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How To Have A Successful Yard Sale

Having A Successful Yard Sale.

With yard sale season officially upon us, people have been setting up each and every Saturday morning in hopes of selling their stuff that they no longer need in their lives. When I shop at yard sales, I often wonder if they had planned this event for several weeks, if they’re making decent money and if they’re happy with how the yard sale is going.

Successful Yard Sale

I had a yard sale last summer and it was so unorganized and unpleasant. I think I made about $30. That’s it! For all of the work I put into it, $30 was not worth my time. I decided that if I was going to have another sale in the future, I needed to better plan the event so I did a ton of research and made an action plan.

My friend had a sale not too long after mine and I passed along my new action plan. She put it into place for her sale and ended up making over $500! Since it worked so well for her, I thought I would share it with you all, too.

Collect Stuff to Sell

Of course, when you have a yard sale, the first thing you need to have is stuff to sell! I would suggest having a designated spot in your home to store unwanted items until yard sale season.

I have a big 5 shelf rack in my basement. When it fills up, I start to fill up boxes, put them beside the rack and fill the rack up again.

Prepare Your Items

Once you have a date set for your sale, a few weeks beforehand, you need to start organizing the items you want to sell. Take them out of boxes/off shelves and clean them.

Remember, a clean item will net you more money than a dusty, dirty one will!

Price Every Item

You should also put price tags on EVERY item. I hate going to yard sales and having to ask the seller “how much for this item?” over and over again.

Of course, you could always have a table full of items and have a big sign that says “everything on this table is $1” or something like that. Otherwise, please please please use price tags!

Note: Price your items at yard sale prices. People shop at yard sales to get a bargain. No one wants to pay $10 for that $20 wallet. Consider selling it for $2 – it will probably fly off the table at that price. At $10, it will probably sit there all day long and most likely won’t end up selling.

If you want to get more than “yard sale prices” for certain items, consider selling them another way.

Advertise your Sale

In order for you to make money at your yard sale, you need to get some customers! The best way to do that is through advertising, of course. I would definitely start with online ads on places like Craigslist and Kijiji.

You can also advertise in your local newspaper.

Make the Perfect Sign

When you are making signs for the sale, be sure to use bright coloured paper and put YARD SALE, the date, time and address in large, legible letters/numbers. It’s also a good idea to put arrows on the signs as well, directing people to your sale.

Make sure you take down your signs when the sale is over!

Negotiate Prices

Remember that people that go to yard sales are looking for the best deal. Be prepared to negotiate. Don’t forget that the items you are selling are things you no longer want.

You won’t make many sales if you have “firm” prices on every single thing you are selling!

Have Lots of Change

It’s important to have lots of change when you are selling things at a yard sale. It’s amazing how many people want to buy $2 worth of items with a $20 bill! Have lots of small bills and quite a bit of change as well. Also – GUARD YOUR CASH! Wear one of those ugly fanny packs if you have to.

Make sure that your money is by your side at all times. Unfortunately, there are some bad people out there and you don’t want one of them to show up at your yard sale and swipe your earnings! You may want to have one person sit with the money for an hour, while another person helps customers, and then switch.

Please don’t have a yard sale by yourself. It’s way too stressful. Trust me on that one!

Have lots of Bags

It’s also a good idea to have lots of grocery bags to package purchased items. Newspaper for breakables as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a sale and bought many items that I had to awkwardly carry to my car because the sellers didn’t have any bags. Not fun!

All in all, yard sales are hard work.

Be prepared to spend a few days preparing and a few hours selling. Hopefully you make lots of money in the end to make it all worth while!


  1. Nancy

    Definitely some pretty good tips there Cassie!

  2. FallenPixels

    Those are great tips, we are planning on moving in the next year so have to start getting organised and rid of some stuff

  3. Christine

    Great tips Cassie

    I just have one more tip, Make sure your signs are large and clear to read. I love to go to yard sales but I find it very frustrating when you are driving and you see the sign and it is the size of a 8×10 paper with tiney writing

  4. Cassie Howard

    I totally agree! I found a few small signs like that yesterday and it was definetely frustrating.

  5. Linda

    Yes, good signs. I always think people will have an accident slowing in front of other drivers to try to read signs.

    • Cassie Howard

      I know what you mean!

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