Yard Sale Tips to Help You Earn Cash
July 7th, 2022
Sweet summertime is here, and maybe you’re feeling the itch to have a yard sale. A yard sale is a great summer project for so many reasons. It can help you declutter your home, get rid of things you no longer need or want, and pad your pocket with a little extra cash! Plus, if you have a family, it’s a great way to get everyone involved in something together. You just might even lure your teenager out of their room for a while, because who doesn’t want some summertime spending money? So, we’ve compiled a list of yard sale tips to get you started for your big event!
Set a Goal for Your Yard Sale
Like any project, it’s good to set a goal for what you hope to accomplish. This will keep you focused and excited along the way. So, think about it: Are you saving for a home project? Do you want a new gadget? Perhaps you’re going on vacation and the garage sale profit will help offset the cost. Or, maybe you’re planning a summer road trip and are wincing as you watch gas prices continue to skyrocket. Speaking of gas prices, with that and inflation at an all-time high, maybe having a yard sale is just a simple solution to ease the burden of your monthly costs. Whatever the motivating factor for your sale might be, keep it at the forefront of your mind as you purge, price and plan.
Declutter Your Home
Alright, let’s talk about that closet in your home that you like to avoid. You know, the one that’s no longer functional because it’s filled to the brim with who-knows-what? Well, perhaps the idea of purging it for cash might be enough to get you in there, plugging away. Or, maybe your garage is becoming a bit of a hoarding situation. Now is the perfect time to purge and organize your garage! When it comes to decluttering, dreading doing it is usually much worse than actually doing it. Remember these three categories as you sort through your belongings: keep, sell and trash. And don’t forget Marie Kondo’s advice as you go through your things: If it doesn’t spark joy, it shouldn’t stay in your possession.
Set a Date for Your Yard Sale
Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings are the best days for yard sales. You may even want to consider setting up for a whole weekend—if you make it fun! (We’ve got some ideas on how to do that further down on the post.) Also, you should shoot for the first of the month, right when many people get paid and have extra cash to spend. Try and avoid holiday weekends that might take people away from your sale, and be sure to check the weather! You don’t want to set everything up, advertise it and then get rained out.
Supplies You Need for a Yard Sale
Here is a list of supplies you need for your yard sale:
- Signs to hang around the neighborhood
- Pricing stickers, labels or masking tape
- Tables, blankets and bins to display your items
- Plastic grocery bags for your sales
- Newspaper to wrap fragile things
- Extension cords, light bulbs and batteries so people can see if your items work
- Chairs (for you to be comfortable)
- Clear, zip sandwich bags
- Coolers for drinks
- Hand sanitizer
- Change and small bills to help people break their larger bills
- A money box or other proper container for money
- Tape measure
To save money, it’s best practice to always use the supplies you have on hand before buying anything new. Also, check the dollar store! They have many of these items on the cheap.
Price to Sell
Before you start pricing, make sure you make your items look appealing. If possible, dust them off, run clothes through the washing machine, wipe down shoes, etc. Making your belongings look cleaner and nicer will help them sell, and you just might end up getting a little more cash for them than you would have otherwise.
Now, when it comes to pricing, make sure it’s easy to see and understand. You don’t want to lose customers over things being unclear. Second, price your items that are for sale at half or one third of their cost when new. People who are shopping at yard sales are expecting a bargain. Plus, these are all items you want to get rid of…so it’s better to make something rather than nothing.
As far as the process goes, consider pricing your items as you go so that this task isn’t overwhelming to do all at once. Or, if you feel it would be easier to do all at one time, go for it! If you don’t want to price each item individually, you can group similar items and set them in the same area with a sign that lists the price. For example: “Anything in this bin is $1.” Or, you can buy colored dot stickers and assign a value to each color with a chart that explains your structure.
If you’re unsure of what a good price point may be, Dave Ramsey’s website has a great list that we are including below:
Baby Clothes Suggested price: $1 to $3 for gently used/good condition, or less than $1 for well-worn items
Adult Clothes Suggested price: $3 to $5 (more if the item still has tags on it)
Shoes Suggested price: $3 to $7
Coats Suggested price: $5 to $15
Jewelry Suggested price: 50 cents to $2 (but if you think the jewelry is valuable, have it appraised first)
Books Suggested price: $1 to $2 for hardcover and 25 to 50 cents for paperback
Blu-ray Discs, DVDs or CDs Suggested price: $3 to $5
Toys and Games Suggested price: $1 to $3 each
Home Décor Suggested price: $3 to $5
Furniture Suggested price: $10 to $30 for low-quality furniture but no more than one-third of the price for high-quality pieces
How to Advertise Your Yard Sale
You definitely want to hang some signs on either end of your street and perhaps at nearby major intersections, if possible. Try to make them all a similar color and look so that people can easily distinguish your sale. Don’t forget to include your address and write in big letters—clearly and visibly—to avoid confusion.
Below are a few free online options for advertising your yard sale:
- Craigslist or the CPlus app
- Facebook and Facebook Marketplace
- Garage Sales by Map
- Local Paper
- Yard Sale Treasure Map
How to Make Your Yard Sale Fun
Alright, at this point in the process you’ve decluttered, sorted, priced, planned and set up. Now it’s time to have some fun! Yes, fun. You’ve done so much to prepare, you should try your best to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Plus, an inviting atmosphere just may help draw attention to your sale and bring people in.
A few ways you can liven things up is by putting balloons on your mailbox or maybe even using colorful chalk to draw arrows toward your home on the sidewalk or street (if it’s not busy, of course). You could even write “Sale Here” on the end of your driveway. Consider having some music playing while people browse your sale.
Another fun idea is to invite others to join you in your yard sale. Invite neighbors, friends or relatives to combine their items with yours for the sale. Having more variety at your yard sale may help increase sales. Plus, having a friend to talk to throughout the day could make it social and profitable!
If you want to give your kids the chance to make cash, they could make and sell refreshments like drinks, baked goods or individually wrapped treats for $1 a piece. Consider keeping the drinks on ice in a cooler so that when your shoppers get thirsty, it’s an easy sell.
Don’t Let Anything Come Back Into Your House
Last, don’t be afraid to make some deals and be willing to negotiate! You could bundle items for an even deeper discount. Rather than selling each piece of clothing or each DVD for $3, you could sell 2 for $5 or 4 for $10.
Consider having a bin or box of free items that people can take for no cost. These would be things you might have considered donating, but giving them away will make one less trip for you to the local thrift store and make your customers happy.
When you get toward the end of the day, you may want to start making all items half off. Remember all the work you did on the front end to declutter? Don’t let that go to waste by bringing anything back into your home. Just sell it for whatever you can and save yourself space in your home.
If it’s something that you feel is too valuable to practically give away, you may want to consider listing it online at eBay, Craigslist, Facebook, Swap, OfferUP, Poshmark or other appropriate sites. If you find that you have a few belongings that you can’t part with but just can’t fit in your home right now, you may want to consider renting a storage unit.
For anything that does not sell and you do not want to list it online or store in a storage unit, just let it go! You will be so glad to have the extra room in your space.