll keep these tips in mind!

    I’ve posted a WFMW tip as well. Stop by and take a peek. 🙂


  6. I’m also doing a sale this weekend! Thanks for the tips!


  7. […] afternoon I set up for the yard sale that we were going to have over a month ago but didn’t. Friday evening I went to a crop. I actually took some time on […]



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