Yard sales are a great way to make a little extra money and keep the clutter down in your home. I am an avid yard-sale’r, but I also like to host yard sales! From buyer’s perspective and as a seller, I have complied a list of 10 tips to follow when you’re hosting a yard sale.
1. Decide on days/times that work well for everyone. In my opinion, 2-consecutive days work best. Some towns will let you do 3-consecutive days, but mine only allows 2, just keep that in mind. I encourage at least Friday and Saturday. In fact, we have always had a great turn out on Fridays and sell most of our item’s on that day. When you’re scheduling your sale, make sure you check to see if there is a big game or event going on in-or-around your town during that time and/or is it a Holiday weekend? If so, you may want to avoid having a yard sale during that particular day/weekend because people will be busy with those events. If you can, try and team up with some of your neighbors and have your sales on the same day because shoppers love cluster sales! Multi-family yard sales are also a huge hit.
2. Get a yard sale permit from your town. I usually go the Monday or Tuesday before out sale and get ours. Some towns do not require this, but some do. You will want to check and make sure before you start your sale, so a town-official doesn’t come and shut your yard-sale down. We do not have to have our licenses displayed, but we do have to keep it close by when we are having the sale in case someone stops and asks for it. It can be a hassle to go through this process, but the permit only cost $5 - $10 depending on where you live. When you get your permit, you will most likely get a list of rules and regulations to follow. You can see our list above. I guess its how the town can keep tally on who is doing what and make sure that people aren’t selling stuff out of their yard every weekend, aka: illegally running a small business.
3. What happens if it rains and you do not have a garage? If it’s a downpour, you can always postpone the sale, but either way try and have a couple of pop-up tents or something similar that you can have the sale under in the case of scattered showers. Don’t worry, people will still come out, especially if you write “rain or shine” in your ad.
4. Now it’s time to get all of your items together to sell. I honestly start prepping for our yard sales a month or two in advance. I go through every drawer, every box, every closet and every room….sometimes twice! If you have an attic, basement, garage or outdoor shed, don’t forget to go through those too! By starting a couple months before the actual sale, it helps me have plenty of time to prepare without getting overwhelmed and stressed.
* If you have small children and you try to be sneaky and sell some of their old toys, good luck. Ha! I have one child that loves to sell things and another one that likes to keep everything, so just be prepared. You may want to pull these out at the last minute or get a babysitter the day of the sale.
5. Organization is KEY! Organize your items based off category and/or theme. It makes it easier for people to shop. If you are selling a lot of clothes, hang them up by gender/size or lay them out accordingly. If people can’t see your items, they can’t buy them!
6. Purchase signs and tags. You can get these items at the Dollar Tree, or you can make your own. Just make sure it grabs the buyer’s attention. Personally, when I am out shopping, I don’t like it when the items aren’t tagged. I feel like I am annoying the person hosting the yard sale because have to keep asking them how much something costs. Eventually I shy away and move on. Also, if you tag your items and someone sees that things are actually cheaper than what they would have thought, they are more likely to buy it!
*Side note: Some town’s do not allow you to hang signs or put signs in the ground, because they think its graffiti. If they see them, they will get them and throw them away. If you aren’t sure about this, ask about it when you get your permit.
7. Having the right price on your items is also super important. If you truly want to get rid of your things, don’t over price them. I can always tell when a piece is sentimental and someone doesn’t really want to get rid of it because it’s waaaay overpriced. Be prepared to negotiate, too. People will try and wheel-and-deal you until the cows come home. If it’s the first day of the sale, I am pretty firm on my prices, however, if someone buys a huge lot of things, I will negotiate (if they ask for it) and give them a better price. By the second day, if someone wants to negotiate on smaller items, I’m a little more lenient.
8 Get the word out!! Advertise in your local paper, on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and also on your personal social-media pages. If your town allows it, put out multiple signs with balloons during the sale.
9. Get cash and change. We usually get around $75 to start (1) twenty dollar bill, (2) ten dollar bills, (4) five dollar bills, (15) one dollar bills. We throw in a few quarters and dimes, too, just in case. If you have a Square and can accept credit cards, go for it!
10. Make sure at least one person is always present during the sale. Yes, unfortunately, I have had people steal from out yard sales before. Ridiculous, right?
11. During the sale move item’s around frequently. If there is a bare spot after an item sells, put another item that may have been on the ground in it’s spot. You don’t want it to look too empty or people will drive on buy. This helps keep things flowing too. Also, do be afraid to start conversations with your shoppers. If people drive buy and see that others are at your sale, they are more likely to stop.
12. When you have a couple of hours left, start slashing your prices! I usually mark everything at least 50% off because it’s time to get rid of everything!
*A couple other key points to keep in mind:
If you feel like you have an item that is worth value but you’re not sure how much, do your research and/or have it assessed by a professional before you mark $10 on it when you could have sold it online for $500!
If you live on a back road or out in the middle of no where, you probably won’t get a lot of buyers. Ask a family member or friend that lives in a high traffic area if you can have your sale at their house.
Check out the before-and-after pictures below! The ones on the left are the before pictures and the ones on the right are the after! The large gray dresser also sold, the people that purchased it just hadn’t picked it up yet! It was a great sale!!
Thank you so much for reading this blog post today for #ThriftyThursdaysWithFallon. I truly appreciate you stopping by and I hope this information helps! If you do find something, let me know! I want to see your treasures and celebrate with you! Happy yard sale’ing!! See you tomorrow for #FridaysWithFallon!