How to Have a Great Yard Sale

11 Jun

Clear attractive signs are a must to attract potential buyers to your sale.

Has the de-cluttering bug bit you yet?  Well it has bitten me hard!  One great result of that was hosting my first ever Yard Sale.  It was a huge success.  If you are looking to host your own sale the following are some tips that I found very helpful:

  1. Start planning and preparing early.  I spent at least 2 months de-cluttering and collecting items to sell.  If you try to do it all in a week you will exhaust and overwhelm yourself.  I think it would be even better if one collected items year round.  Designate a box in your garage or part of a spare closet to collect things.  As I found items I also priced them with a sticker.  Then they were put in a box in our garage. 
  2. Understand How Yard Sales Work: This might be a no-brainer but if you have never been to a yard sale you might not understand some basics.  #1 that most of your items should be priced about 10% of their original purchase price.  I would recommend attending a few yard sales before you try to have your own. Observe the people and especially note their pricing. 
  3. Get the Word Out: I posted a free ad on Craigslist and also listed 10 or so items that are included in the sale.  Since we were selling lots of baby items I made sure to be specific about what we had.  For example if someone just searched for an Exersaucer on Craigslist our yard sale ad would pop up because we were selling ours.  We also made lots of bright hot pink signs (as shown above) to attract potential customers.  We placed one at an intersection, the entrance to our subdivision, and every turn you needed to make in order to find our home.  I also made sure to use the same color.  Ideally these should go out the afternoon before the sale (or earlier) and be taken down right after the sale is over. 

    Lots of tables are a must!


  • Display Items Attractively: Borrow as many tables as you possibly can from friends.  Do not just lay down a sheet and plop your stuff down.  People don’t like to bend over and look at.  We also placed like items together.  If there is a lull in customers make sure to straighten up.  If stuff looks picked over people will think that it isn’t good stuff and will pass up looking at it.   Also make sure to place your most attractive items closest to the side-walk.  Many people do a “drive-by” and will only stop if it looks attractive. 
  • Timing is Everything:Originally I planned to host the sale at the beginning of May.  Since the weather forecast was predicting rain I postponed the sale.  I am so glad that I did!  We had a huge turn out on a nice sunny day.   Make sure you also think about other obligations that you have when planning your sale.  Figure out when the biggest day for yard sales is in your area.  Although people hold yard sales in my area on both Friday and Saturday it was too much for me to do both days.  We chose Saturday and did great! 
  • Mark Your Prices: We marked every item except children’s clothing which was all realistically priced at .25.  People are more likely to buy an item if it is already priced. 
  • Make sure to have someone in charge of the cash register. It needs to have plenty of change inside. We also did not price anything less than a quarter in order to make things easier.

  • Have Help: I never could have pulled off such a successful yard sale without the help of my lovely husband, mother, and sister.  If you have children I would recommend adding another set of hands to help entertain them.  It also made having a yard sale lots of fun! 
  • Be Realistic in Your Prices: If you are too proud of yourself and price it to well it will not sell.   Are you really looking to get rid of stuff?  Then be realistic.  I kept my prices very reasonable and sold everything but a few boxes. 
  • Other Thoughts: You can also sell cold drinks like I did.  These are great on a hot day.  Cookies or baked goods also sell well. 


Eli loved helping with the cash register.

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