Yard Sale Success Tips


So our main goal for the two weekends we held yard sales was to get rid of all of our unwanted stuff.  With this being said we didn’t track our earning to the penny.  If I had to throw a number though I believe we made at least $400.  Was it a lot of work? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

Don’t do it for profit
People who shop at yard sales EXPECT a bargain.  Just because you spent $200 on a kitchen appliance doesn’t mean you can turn around and sell it for $150. Seriously.  An object is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.  Sell things in your yard sale that you are willing to let go of.  That $200 item? Yes, you will have to be ready to mark it to $20 or even $10.

Designate a MAN TABLE
My husband called it a Mable.  I gave him the specific task to surround the card table with as many things as he could find that he himself may feel drawn to if he was walking by. The psychology behind this is targeting the couples where the “Mable” can keep the man preoccupied while the woman does the real shopping. He was going to throw away a few weed eaters and other misc tools that no longer had batteries or chargers to them and I told him no use it for bait. It worked!  A lot of people inquired about those things at the end we ended up just letting a guy walk away with them for a dollar each!

Price most if not all of your items for sale
People are funny… a lot of individuals may pick something up and set it back down simply because it does not have a price and walk away.  If you see a customer hold an object (this is called a buying signal) …and you KNOW you didn’t leave a price tag on it, let them know how much you are selling it for right there BEFORE they even set it down.

Know your local laws/regulations
Most of the time it is as easy as going to your city website and searching for “yard sale” and you will find all the information you need. For instance, in my city they allow two yard sales per year and they emphasize that signs are not allowed on utility poles.  They also only allowed a maximum of 6 signs per household.

Place your signs in busiest areas
I know this may seem like common sense but I just had to emphasize this.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen neighbors just hang up one sign down the street.  We maxed out our limit and made sure we got as close to the intersection as possible to lure people into our neighborhood.

Maximize your yard
Don’t try to cram all of your merchandise in one side of the yard. Spread out your items for sale and allow plenty of room for your customers to walk and browse.  This will also give the impression that you have A LOT of stuff and customers looking for a bargain will definitely be more tempted to stop by and see what you have for sale.

AVOID keeping your merchandise in boxes or the floor
I don’t know what it is but most people tend to just look at items that are on the tables instead of the blanket or tarp on the floor.  Every time we sold something off the table we would grab something else from a box to replace it and it almost immediately got more attention.  We only had one folding table and one card table so we had to improvise and flipped boxes over and covered them with sheets and blankets to make them look like tables.  It worked!

Designate a FREE pile
I found that people rarely take something from the free pile without buying anything.  Make the pile separate (a bit further from the merchandise for sale) so there is no confusion of what is free and what is not.  People love feeling like they are getting a deal and you can’t get much better than free!

Make it feel like a party: Chips, drinks, and music.
Keep your customers comfortable by giving them the option to buy chips and/or drinks.  We priced our sodas and chips at 50 cents each.  Don’t just sit in your comfy chair in silence while you have customers looking around.  At the very least pretend like you are organizing or arranging something while you have nice music playing in the background.


One thought on “Yard Sale Success Tips

  1. Leon Fletcher July 26, 2016 / 12:55 am

    This is more for Car Boot sales, though it easily translates to yard sales, but ALWAYS keep your eyes on your stuff. One car boot sale we had people actually go into our car before it even started :O Also, if people try to haggle, try to stay your ground as much as possible, especially if it’s something you know you can get a prettier penny for. Another tip mostly for car boot sales, but try to bring bags. I find not a lot of people come thinking they will buy a lot, and this is your perfect opportunity to reuse your shopping bags 😀


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