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8 Tips to Have a Successful Yard Sale

Wouldn’t it be nice to turn your old items into extra spending money? You’ve likely thought of several ways to do this: selling items on Craigslist, newspaper or social media classifieds or even setting up an auction on eBay. If you have several items to sell, you might find that a yard sale works best, especially if you have numerous small items. So, where do you start? A yard sale can take a lot of work, but we’re here to help with eight tips to make your yard sale a success, which means more money in your pocket.

Make Your Yard Sale a Success

  1. Conquer Your Clutter

    Getting rid of clutter in your home can be quite the feat. Even things we might only use every once in a while, seem to call out to us when faced with a trashcan or donation box. But now’s the time to sit down and go through your items. Consider grabbing four boxes and labeling them with the following categories:

    • Sell: Would someone else get more use out of this item than you are? Is it still in good condition? It’s probably perfect for your yard sale.
    • Trash/Free Giveaway: Damaged or broken items that can’t be repaired should go in this box. Or if you have an item that’s damaged but fixable, consider putting it out at your yard sale with a “Free” sign on it. In the age of DIY, there are many individuals that enjoy fixing things up and making them new again.
    • Storage: Any item that you can’t part with but don’t need on a regular basis, like out-of-season clothing, can go to storage.
    • Put Away: Items you need on a regular basis. If the items in this box don’t fit into your home without adding clutter, try to reassess if you really need them. If you do, considering implementing a new storage solution that fits your home.

    Another idea is to consider creating an ongoing yard sale stash. When you come across something you no longer need but would like to sell, stick it in a box under the stairs or out of the way. That way, you’ll have all your yard sale worthy items ready to go when the time comes.

  2. Strategically Pick a Date

    Select a time of year when the weather is pleasant and keep an eye on the forecast. Then do some research to find out what days of the week are best for yard sales in your area. Weekend mornings seem to be the traditional time for garage sales, so maybe you want to consider a different time of day to have less competition. By timing your sale for early morning or late afternoon commuting hours, you might grab more attention. Or perhaps a local event near your home brings in a lot of people to your neighborhood, and scheduling your sale in conjunction with that event might pay off.

  3. Join Forces With Your Neighbors

    Talk with your neighbors to see if they’re also planning an upcoming garage sale and consider teaming up. The larger the sale, the more enticing it is for potential customers. Plus, you’ll receive the added value of pooling your networks together to get the word out to a larger audience.

  4. Get the Go Ahead From Officials

    Some cities require permits or have restrictions on the number of sales you can have per year. So, before you get your sale up and running, check with your municipality to ensure you’re following local rules and guidelines. Also, look into federal regulations regarding the resale of items like baby furniture, which can pose a risk because of recalls, cannot be resold.

  5. It’s All About Your Location!

    If you live off-the-beaten path, your location might not be the best location for a profitable yard sale. So, what do you do? Start looking for alternative like a friend or family member’s home. Location is one of the keys to yard sale success! If you host your sale near more heavily-trafficked streets and put up some good signage, you’ll see a lot more traffic.

  6. Get the Word Out

    This one is important. You could have the perfect location and great items at great prices, but if you don’t tell people how to get there, they won’t be able to find it! Put some time and effort into making a number of legible and quality signs to help guide people to your sale. Make your signs bright and bold so they can be easily read.

    You can also consider advertising your sale in your local classified, social media groups and other websites. The more details you give, the better. Let prospective shoppers know what kind of items you have, brands and sizes. Focus in on your hot selling items!

  7. Price Things to Sell, and Offer Deals

    When you begin pricing your items, try to price them for what you would feel like would be a good bargain were you to buy them at someone else’s yard sale. You’d likely rather price something on the lower end to have someone actually buy the item, than have 25 people pick it up and put it back down because they felt it was too expensive. Even if you believe something is worth more, think about what you’d consider a bargain price. After all, your yard is not an antique shop! Browsers are there to get a good deal.

    Try to run some deals or other special offers. Perhaps you have an old chair in rough shape- make sure you put a sign on it for “Free” if you know it’s not worth much. Or consider a buy-one-get-one on certain items. Think about what would encourage you to buy more, then implement those strategies during your sale.  

  8. Have a Plan for Items that Don’t Sell

    At the end of the sale, you’re going to have some leftover items. What’s your plan to tackle those items? Decide early on what your strategy for stuff that won’t sell is. You don’t want to bring it back into your recently decluttered home. Will you try to sell it elsewhere? Donate it? You also might want to consider marking items way down toward the end of your sale!

We’ve Got You Covered

Use these tips to make your yard sale a success and give yourself peace of mind with an umbrella policy. Umbrella earns its name because the coverage arches over your vehicle and homeowner’s policy insurance to provide an extra layer of protection. In the event someone slips of falls during your yard sale, rest assured that you’re covered. Your Farm Bureau agent can help ensure that you’ll enjoy the proceeds of your yard sale without worrying about liability issues later.