How to Plan a Successful Yard Sale

Sep 5, 2012

If you’ve been following our organization series and doing your “homework,” then your home is probably looking pretty neat and clutter-free. Now, it’s time to plan a successful yard sale! And here are some handy tips to make your yard sale a booming success!

Community Yard Sale

If possible, involve your neighbors for a community yard sale.

Involve the neighborhood. If you aren’t in a huge hurry to be rid of your old stuff, contact your neighborhood home owner’s association, or put a note in your neighbor’s mailboxes, asking if they want to be involved in a community yard sale. The note could direct them to a Facebook event page or evite with more information on your prospective yard sale. If you have enough people involved, your yard sale will generate a lot more interested patrons.

Make use of free advertising. Between Craigslist and Facebook, you can create a public event where you list some of the bigger, more valuable and interesting items for sale. Ask friends and family in the area to share the links on their social media accounts and promote it via email.

Yard Sale Boxes

Yard sale boxes are great for directing customers and for boxing up leftover items at the end of the day.

Signs and balloons. The day before the yard sale, you’ll want to put up signs at the ends of your street and at a couple of the nearest busy intersections. Check out these handy yard sale boxes. All you have to do is fill in the arrow and set a heavy rock or brick in the bottom of the box to direct people to your yard sale. When the yard sale is over, you can use the boxes to pack up your donation items.

Also, don’t underestimate the attractive power of helium balloons. They are the fishing lures of the human race. Well … balloons and diamonds.

Invest in price stickers. You can pick up price stickers at virtually any store that has an office supplies section. Remember, when pricing items, sentimental value only exists for you. A book that meant a lot to you as a child, is just a book to someone else. Try and take the emotion out of pricing. Here is Goodwill’s Donation Valuation Guide. Try and keep your prices similar to those on this list.

Display supplies. You’ll need a few folding tables, tarps and maybe a clothing rack or two. Ask friends and family before renting or purchasing these items. It may help to move a bookshelf outside to display books or DVDs.

Yard Sale

Group similar items. Display your goods effectively. And, put the kids to work.

Group similar items. When setting up your yard sale, try and group similar items on tables and laid out on tarps on the ground. Don’t use bins. People don’t like to dig to find stuff. If it’s laid out and they can see it, they are more likely to buy it. This is also helpful for pricing. You can post a sign that reads, “Everything on this tarp $5 each,” or “All DVDs $3 each.”

Staging area. You’ll want to prepare for your yard sale the weekend before. Since your garage is clean and organized now, you can arrange items in there. This will make it easier the morning of the yard sale to just move items from the garage to the front of your yard.

Put the kids to work. If you have kids that need something to do the day of the yard sale, have them run a lemonade stand. They can even make some homemade trail mix ahead of time, section it off into snack size baggies, and sell it as well. You can reward their hard work by letting them buy an item of their choice with the money they earn.

yard sale

Don’t forget to get change!

Get change. You’ll want to get approximately $100 change for the day of your yard sale. A good guideline is:

  • 2 – $10 bills
  • 4 – $5 bills
  • 40 – $1 bills
  • 2 – Rolls of quarters ($10 each)

Keep your change in a fanny pack or apron with pockets. You don’t want to leave a change box unattended.

Arrange donation pickup. As soon as you have the date of your yard sale, call your local thrift store and see if they have a donation pickup service. If they do, try and arrange your pick up for the evening of your yard sale, or the following morning.

Got any tips on how to have a successful yard sale? Or, tell us about the weirdest or coolest thing you’ve ever found at a yard sale.

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