Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Tuesday Talk: 12 Tips for Having a GREAT Yard Sale

We had our first yard sale a few weeks ago and it went really well!  We made money and got rid of a TON of things.  Thank you for your tips and suggestions - they really helped me prepare for the sale.  It was a lot of work, but we agreed that the work was worth it.
 My yard sale tips for you:

1. Spend several weeks decluttering your house and collecting items for the sale.  Gather them in one location and sort them by category.  Pricing and preparing for your sale will go faster if you've sorted things ahead of time.  Start pricing at least a week before the sale.  Do some each day because it will take longer than you think to get everything priced.

2. I've read a lot about this book lately - The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up - and it says if something doesn't bring you JOY then you should get rid of it!  I applied that thinking when I was cleaning out my closets and it was really freeing to see so much stuff go.  I'd been holding onto things that I rarely used for 10+ years and it was time to let them go.

3. Buy pre-printed price tags.  They are very inexpensive and make pricing go so much faster.  Buy more than you think you'll need because you can always return extra after the sale.

4. Get LOTS of change - $5s, $1s and quarters.  Also, remember to price your items in quarter increments so you are not having to make change with pennies, nickels and dimes.  I priced inexpensive things for $0.25 and $0.50 and most people just paid those amounts without asking for price cuts.

5. Advertise everywhere!!  We placed an ad on Craigslist and updated it throughout the week as we gathered more stuff for the sale.  Try to convince your neighbors to have a sale with you or if there is a big sale going on nearby, have your sale the same weekend to get more traffic.  There was a giant church sale going on down the road and many of our customers were in our area because of that.  We put several signs out with our address boldly printed on them - in our yard, at the entrance of our street and on the busy road nearby.

6. Early birds will be there regardless of what you list as a start time in your ad.  Have you stuff on tables that you can just pull out into the driveway as they are shopping.  Work around them and let them shop because you want to make as much money as possible.  We listed a 7:00am start time, had people in our driveway at 6:30am and left the stop time open.  Our traffic stopped around 12:30pm so we decided to end the sale then.

7. Place your check out table at the end of the driveway.  Label your tables and be sure to mark things that aren't for sale.  Save grocery sacks/boxes for shoppers to use at the sale.  Our shoppers were happy when we could bag up their items for them.  Keep a close eye on your money box at all times.  We would periodically take large bills or increments of $100 into the house for safe keeping.

8. Be sure to lock up your house during the sale and find things to entertain your young kids.  We had Olive watch Daniel Tiger, eat snacks, play inside with one of us taking turns being with her and play in the backyard with one of us.

9. Have access to a plug in ready in case shoppers want to test out electronics.  Also arrange your sale so that you have your personal things blocked off, covered with a blanket or marked not for sale.  People tried to get us to sell all kinds of things that weren't for sale so I'd do a better job of keeping things separate in the future.

10. Be prepared to negotiate.  People want a good deal.  They'd normally ask me to make them a deal on something.  I'd agree and then ask them to make me an offer.  If it was too low, I'd counter offer.  If it was fine, I'd accept.  My husband was more of a price slasher than I was, but if someone was going to walk away from an item and bargain harder to get them to buy it.

11. Host a two day sale if you can and slash prices the second day.  We only had one day to work with, but I can see the advantage of selling two days in a row since you've already done the work to price and set up.

12. Call a local donation center ahead of time and schedule a pick up for all of your garage sale left overs before you have the sale.  That way you'll be able to bag and box everything up right after the sale ends and know it's ready for pick up.  I only pulled 3 things from the did not sell pile to keep and the rest I'd already committed to getting rid of.  We had Salvation Army come to pick up 25 bags and 8 boxes worth of stuff!  It was so exciting to sell a lot of stuff and then seeing a ton of things being donated.

Time to link up your favorite post from the week!!
(Starting from the upper left:)
Beth - Our Pretty Little Girls ~ Michelle - Grammie Time
Keri - Living In This Season  ~ Christina - Waltzing In Beauty
Tara - Mrs. Coach Sims ~ Lauren - Simply Free
Jess and Katie - Sweet Little Ones ~ Whitney - Polka Dotty Place
Becky - BYBMG ~ Elizabeth - All Kinds Of Things
Polka-Dotty Place


  1. Great tips Whitney! I wish we would've done our sale for 2 days- think that would have helped a lot! Love yard sales for selling and for buying things

  2. Having a yard sale is hard work. I haven't had one in years. I participated in a community yard sale years ago and it was very successful. Your tips are great.

  3. Great tips… we love garage sales… both putting them on and shopping them!

  4. Very organized and well thought out. I like #11, hosting a two day sale. Will keep that one in mind for the future. Hey, by the way, did you receive my emaill regarding next week's Tuesday Talk Q & A? Let me know if you didn't.

  5. I have heard great things about that book!! I need to throw it in my Amazon cart - I think I would love it, too! Congrats on a successful sale~


  6. Those are great tips! I'm glad your sale went well. It's been several years since we did one, so this is going on my Pinterest board for future reference!

  7. Great tips! Especially the one about setting up your checkout at the end of the driveway! We've always set up in the garage just because of the shade!

  8. Good tips - spot on. I found that making a cute sign with balloons attached (took a bit of extra time but worth it) for the front lawn also brought in more people because it simply looked more organized and put-together. Well done!

  9. I'm glad to hear your yard sale went well! I'll be pinning these tips for the future, hope your week is going good so far!

  10. I'd love to have a yard sale one day and these are great tips! I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and WOW, definitely was life changing! :)

  11. I'm so glad your garage sale was a success - but seriously I knew it would be! You are so organized and efficient!

  12. It sounds like you all REALLY cleaned house! Great tips!


  13. These are great tips! I want to have a yard sale in the fall and I'm going to use these!


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Smiles, Whitney