Tips for a Successful Yard Sale 

Every weekend during the Spring and Summer lots of people enjoy scouring yard sales, estate sales and garage sales looking for that special something they want or need.  This means that those who have items they want to sell have a perfect opportunity to make some extra money.  When you plan to hold one of these sales the trick is to get the word out to as many people as possible, so you have a good turnout for your sale. 

Getting a good turnout for your sale means advertising.  The easiest and cheapest way to advertise is simply to take a piece of cardboard, write “Garage Sale”, “Yard Sale, or “Estate Sale” in black magic marker with an arrow pointing to your house.  Then you sit back, and hope people come to your sale.  If your signs are a little more attractive and creative then the plain cardboard you might entice more people to your sale.  If you are not artistically inclined there is a web site, sassysigns.com, 

which specializes in creating colorful, bright signs that are designed to draw attention.  If you put up signs, be considerate of your neighbors and take your signs down after your sale. 

Another way to advertise your sale is with newspaper ads.  This is not used too often because it can be expensive.  If you expect to make a good deal of money, then it makes sense to invest in newspaper advertising.  Because the ads may run $30 or more it does not make sense if you only expect to clear $100 on your sale. 

You can use online resources to advertise your sale.  There are numerous websites dedicated to advertising yard sales, garage sales and estate sales.  You can advertise on these sites for under $10.  

Another tried and true way to generate customers is by word of mouth.  Tell your neighbors, friends, family members, co-workers and anyone else you know when you are having a sale.  Hopefully, they will circulate the information and it will generate a good turnout.  This is a fast, easy and cheap option to advertise. 

Before your sale gather the items you plan to sell.  If you have the instruction manuals for an item be sure to include it in the sale.   Be sure you take the time to dust or wash the items you are offering.  If someone sees a filthy piece of glassware it is going to turn them off.  You don’t need to spend hours cleaning your stuff, but is should be presentable. 

When you set up your sale place like items together in an attractive display.  Put kitchen stuff together, toys together, clothing and housewares together, etc.  If you have appliances for sale arrange to have an electrical outlet available so a prospective customer can test the item. 

Expect some people to come early to your sale.  Even if you stipulate “no early birds” someone will still probably come before the starting time you have stated. 

Price items reasonably.  Don’t expect to get the same amount for a used item as you paid when you purchased it.  Be willing to negotiate. 

Make sure you have some coins and small bills, so you can make change for a customer. 

After your sale pack up everything and either store it away for another sale day or donate it to your favorite charity. 

Remember one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.  Good luck with your sale.