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At some point during my adult lifetime, I feel I’ve become a professional yard saler in both having yard sales and going to them. Of course, I hit up yard sales almost any weekend I can, but I also usually have a yard sale or garage sale at least two times a year if not three. After having so many yard sales for the past ten years or so, I’ve figured out what works best to get rid of as much of your crap as you possibly can.
My Best Yard Sale Tips
1. Hold yard sales and/or garage sales in groups.
Just about anytime I have a yard sale, I do it with two or three of my friends. My house usually gets the most yard sale traffic so we often do it there. Having more people means you can advertise it as a multiple family yard sale and you’ll usually get more customers that way. It’s also helpful to have extra hands when you get really busy or if someone needs a potty break or has to make a beer run. I mean lunch run.
2. Advertise, advertise, advertise.
Advertising your garage sale hugely determines it success.
- Make awesome signs for your yard sale.
My friend Brittany had the stellar idea to make humorous signs for our previous yard sale.
We had so many people who came and were like, “I wasn’t going to stop, but couldn’t resist those signs!” We even had some that pulled up and said, “I saw those signs and knew you were my soul sisters.” They were a hit and so much fun to make
- Advertise in your local newspaper.
Anytime I don’t put an ad in the paper for my yard sales, I don’t make as much money or have as many customers.
- Advertise on Craigslist.
Lots of people look on Craigslist for yard sales. They have a category dedicated just for that.
- Advertise in local Facebook yard sale groups.
Search Facebook for yard sale groups in your area. (I talked more about Facebook yard sale groups here.) On the day of your yard sale, post pictures of your sale with the address and other information needed.
- Advertise on your own personal Facebook page.
Every time we do a yard sale, we each always put a post on our personal Facebook pages so local friends will know about it.
3. Organize as much of your crap as you can.
- Don’t leave everything in boxes.
Put as much of it out on tables grouped together as best you can. Put all your home decor items together, baby items together, tech-y stuff together, etc.
- Hang up any clothing items you are selling – especially adult clothing.
With baby and toddler clothing, I typically group them by size in Rubbermaid totes and label accordingly. However, adult clothing sells so much better when you can actually hang it up somewhere. You can use a rolling clothes rack to do this or if you are having your yard sale near a garage, consider hanging a dowel rod temporarily where one of the garage doors is. You could install the closet rod holders on either side of the garage door opening, hang the dowel rod and just remove the dowel rod after the sale. The rod holders could stay there for your next sale and won’t really be noticed.
4. Price your items.
I am a person who while attending other people’s yard sales will ask what the price is if it isn’t marked, however I find that some people don’t like to do this and I always end up selling more stuff when I have prices on my items rather than when I don’t. You can use garage sale price stickers that already have prices on them to easily price your items. Here are my best tips for garage sale pricing:
- Price your items just a tad bit higher than what you would take for them.
Many people will always try to negotiate your price down a bit, so be prepared for that by pricing it slightly higher and being willing to negotiate.
- Don’t overprice your items though.
Remember that while you may have paid $50 for that shirt, it’s not worth that much or even half of that anymore. If you price your items too high, you won’t sell as much and you’ll be left with a bunch of crap you don’t need. Think of it this way: would you rather sell 100 items for $1 each or 10 items for $10 each? Obviously, you won’t price everything at $1 or $10, but you get the idea.
- Tell people if they buy more, you’ll cut them a deal.
If you see someone eyeing something and they’ve already got a couple things in their hands to buy, tell them you’ll cut them a deal if they buy it all.
- General Pricing Guidelines
I am in the south and I think we tend to have lower yard sale prices than many other areas. Here are some general price points for how I price items though:
Clothing: $1 – $3 per piece depending on brand, condition, etc. Shoes are typically $3 – $5 per pair depending on brand and condition. All my baby and toddler clothes, I mark at $1 per piece.
Small Home Accessories: $1 – $5 per piece. This would include things like photo frames, wall frames, small knick-knacks, etc.
Medium – Larger Home Accessories: $5 – $20 per piece. This would include stuff like lamps, large wall clocks, and maybe even vintage items that are popular right now.
Furniture: Unless I’m selling a piece of furniture that is in really nice condition and paid a whole lot of money for it, I don’t typically price any piece of furniture over $100 at a yard sale. Small side tables, end tables, etc. are usually priced between $10 – $20. Chairs may be around $50. Larger pieces, $100. I typically make more money off of furniture by listing them on Craigslist and Facebook yard sale pages. I always give that a try first before putting it in my yard sale. Once more, there’s more info about selling through those outlets here.
- Cut prices in half after noon.
We generally start our yard sales around 8 a.m. Around noon, I will usually cut my prices in half to get rid of anything I still have.
5. Be nice. Greet your customers.
Anytime I go to a yard sale, I am usually more apt to buy something I like when the sellers are friendly. We always try to say “Hello” or “Good Morning” as people stop by our sale. Also, this is the perfect time to tell them you’re willing to make a deal and all prices are negotiable.
6. Have plenty of change.
You would think that someone going yard saleing would have plenty of ones, rather than a twenty or even fifty dollar bill. However, that’s not always the case. Make sure you have plenty of change as soon as your yard sale starts – lots of ones and quarters are best.
What are your best yard sale or garage sale tips?
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