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Thinking about setting up some yard sales this year to declutter and earn some extra cash? Yard sales are a fantastic way to earn some extra money that you can use to pay down debt or throw into savings for a rainy day! Making the most of your time to increase yours is a profitable yard sale is key.
What makes yard sales successful? Well, there are a few things at play in having a profitable yard sale and today we’re going to talk about a few of the ways to ensure the success of your own yard sales!
Start Your Yard Sale By Knowing Your End Goal
Before your big profitable yard sale day you want to clearly know what the other intentions are. You know you’d like to earn some money for all your stuff, that’s a given if you’re having a yard sale. However, what about what does not sell? What next? Knowing will help you really know your bottom line for negotiating the prices too.
So, it’s Sunday night and day two of the yard sale has ended. You are counting your cash and ordering pizza because who has energy to cook after two days of yard sale fun!
But Wait! You’re looking at those last few piles of random items that never sold. Will you:
- Pack it back up and put it away for another yard sale
- Donate to Church Flea Market (put in boxes to deliver)
- Donate large furniture to an organization that will pick up (call them ahead to get lead time)
- Bring to a local consignment shop (bag it up, put it straight in your car for dropping off)
- Keeping to list on eBay (take pictures set aside)
- Throwing it out (put it curbside or in the trash or dumpster)
Coordinate A Neighborhood or Multi-Family Sale
There are so many benefits to having a multi family yard sale. If you have one of those fun neighborhoods that likes to do things together, then this is definitely for you!
- More Fun
- Lots of Help Setting Up
- Many Hands With Help Cleaning Up
- Space for more customers to spread out and browse comfortably
- People stay longer
- More People Spreading the Word
- More Customers
- Spurs on some friendly competition (for buyers too!)
- Multi-Family Yard Sales At One Home can be fun too. More items to chose from, the help of others setting up/ picking up, able to take breaks, help encourage buyers for one another.
Location! Location! Location!
As the saying goes, location is always the number one factor in driving any sale. A profitable yard sale increases substantially with the right location. Drive-by traffic is a large part of who spots that funky lamp driving by. Can you see them now, they’re the ones banging a U-turn on your street to come back!
So, the location of the actual yard sale is most important.
However, that’s not the only location that matters. Location or placement of your items is a good way to promote items also. Take a hint from retail stores on making your yard sale profitable.
Think about when you go in a store and there are items placed so you see them just as you walk in or just as you enter an aisle. They’re called end caps and designed to catch your eye, promote items on sale or for an impulse purchase. Put your most appealing items right at the entrance to your yard, garage, rummage sale.
Weekend or Long Weekend Sale (multi day sale)
In order to maximize your sales and be available for ‘store open’ hours, you’ll need to have two or more days. Long weekends are fun especially if you live in a touristy area. You not only get your busy families who finally have a day off, but you also attract people visiting that may join their friend’s yard sale adventures or more drive-by traffic.
Whatever the reason, multi-day means more cash opportunities to make for a more profitable yard sale.
What’s the Best Time Of The Year to Have a Successful Yard Sale?
Here in New England, the best time is always Spring and Fall, when the weather is cool but not cold. Warm but not hot. Think of the school year times as a guide.
This is not a hard and fast rule though. Vacation areas like Cape Cod or the Lakes Region in New Hampshire still do well in the summer where tourist traffic is heavy.
Be aware of your part of the country, your high traffic trends and capitalize on that as well.
Setup Your Yard Sale for Money Making Success!
You want to be as organized as possible for the most success. A profitable yard sale is not only about how many items or customers you have but also about being prepared.
Setup is an important part of yard sales! You want to make sure you have everything organized and ready to put out the day before so you’re not scrambling to do it the morning of.
Sort and Clean, Dust Off Your Trash to Treasure Goods
- Clean your items up to look presentable. A dull dusty red tricycle may get you $5 but a shiny one could score you $15 or more!
- Have clothes folded or on hangers, baby clothes folded
- Sort clothes by male/female/girl/boy
- Baby and small children sizes should also be sorted by size
- Window cleaner makes for a nice shine on glass and some metal items, make them shine like they’re smiling at your customers!
- Think departments at the store. Have your glassware on one table or one end of a table.
- Furniture can be placed closest to the curb for easy moving.
- Decorative items like wall art, frames, decorative clocks laying on tables or stacked neatly in a container. Being sure all items look presentable and like something you’d want to buy.
- White elephant tables are great for those ‘odd items’ and also for the broken lamp (great for a DIY person), etc. Still trying to make them look appealing enough to bring home and add some love.
Pricing Items to Move and Sell at Your Yard Sale
People are there at your home and they’re ready to spend money. Yes, that’s why they are out there. They are not there for an auction. They’d go to eBay if they wanted that. Making sure your items are clean, presentable and sorted is one thing, but pricing is so important.
If you’re in a store, see no price tags on anything aren’t you going to feel annoyed? If I were to go to a yard sale with no pricing I may be polite (ya know, being at someone else’s home and all) and ask about one or two items and the prices. After that, I’m gone.
As a seller if I don’t take the time to price all my items now and my efforts are paying off in crowds, I don’t have the time to answer everyone and I may just spit out a price that is rediculously low, losing all chances of a profitable yard sale.
- Price Low
- Leave room for negotiation
- Price like items the same (eg; all newborn onesies $1)
- Use colorful price stickers like these 1″ Neon Stickers here
- Have extra stickers handy to replace the ones that may fall off.
- Price to move. Remember, what you don’t sell you’re stuck with moving back inside!
Have Cash and Change on Hand Ready to Make a Deal
No doubt about it, at a yard sale people are going to want to get a deal and often times that means making a deal. You may ask only $1 for something but if someone offers 75cents, you should take it. Now they only have a $20 (sheesh, pay the full dollar right? nope) Smile and let them know you have change right there. Make that deal right then. Give them five minutes and they may think twice about breaking that twenty dollar bill.
Keep your change as close by as you are. On your person is ideal. One of those cloth tool pouches at all the hardware stores or a fanny pack is perfect. Heck, even the pockets in your jeans. Be ready to make change is all that matters.
If you’re selling a large item for more money and a person needs to return with more money or a larger vehicle, then take their name/ number and a deposit. If they don’t leave a deposit then the item is free for you to sell, make this clear to them.
Direct People With Easily Read Signs Plus Advertising Tips
Before social media existed, your only advertising option was placing signs on the side of the road and word of mouth. In today’s world, we can use our social media platforms to advertise as well!
- Posting on your Facebook is a great way to get people to come out and see what you’ve got to offer, especially if you post some pictures with sneak peeks of some of the better items you’ll have at your yard sales.
- Also, if you have any local buy/sell/trade pages or groups that you’re a part of, advertising your yard sales there can get you a lot more “customers”!
- If you want to use Instagram to advertise your yard sales (which is a great tool, because Instagram is a visual platform and posting pictures of your items will likely draw in some sales) make sure to use appropriate hashtags that are local to you and tag the photo with the location as well so people browsing your city tag on Instagram can see it!
- As always, making signs is still important to direct people to your house so they don’t get lost or have to rely on GPS. It is much easier to follow a few signs and get in and out that way, and people will definitely appreciate it!
- Pro Tip: Make sure your signs are going to stay in place. Don’t hassle with taping them to poles because wind can rip them right off and demolish your sales! Ideally, you want a standing sign but if you can’t grab one of those, use an old cardboard box, attach a poster board with the address and information and stick a heavy rock in it to keep it down!
More Signs, Now Place Signs “At” The Sale
This is something I seldom see and have personally spent more at yard sales that clearly mark where things are. A profitable yard sale is making the best customer experience possible.
Create signs for tables or as store would, departments. Here are some ideas.
- Infant and Toddler
- Adult Clothes
- Kids Toys
- Family Games and Puzzles
- Home Decor/ Home Goods
- Bed and Bath
- White Elephant
Table signs can be hung over the table if you have trees, or make a table place holder like this one but think larger scale with a wire coat hanger twisted on a brick or rock.
Handicap Accessible, All Inclusive Yard Sale Experience
I know you can’t remodel your driveway or yard. Try your best to create a great experience for all by keeping spaces open and wide for easy pass-through and browsing. Keeping items not too high or too low for all to be able to see and check out with ease.
If you have kids at home during your yard sale, create a separate play space for them nearby, so their toys aren’t a tripping hazard. Even better, have the kids participate by sitting at their own designated ‘kids yard sale’ table.
The same goes for pets. Bowser can keep his ball over to the side or chew that bone away from the crowds. Do you have ‘that cat’ who likes to lounge right in the center of everything? Scoot over Sylvester, we have company coming!
If you want to have a profitable yard sale you want to be certain you’re providing the best customer experience you can for all.
Offer Re-usable bags, Paper bags
Be sure to have bags and boxes on hand to help people bring their great bargains home.
Keeping a handful stashed under a table is probably the easiest way to have these on hand.
The Day of Your Yard Sale
Yard sale shoppers like to hit sales early, so starting early in the morning is ideal! That’ll allow you to get the most of the yard sale traffic and have a running start at a profitable yard sale.
You want first dibs at these yard sale pros, otherwise, you’re missing out on valuable shoppers and they’re spending all their money on other sales!
Get everything organized and ready to go the night before and start setting up before the sun comes out! Remember, the early bird gets the worm!
Open On Time
Make sure you clearly state the times of your yard sale. More importantly, open on time. If you’re still in the shower when shoppers show up, you may as well kiss those early morning dollars goodbye.
Plug in the Radio, Yard Sale Playlist, Anyone?
I don’t even know if this is a thing, but companies make good money picking music out for shoppers in retail stores. For real! Music can really motivate people to want to buy. So, dig out your speakers and playlist or radio and find just the right music for ‘all’
Hint: Don’t go too hard on the Beethoven or too rock n roll. Think ‘classic soft rock’ or what you hear in the market. Keep the volume so you can still hear others talking easily.
Consider Selling Canned and Bottled Refreshments
As the day goes on, you may run into a shopper that needs a little sip of water. Having a pitcher with paper cups nearby is a good idea. It’s just plain old good manners. However, you could offer more if you want to give it a go.
There are the parents whose kids are just done shopping with mom and had enough. Buy mom five extra minutes by having juice boxes available for sale at a reasonable price to keep junior happy for a few more minutes.
Grandma dragged Grampa out and he’s had enough. Offer him a seat and let him know there are juice boxes or bottled water for sale. You would be happy to get one for him if he is interested. Maybe a cool drink and browsing through one of your old books are just what he needs to sit back and wait for his bride comfortably.
Bonus: If Everyone is more comfortable they will stay and shop longer!
Always remember your P&Q’s!
This should go without saying but remember. Please and Thank You. When someone arrives, greet them, introduce yourself as the person having the yard sale. Thank them for stopping by. Let them know you are happy to help in any way you can. Things like helping placing purchases carefully in bags, making eye contact, smiling go a long way. Thank them. As they are leaving, with or without making a purchase, always say thank you.
Yard Sales are so much more than shopping, they’re a chance to get to know your neighbors, meet new people and creating fun memories with your family too.
What Else Do People Ask About Yard Sales
What sells best at a yard sale?
- New Unused Items (of course) That Gadget you got for Christmas 10 years ago and never used
- Sports Equipment
- Games (if missing pieces, state on box) Some people buy games for the extra pieces.
- Puzzles (with all the pieces please!)
- Vintage patters, Vintage magazines (collectibles and also sell well on Etsy)
- Camping Gear
- Fishing Rods, Reels, etc.
- Vintage dishes, full dish sets any age.
- Pots and pans
- Exercise equipment (formerly your clothes rack!)
- Bikes, Tricycles
- Small child toys
- Furniture, especially wooden that can be refinished.
- Lawn Furniture
Tip: If selling anything electrical be sure to have extention cord/ surge protector available for buyer to check out.
How much do yard sales usually make?
If done right, planned, executed, and promoted with updates, you could make $500 – $1000, even more! Well worth the effort in my opinion.
What should you not sell at a yard sale?
- Car Seats (unless very new with box and paperwork)
- Bike Helmets (these have expiration dates)
- Undergarments (well, ewwwwwwwww gross and yuk yuk yuk!)
- Infant socks are o.k. but after walking age, nope. Use those for dusting or cleaning the car!
- Live animals. Thankfully this is illegal in most states, so just no!
- Used hair brushes (again, like undergarments ewwwwwwwww gross and yuk yuk yuk!)
- Used mattresses (bed bugs anyone?)
More Promotion Makes More Money at Yard Sales!
Keep people up to date on social media with how you’re doing. Post pictures of items leaving, money being exchanged, and of course, what’s left. Highlight your ‘best foot forward with brightly pictures items or furniture with you sitting on or at. Research Instagram hashtags for local yard sales. If you’re using Facebook, be willing and able to take deposits through Facebook while that person is on the way.
Keep the excitement level high and people talking. Word of mouth is a great marketing tool (still)!
You’re on your way to cashing in. It seems like a lot, I know. Having a yard sale is definitely work, no denying that. However, making $1000 or more in a weekend is no joke. Having a plan in life is always the best way to make anything a success and a profitable yard sale is in your future now that you know how to plan things out. You’re ready for any surprises from Opening time to counting the cash the night of closing up shop!