I don’t know how it happens, but somehow we accumulate enough stuff in our lives to have an annual yard sale. Since the time we met, Ryan and I have probably hosted at least ten yard sales, and I like to think we’ve become pretty good at it. We’ve got it down to a science, so that it takes minimal work for maximum success — some money in our pocket, a cleaned-out house, and actually even a little bit of a good time. After our last yard sale I thought it might make a fun post to share all of our secret tips for making them a great success! xoxo
Day and Time We used to run our yard sales Saturday and Sunday from 7-1. After a few years, we realized that Sundays were totally busted as far as business. So we moved to Friday and Saturday from 7-noon. That was a little better. But our last two yard sales, we decided we only wanted to sell on one day. So we blitzed it on Friday only and stayed open until we ran out of stuff. Which was about 7-1 anyway. Turns out people love a yard sale on a Friday!
Publicize About 3-4 days ahead of time, publicize your sale. We always list it on Craigslist and on our local area in the Nextdoor app. Lots of people research yard sales ahead of time, so put together a well-written ad with your days, times, location, and any items that you’d like to feature.
Signage Make a few signs to put up around the neighborhood. Make sure you can read them from the street as you drive by in a car. Ours just say “YARD SALE” with an arrow pointing in the direction of our house, and our address is on the bottom of the signs. Put these up after dark the night before your sale and place them on busy streets to guarantee some extra traffic. Be sure to take them down when you’re done selling, or you’ll have drivebys forever. Also, save the signs for next time!
Prep your Stuff Nobody wants to buy your dirty stuff! So clean it up! Dust it, wipe it down, launder it, whatever. Make sure it’s clean and functioning properly if you’re going to sell it. We always also use these price stickers on every item we’re selling so that there’s no question about how much stuff costs. I find that people are more likely to buy if they have an idea of cost up front. Also, it’ll save you guessing at pricing on the day of your sale.
Arrange Your Tables I like shopping at yard sales that are really well organized, so I organize our stuff as best I can. Electronics go on one table, decor on another table, and so on. Put your more expensive/small items somewhere where you can keep an eye on them! We’ve had our fair share of jewelry and electronics walk away from our sales without us knowing.
Cash Cash Cash Make sure you have change! We usually have a few tens, a few fives, and 20 ones or so to start. And if someone asks you to break a hundred first thing in the morning… don’t.
Make it Friendly Greet your customers! Lots of people like to yard sale for the social aspect, so be prepared to chat. On the other hand, some people just like to browse and bounce. Either way, say hello, thank you, and goodbye. Also, we always like to have some music playing while people look around! Makes for a more enjoyable morning.
Donate When you’re done, you’re bound to have some things leftover. Take all of the worthwhile stuff and donate it to a place like Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity.