I’m no stranger to hosting yard sales. My mother has been having an annual yard sale for as long as I can remember. Now that we live in a house with a large driveway and garage, it’s our turn. We had a sale in the spring, and it was so successful that we decided to have a fall yard sale, too.
Over the years I’ve learned quite a few tips to hosing a successful yard sale, so I thought it was only fitting to share with you!
1. Price Everything
Often, yard sale shoppers won’t bother you to ask what the price is on something unless they really, really want it. The assumption is often made that the seller wants too much, and the buyer moves on. They don’t know you may only want a dollar or two for that particular item. A basic rule of thumb is to price everything.
2. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
This is probably one of the most important things you can do to ensure a successful sale: ADVERTISE. I pay $10 to take an ad out in the paper, and then I put up signs directing people to my house. In larger cities, Craigslist and other online sites are good ways to advertise a yard sale. If you run an add in the paper, be sure to give your address, neighborhood name, items you’re selling (refrigerator, children’s clothes, petite clothes, housewares, etc.), a start time and an end time.
3. Mind the Calendar
If you can schedule your yard sale at the beginning of the month, you may get more shoppers since this is when many receive their pay check. If you have beautiful weather year around, feel free to schedule your sale whenever you want. Where I live, though, I know not to schedule a yard sale before April or after October. It’s typically just too cold/rainy during the rest of the year.
4. Ask Friends/Family to Join
Multi-family sales draw larger crowds, especially for repeat shoppers. If someone came to my sale in the spring, they would have noticed a lot of petite clothes. Not many people need petite clothes, so I may not receive some repeat traffic. However, if I advertise that this is a multi-family sale that person might come back on the off chance that someone else brought non-petite clothes.
In general, multi-family sells draw more crowds because people know the selection will be more varied and greater.
5. Set Up Early
For your own sanity’s sake, set up early. I gathered yard sale items for weeks and placed them in a spare room in my house prior to the sale. About a week before the sale, I price everything. The day before the sale, we set up tables in the garage and arranged all of the items that were for sale. The morning of the sale, all we had to do was pull everything out of the garage and welcome shoppers!
A Few Bonus Tips:
- People will show up as much as an hour early. Be prepared so that you don’t miss an early sale.
- Dress in layers. While it might be freezing at 7 a.m., you’ll be sweating by 1 p.m.
- Have a game plan for items that don’t sell at the end of the day(s). Are you going to donate or box up and save unsold items for next year’s sale?
- Borrow tables from your church, family, etc.
- If the sale is in your garage, clearly mark what is not for sale.
- If you’re anxious about getting rid of something, place it in a room where you won’t see it a few weeks before the sale. If you don’t miss it, go ahead and sell it. If you do, put it back where you found it. You can always get rid of it later, but you can’t get it back once it’s gone.
I hope you find these tips helpful!