If you’re hoping to make some extra cash while clearing the clutter from your house, then a yard sale is likely in your future. Use these tips to learn how to have a successful yard sale that nets you a nice chunk of change while helping you downsize.
Choose the Best Yard Sale Items
It’s tempting to simply throw everything you no longer want into the “sell” pile. Resist that temptation! You’ll have a more successful yard sale when you present buyers with the right stuff. The best yard sale items are:
- Babies’ and kids’ items.
- Recent cellphones. *Make sure to completely erase the memory.
- Sports equipment and memorabilia.
- Power and lawn care tools.
- Home décor items.
Of course, you can sell other items as well, but these are the ones that will draw big crowds.
Items like shoes, teen and adult clothing (unless they’re designer pieces or still have tags), outdated electronics and appliances, souvenir items and college memorabilia generally don’t sell well. Items like these are better off being donated to charity so they won’t distract buyers from the good stuff.
Finally, there are some items that should really just be thrown out or recycled. These include outdated technical books or manuals, magazines and newspapers, incomplete games and puzzles, VHS and cassette tapes, stained or torn clothing and any broken items.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the junk, it will be easier to sort the remaining items between those that are best for the yard sale and those that should be donated.
Decide How to Price Yard Sale Items
Once you’ve decided which wares to peddle, it’s time to learn how to price those yard sale items so that they’ll actually sell. When pricing yard sale items, keep these tips in mind:
Don’t be greedy. Don’t try to make back what you originally paid for something—or even half that. Remember: whatever doesn’t sell will be given away for free, so any money you make is a win.
Cap prices at $5. Aside from items such as furniture, power tools or high quality jewelry, most people won’t pay more than $5 for something at a yard sale. So, price your best items (outside of those special cases) at $5 and work backwards from there.
Give similar items the same price. Pricing all toddler clothes at one dollar (for example), all books at 25 cents and so on will make things easy for both you and your buyers. However, it’s fine to make exceptions for items that are significantly better in quality or condition than others in their category.
Don’t haggle over the little things. Buyers expect to haggle over expensive items, but for anything under a dollar, it’s not worth risking the sale.
Organize An Enticing Yard Sale
You know what you’re selling and for what price—now it’s time to figure out how to organize your yard sale to get the best results.
Learn the rules. Some cities require permits for yard sales or have rules about where you can place signs. Do things by the book to avoid having your sale shut down.
Use smart signage. Signs should be simple and easy to read. All your sign needs to say is “Yard Sale” with an arrow and your address. Use large letters and a bright background color. Place signs at all major intersections around your neighborhood.
Group items by category. When items are laid out haphazardly, buyers often feel overwhelmed and leave. Help people find what they’re interested in buying by putting all your kids’ items in one spot, all your furniture in another spot and so on.
Let buyers test appliances. Buyers often pass on buying appliances because there’s no guarantee that they work. Run an extension cord out to your appliance section so people can test them. This is an easy way to make more sales and and clean out more clutter.
Ready, Set, Sell!
By choosing the best items, pricing them right and organizing them in the smartest way, you’ll be well on your way to planning the most successful yard sale you’ve ever had.
Header image: r. nial bradshaw, CC by 2.0.