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Whether you call it a yard sale, garage sale, or rummage sale…the end result is still the same. You’re clearing out your house and garage of junk, and hopefully making some money in the process.
How To Run A Garage Sale
A successful yard sale doesn’t just happen. It takes work. Sometimes it’s a lot of work. If you want to earn cash, you need to put in the hours. Now that spring is here, it’s the perfect time to look through your closets, storage, and backyard sheds for all those unused items that need new homes.
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The list of tips below is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start if you’re considering a yard sale in the near future.
2. Everything has a price. Another pet peeve of mine is going to yard sales and noticing that nothing has a price sticker. All should be evaluated individually or as a group. If you want to put all your books in a box and say “50 cents each,” that’s fine. If nothing is priced, buyers will be dissatisfied and less likely to stick around.
3. Advertising is the key to success. Placing a few small, hard-to-read signs at the end of your street isn’t enough. Posting your sale on social media (Facebook, Nextdoor, Craigslist) with attractive, colorful photos can make a big difference between a good day and a great day. To reach an older demographic, you should advertise in the local newspaper a day or two before the sale.
4. Throw away broken/non-working items. Just don’t do it. Most people won’t buy something that’s broken or doesn’t work. If you want a free box with stuff like that, that’s fine. At the end of the day, be ready to put it on the curb next to the trash can.
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5. Make sure everything is clean. Dirty clothes and dirty toys are not for sale. Period. No one wants to buy something that needs to be washed or washed right away. If you don’t buy something under these circumstances, no one else will. All dirty clothes should be washed, even if it’s just baby wipes, take the time to dust and clean toys.
6. Remove the marks when you are done. Another pet peeve of mine is when people don’t take down their yard sale signs at the end of the day. Instead of setting the date for a yard sale, some people are out roaming on a Saturday morning and may stumble upon your sign. This is great if you’re actually running a sale that day. Believe it or not, people remember bad experiences at yard sales (just like winter and thrift stores) and don’t come back a second time if they’re burned out on the first visit.
7. Start early and on time. Most people don’t like waking up early on their days off, but yard sale folks get up at the crack of dawn and hit the road. This also means you have to get up early and be ready to go when the yard sale says it’s going to start.
8. Don’t be afraid to bargain. you know it’s coming. At any cost, someone will come and try to discredit you. Your best bet is to price the item close to what you can afford, then offer a discount if multiple items are purchased. Just remember, whatever doesn’t sell at a yard sale has to be decided at the end of the day, whether it’s going back to your home or being donated. The more you sell, the less you have to worry about. Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and bank offers that appear on this site are from compensated credit card companies and banks. This compensation may affect how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. does not cover all banks, credit card companies or all available credit card offers, but best efforts are made to include a complete list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertising partners include American Express, Chase, US Bank and Barclaycard, among others.
Best Tips To Have A Successful Yard Sale & What To Look For At Yard Sales
Imagine this scenario: You’re walking down the street one day and notice two garage sales on the same block. The first has racks of clothes, bins of books and records, and a few expensive items prominently displayed near the curb. The other is a jumbled mess of piles and boxes strewn across the yard.
Presentation is critical to a successful yard sale. You can and should advertise your sale, but you want to encourage passers-by to stop and look at your merchandise. If your sale doesn’t make a good impression, most will move on.
No matter how good your sales pitch is, it won’t bring in buyers who can’t easily see it. People walking by will only see your sale for a minute or two at most, and drivers on the street will only see it for a second or two.
To attract them, you need to display your products effectively so that their first glance convinces them to take a closer look.
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A garage sale has two purposes. This is a way to clean your house and bring in extra cash. And the best way to achieve both goals is to attract as many customers as possible.
When you are trying to attract buyers, price is not the most important factor. Yes, yard sales love a bargain, but if your garage sale items don’t look attractive, no one will stop to look at the price tags.
So before you break out the price stickers, you should think about how to set up your yard sale display to stand out.
Let’s say you’re yard shopping for outdoor furniture. You come across a set that looks sturdy, but the chair arms and backs are covered in dirt and their cushions are moldy. Will you buy them or keep looking for a set in better condition?
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This shows how important cleaning is. Otherwise, something that’s in great shape will be a complete turn-off for buyers if it’s covered in dirt. Even if you haven’t used an item in years, it can leave the warehouse with a thick layer of dust and miss buyers.
So before you think about how to display the pieces, give each one a quick dusting with a dusting cloth. If something is particularly dirty, take the time to wash it with soap and water.
Some garage sale items need more special cleaning treatment. Run clothes through the washer and dryer to remove dirt and odors, and give shoes a quick shine to remove streaks. If you have purses or other bags to sell, clean them of dirt and debris (and while you’re at it, make sure nothing of value is left inside).
Buyers will get their first view of your garage from the street or sidewalk. If they see a lot of cheap junk on that first look, many will move on rather than stop browsing.
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There may be some real gems hidden in the back of your yard or garage, but many prospective buyers will never see them.
If you want to have a successful garage sale that attracts as many buyers as possible, put your most attractive merchandise front and center. In my experience, the best yard sale items to attract buyers include:
In general, large items are more appealing than small items. First, they are easy to spot from the street. Also, small items like cheap toys and kitchen utensils aren’t that expensive to buy new, so they don’t offer great bargains.
Another useful strategy is to display merchandise that appeals to men, such as golf clubs or power tools, as close to the road as possible. In my experience, women are more likely to stop at garage sales than men, so you don’t have to put in as much effort to attract them.
Buyer Beware: How To Profit On Garage Sales
Usually, you attract men and women to your sale by showing them what they like most.
Once you attract customers to your sale, you want to keep them as long as possible. This way it can seem like everything is placed randomly, so shoppers looking for specific finds will have to go through every table in the sale to find them. But this strategy can backfire.
As a buyer, I’m always frustrated when a yard sale doesn’t have a clear plan. I’m looking for
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