The weather is getting warmer, and yard sale season is here again. If you’ve ever planned a yard sale before, you know it’s a lot of work. Make that work count by following these 10 tips to have your most profitable yard sale ever!
For the past five years, I’ve had a yard sale each spring. My neighbor organizes it, and I drag out all the stuff the kids have outgrown and we haven’t used in the past year. Some sales have been very successful and others have been a total flop. Each year, I’ve learned valuable lessons for how to have the most profitable yard sale. I can’t wait to share them with you!
10 Tips to Have Your Most Profitable Yard Sale Ever
Tip #1 – Hold your yard sale in the spring.
Yard salers have been cooped up all winter. They are chomping at the bit to look for new deals. If your yard sale is in the spring, you will be one of the first sales. Buyers will have specific things they are looking for, and they are less likely to have already found those items if you’re one of the first sales of the season. One of the first years I had a yard sale, I did it in July. I had a good turnout, but at least 10 people told me they had already purchased the items I had. One woman liked a table I had a lot, but she had already bought one a few weeks before. Since then, I always have my yard sales in April or May.
Tip #2 – Have a community yard sale.
People are more likely to come to your yard sale if there are several sales in one area. That way they are able to walk from one house to the next looking for deals. There was one year when I was out of town on the day of our community yard sale. I still had a lot of things I wanted to get rid of, so I decided to have a separate yard sale a different weekend. Only a few people came, and the hours I spent setting up weren’t worth the small amount of money I made.
Tip #3 -Set a rain date.
This advice comes from last year’s yard sale. The date was set for the first Saturday in May. It was also the date of my cousin’s bridal shower. I decided to leave Tony in charge of the yard sale while I went to Virginia for the shower. I set everything up in the morning, and it was drizzling off and on. The whole day was misty and damp, and most people decided to stay in bed rather than yard saling that day. Tony sold a few items, but it was definitely a flop. This year, we have a rain date for our yard sale to avoid this problem.
Tip #4 – Advertise your yard sale.
You can spend days preparing for your yard sale and create beautiful displays, but if no one knows about your yard sale, you won’t have any customers. The first thing you should do is advertise your yard sale in the merchandiser or newspaper. Just go online, and most of these publications make it really easy for you to submit the information about your yard sale. Be sure to include the date, time, and location. The next step is to make signs for your neighborhood. Be sure to put them along any main roads near your house. People who didn’t check the newspaper will see your sign and stop at your yard sale.
Tip #5 – Get set up early.
Our yard sale doesn’t start until 7:00, but I usually start setting up around 5:30. Some people will stop by a little earlier than the start time. I know that annoys some people, but I don’t mind it. I live near lots of Mennonites. They love yard sales and getting started early. By 6:30, I usually have three or four people digging through my baby clothes. I figure the earlier I’m set up and ready, the more money I’m going to make.
Tip #6 – Organize everything and make it look inviting.
I love organization, and my yard sales are no different. I spend days organizing everything I’m selling, and the customers really appreciate it. Several moms come back and visit every year because they love the way I set up my children’s clothing. I sort everything by gender and size. I also clearly label all the sections so they know exactly where to look for what they need. Also, be sure to clearly label everything with a price.
Tip #7 – Put the most desirable items closest to the street.
Many people will drive by your yard sale to see if you have anything they want. They won’t get out of the car unless they see something good. Put the items you think most people will be interested in closest to the street. That will draw them to your yard sale, and they might find other things they want, too. Most of my items are for moms, so I put my larger baby and children’s items at the bottom of my driveway. Think about what type of people you want to attract, and put items they’ll love where they can see them.
Tip #8 – Be friendly, and welcome the shoppers.
When I go to yard sales, I always feel uncomfortable when the person running the yard sale is just sitting in a chair staring at me while I look. I make a point of greeting people as they enter my driveway. I even help them look for the items they need. For example, one new mom wanted sleepers for her 6-month old. I already knew where they were, so I helped her find them. That saved her from spending an hour digging through lots of clothing. She has returned to my yard sale every year since then. If you are friendly and helpful, people will remember you and come back to see what you have the following year.
Tip #9 – Be willing to negotiate.
I know we all want to earn money from our yard sale. However, sometimes we need to be flexible with our prices. Usually toward the end of my yard sale, I lower prices and accept offers that are lower than my asking price. I figure the more I get rid of, the less I have to put away and store.
Tip #10 – Keep items that don’t sell until next year.
Just because an item didn’t sell this year doesn’t mean it will never sell. Next year, you’ll have a whole new set of customers, and that item might be just what they need. If the items are too big to store, think about putting them on Craig’s List or a Facebook yard sale page. We did that last year with some of our larger items, like a changing table and toy box. I always store the clothing in garbage bags. I put them in the empty closet in my basement until the next year. More items get added to that closet as we outgrow clothing and toys. That way I have lots of items for my next yard sale.
Follow these 10 tips to have your most profitable yard sale ever. What other tips do you have for making the most money from a yard sale?
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