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20 Great Tips For Having A Successful Yard Sale

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By Mary

Each year as I do my spring cleaning, I get rid of all items that haven’t been used in a year. Some of these things are like new. Others are gently used. They are placed in totes and set aside for a yard sale.

Who knows?… What I can’t use may be useful to someone else, or it may even be something that someone else desperately needs.


You never know when your junk may be someone else’s treasure. And to top it all off, a yard sale is a great way to bring in a bit of extra cash!

When having a yard sale, you basically have 2 goals:

  • To get rid of items you don’t want.
  • To bring in some extra money.

In order to achieve both of those goals, you’ll want to do a few things differently than most yardsalers do.

Here are our best tips to ensure that your yard sale is a huge success….


  1. Choose a Saturday for your yard sale. It’s the absolute best day for a yard sale.
  2. Yard sale junkies rise with the sun every Saturday to search out the best bargains, so be sure that your sale starts early. Get your tables set up by at least 7AM and start your sale at 8AM. However, don’t sell anything to earlybirds though — because this will irritate other customers who are searching for specific items and arrive at your sale’s official start time only to find they are gone.
  3. It’s also a good idea to state an end time, so people won’t make unnecessary trips to your sale. I usually run my yard sales from 8AM to 3PM. This lets all potential customers know that the goods definitely will be put away at a certain time, so they must arrive before that time.
  4. If you’re placing an ad in your local newspaper (or an online community), be sure to mention a rain date. This prevents you from having to advertise your yard sale a second time, if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Your rain date should be the following Saturday, if at all possible.
  5. If you have antiques, collectibles, or memorabilia for sale, specify these things in your ad. Many dealers and collectors treat yardsaling differently than your average shopper. They tend to shop early, and they may only attend yard sales which advertise such items.
  6. Rather than using a piece of cardboard or paper for your yard sale signs, use wood or purchase durable plastic yard sale signs. If making your own signs, make sure they are sturdy, highly visible, and have arrows directing potential customers in the right direction.
  7. Write big and have very few words on your yard sale signs. Drivers should be able to read the signs at a glance. Many yard sale signs have far too much info on them, and it’s written so small that few can actually read it as they’re driving.
  8. Place your yard sale signs at busy intersections near your home to lure yard sale junkies to your property.
  9. Place a bouquet of balloons, a couple of flags, ribbons (anything that will blow in the wind and create some attention) and a large yard sale sign on your front lawn. That way, people will be able to spot your yard sale in an instant. If they have to look too hard, they may drive on and pass you by.
  10. The day before your yard sale, go to the bank and get lots of coins and small billsat least $50 worth. Nothing turns off potential buyers quicker than the yard sale host who cannot change a 20 dollar bill.
  11. Have at least one table where everything costs a quarter or $1. Better yet, have a FREE table!
  12. Use colored sticky dots that can be purchased at the dollar store to identify the price of your items. For example, an orange dot indicates a quarter, a yellow dot indicates the item costs a dollar, etc. Place a color-code chart on each table explaining your pricing method. This lets your customers know exactly how much you’re asking. It also prevents confusion among your helpers.
  13. When looking for items to include in your yard sale, keep in mind that people like to collect memorabilia and items that they remember being in their childhood homes. So don’t overlook the value that someone may place on old canisters and dishes from the 50s and 60s, for example. And don’t be afraid to sell just “one” of something that belongs to a set.
  14. All clothing must be in excellent condition and freshly laundered. Clothes that are gently used and those that still have the price tags on them have potential to sell well at yard sales — especially children’s clothes. However, adult clothing generally doesn’t sell well at yard sales — even in excellent condition.
  15. Use hangers to display clothing in a professional manner. Never dump it in a heap or pile it in a box. This indicates that you care very little for the clothes. The easier to make it for people to see every single item that is for sale, the more likely some of them will actually sell.
  16. Keep your prices fair. Without a doubt, customers will leave quickly if your prices are too high. Your best bet is to visit some yard sales a week or two beforehand to get an idea of what items similar to yours are selling for.
  17. Better yet, set your prices lower than those found at most other yard sales. After all, you do want to get rid of all this stuff, right? In the end, your profits will be higher if you sell more items — partly because people will see so many others walking away with good finds and want to see what they’re missing! In order to have a truly successful yard sale, you sometimes have to be willing to let things go at prices lower than you may think the items are worth.
  18. Be creative when setting up your yard sale. Place similar items together. For example, you should have kitchen items and linens near each other in one area, and have collectibles and antiques in another area.
  19. Wear a vendor’s apron (or fanny pack) instead of using a cash box. You want pockets for different denominations of coins and bills. It’s also easier to make change quickly. Plus, you can go to the customer who asks you a question without having to carry the cash box with you. And since the cash is always with you, it cannot be picked up as someone is heading to their car.
  20. Have at least one helper with you. (The more the better.) The idea is to have someone visible to the customers at all times. That way, you can greet potential buyers, making them feel welcome. They will be more likely to purchase something if they’re comfortable. In addition, the more helpers you have, the more you can keep an eye on who’s paid and who hasn’t.

When your yard sale is over, as long as you’ve made some extra cash and lightened your load of things you no longer wanted or needed, then it has been a success!

Here are some fun things you can do with leftover yard sale items.

More Great Tips For Having A Successful Garage Sale

UPDATE: Lynnette made $1,013 at her last garage sale! She’s compiled a list of 101 best yard sale tips to help you do it too.