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First, I’ll share with you what I, personally, have experienced in terms of what sells and what doesn’t at yard sales.
Then, we’ll see how my list compares with what “the experts” say.
Who Buys What?
I’ve found that guys tend to gravitate toward tools, movies, sports stuff, CDs & DVDs, office equipment, computer stuff, and yard items.
Some of the more unusual things that ladies will scoop up are: unused (or slightly used) health & beauty products, crafty stuff, kids books & toys.
Teenagers like old cell phones (I sold 5 of ’em for $1 to $3 apiece). And you may be able to get another 50 cents for each “attachment” (AC charger, headset, car charger, belt clip, etc.) but I usually just include those in the price.
People in general…
- Larger, higher-quality items definitely bring crowds to your yard sale. Especially sofas and other pieces of furniture, as well as used lawn care items like mowers, trimmers, and leftover home building & repair items (bricks, stonework, old chandeliers & light fixtures).
- Items for kids, toddlers & babies are also big sellers! As are pregnancy-related items, new baby things, and wedding stuff.
- Magazines (even for 25 cents apiece, even for recent issues) don’t sell well at all. These are best donated to a nursing home, hospital, or doctor’s office. Or, recycle ’em and pass them onto friends or Freecyclers!
- Regional items (from other regions) don’t usually do well at yard sales. For example, I’ve been searching for “that needle in the haystack” for years now — waiting patiently for an Indiana University grad to buy up all of my old IU alumni memorabilia. They’re few & far between here in Tennessee! Same with some excellent Florida travel guides that are worth a pretty penny. Few people around here are planning trips to Florida in the coming months. Much like with other collectibles, it takes that one special person to find value in such an item.
- Clothes… unless you’re willing to sell items of clothing for as little as 50 cents apiece, don’t even bother. Your clothes may be worth much more than that, but let’s face it, if they don’t sell, you’re probably just going to donate ’em (for FREE) to a local charity, right? You can find clothes for a dime a dozen at yard sales, and sometimes in better shape at places like Goodwill & Salvation Army stores. Few people are actually looking for clothes at yard sales. The sooner you come to grips with that, the better. That’s why your best bet, if you really want to move some clothes is to price all clothing at rock-bottom prices. Period.
What The Experts Say The Top Sellers Are:
1. Clothes (especially children’s clothes)
2. Power Tools (saws, drills, sanders)
3. Sporting Equipment (golf clubs, workout equip.)
4. Bicycles (especially ones ready to ride)
5. Electronics (stereos, computers)
6. Toys (not broken)
7. Household Items (refrigerators, irons, dishes)
8. Furniture (chairs, tables, beds)
9. Books (especially children’s books)
10. Gardening Equipment
11. Jewelry (watches, rings)
12. Miscellaneous (wall hangings, quilts, bedding)
Source: “This Way To The Garage Sale” by Don Long
1. Clean Linens
2. Clean Clothing
3. Shoes & Boots (in new or excellent condition)
4. Glassware, Dishes
5. Flower Pots
6. Tools & Power Tools
9. Toys & Games
10. Bikes, Skates, etc.
12. Picture Frames
13. Clocks, Jewelry (costume)
14. Books, Tapes, Records
Source: “Garage Sale Seminar” by Jenn Callum (aka “the Garagesale Guru”)
The Hottest Yard Sale Items Are Actually Shade & Shelter!
Shade is a hot commodity at most yard sales — especially after Noon! Most of your visitors have been going from yard sale to yard sale, so anyone who arrives at your garage sale in the afternoon hours is likely to be hot, tired, and thirsty!
If there’s any way to move some of your items into the shade, those items will be looked at longer. Just the same, know that people will tend to congregate inside your garage (if there’s enough room) — just to get out of the hot sun for a few minutes!
Also… should it start to rain (especially if it’s a sudden downpour!) during your yard sale, you can bet people will try to cram into your garage, seeking shelter from the rain. And if you have a porch, they’ll hang out there too. And kids will even duck under your tables — just to avoid getting wet. This is yet another reason, why it’s a good idea to have snacks & water for sale… many appreciate having a way to pass the time. And the “freebies” become very popular during this time, as well.
Continue reading my 14-part series:
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12 thoughts on “What Are The Hottest Yard Sale Items? What Sells Best?”
I found it strange that the article states that selling clothes is hardly worth the trouble, when both of the “experts” quoted listed clothing as top sellers. I have found clothing in good condition sells very well at $1-$3 per item.
Check out amazon or ebay to price compare
Where I come from Yard Sales are what they suppose to be, poor folks buying other poor folks items at very reasonable prices. My list is much different for top selling items. The best seller will always be Camping items, from Coleman stoves, coolers,and lanterns to tents, cots, axes, hatchets. The next best thing is cool antiques like round chrome toasters, to metal oscillating fans. Fishing gear and lawn furniture Then comes your tools and old rocking chairs, cast iron cook ware. Desirable items price reasonably go like hot cakes. Clothes are items that cost 40 dollars to buy new and get what 25 cents to sell at yard sales, same with shoes. My favorite things to sell is an item someone gave me who I no longer associate with, those are the “must goes”.
Just remember it is a yard sale and prices should be with-in reason. If you have a desirable item in new condition, it’s ok to ask about 60% of the new value, but let it go for any reasonable offer because after all you no longer have a use for it or you would keep it.
I actually make a couple hundred dollars every year off my clothes. I string laundry line between trees, ladders or posts, and also have 2 garment racks. (I keep them broken down and use them only for my sales. I also keep a tub of hangers for this) I use wooden clothespins to keep hangers from sliding around on the line. Lay a full length mirror against a tree. Maybe a carpet on the ground. It looks like a little boutique. I price everything $1-3, and coats and bags sometimes at $5. (Even designer items) Even consigning you more than likely wouldn’t make more than that. After 11am everything is $1. People go crazy! Just make sure to tidy throughout the day and keep it looking cute. This works in every neighborhood I’ve tried, including a very high end one.
Thanks Dianna – Those are great tips! I’m glad to see a success story when it comes to selling clothing at a yard sale. I’ll definitely be trying your suggestions at my next yard sale 😀
That Is helpful! Thanks!
I didn’t come here to hear what DON’T sell at yard sales. Talk only about the title of your article and nothing else.
Used clothing sells relatively fast anywhere from $3 to $10 bucks for women’s, and Men’s about the same. Kids and baby clothes sell the fastest. Of course clean and in good condition. I have had people show up and buy bags at a time of clothes.
Why do you mention that clothes don’t sell and then include a list from “experts” that claim clothes are a top seller? Are you not an expert on garage sales then? You wrote the article. I am confused.
Hi Alexa – I’m only an expert on garage sales in terms of what I’ve personally experienced at my own garage sales. In my many years of having garage sales, I’ve never had good luck selling clothes – simple as that. I’m being honest. But I don’t like to only give MY perspective on things in my articles. So to be more fair, I thought it was helpful to see that other garage sale experts have indeed had success selling clothes. (Not everything is yes/no or black/white in life :-D)
P.S. If you think about it, please come back and let us know if you sell a lot of clothing at your next garage sale!