Yard Sale Tips and Prep Ideas

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Yard Sale Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Yard Sale Success – Top Yard Sale Tips

I love yard sales. I really do. I didn't used to. I used to loathe the whole yard sale method from beginning to end. All the cleaning out of closets and toy boxes, let alone the garage!

I'd typically get ready for my yard sale by throwing everything on a table or in a box with a sign that said, “Make Me an Offer”. I know….not the best person to get yard sale tips from…right?

But when it comes to yard sales and garage sales, a lot of times we moms are pressed for time and trying to just slap something together. Am I right ladies?? Surely there are others out there like me that….well, really couldn't write a book on yard sale tips.

I'd usually walk away with about $100 and that was fine. (I guess). I never realized how much I was actually missing out on. How much cash I was actually passing up! But I soon found out that there are some folks out there that REALLY know how to have a yard sale – these are the people to get yard sale tips from, because they know what they are doing.

My friend Ellen asked me to help her move some things outside for her garage sale. Recently separated, she was selling off some old furniture and things because she was downsizing from a house to an apartment. It was two weeks before her sale–but she wanted to move these things out into the garage now. I could understand how she wanted to get things organized – but I never dreamed all the yard sale tips I would learn from this one yard sale! I went to Ellen's house and I have to say… I was shocked (and impressed)!

Ellen had things meticulously hung on hangers with a price tag and maybe a comment that said…”small stain on right sleeve” or “only worn once”. The toys she was selling were CLEAN and some even had the original box or at least instructions. She even had tags on them that would say things like…”Batteries in it are new” or “my 3-year-old played with this toy for hours” or even ….”award-winning toys for ages 4-5″. I was totally fascinated with all the detail. It actually made me want to buy stuff. I'd say this is one of the biggest yard sale tips to try and follow – be detailed, take the time.

The dishes she was selling were clean, stacked neatly. Everything had a price tag and was clean, neat and most times had a little comment card on it. (I personally loved these little comment cards. I think in the end it saves the person having the yard sale a lot of time that would be spent answering questions. So add to your yard sale tips to make comment cards!)

Out in the kitchen, Ellen had all kinds of ingredients she had picked up from the store to bake quick breads. I was like–“Whose having a carry in?” Ellen told me she always baked mini quick bread loaves like zucchini and banana nut and sold them at her yard sale for $5 a loaf! I was again….shocked!! You bake???? OK – so this isn't so much one of the yard sale tips – but it's a good way to make even more at yard sales. You can make a tidy profit selling goodies and drinks!

But I was in store for the biggest shock of all the day I came to the yard sale to help her set up and greet customers.

She had put colorful, pretty signs up everywhere and ran a small ad in the paper. She had balloons on her mailbox. Her two kids (nine-year-old Zack and 11-year-old Taylor) were manning the lemonade, coffee, water and bread table. All the clothes were hung by type, gender and age. Household goods were together on a table.
It was like a REAL store, only in Ellen's driveway.

She even had pretty background music playing! Now that's one of those yard sale tips I would have never thought of?! People loved it.

No one hassled Ellen or haggled with her. The comments on the cards were enough info for people to decide whether to purchase or not. Items were priced right and sold well.

Ellen's yard sale is the perfect example of yard sale success! And when you think about it, all the yard sale tips you can garner from her sale are easy and can be applied to anyone's yard sale.

Making Money with a Yard Sale….

After all, was said and done, Ellen walked away with $922 !!! Even when you subtract the loveseat and entertainment cabinet, which were NOT new and more pricey, she still made $682!! The snacks and drinks alone made over $125!! And Ellen said she only spent $21.00 on ingredients (and cups), waters and lemonade mix. She already had coffee on hand–so it cost her nothing. Sure…she had to make and bake the breads–but she didn't spend gobs of time on that. She owned 5 mini tins — so baking went fast. Zucchini was in season so she got it real cheap and bananas cost next to nothing anyway. People loved a snack like quick breads early in the morning. It wasn't messy and was breakfast-y and was semi-healthy!

I made about $100 from my sale and I had many similar type items. I was sold and eager for next year's sale. Heck–I couldn't wait for next year…..I had one in the following FALL!

This time around – I was using the yard sale tips I had learned from Ellen!

I had hot apple cider, biscotti and muffins at mine! I hung everything up and neatly stocked like items. I priced it all (and hated every minute of it!). I even put little comments on some of my items. I sold a waffle iron I never used to a woman who said she had a waffle iron she had never used and sold it –but saw my comment and bought it. What did I put on it?? “You know deep in your heart you really DO want to make waffles.”

I made $387 that day. I didn't have as much to sell, but it was still a bigger success than I could have imagined.
I was so proud of myself. (Check out this list of cool apps to sell clothes and items right from your smartphone.)

And might I also suggest, sell all those items from home businesses you joined and never used or sold to customers. I sold a ton of candles. I had candles from a home business that I no longer was with. I'd bought inventory that I was never able to move. Well, guess what, I could sell candles at that yard sale. But keep in mind, I was NO LONGER with the company. These were all candles I had after leaving the company.

I've been to a few yard sales where folks were doing something similar with cosmetics they'd had leftover from companies they were no longer with. All the items were sealed and never used.

It really is true that the more you “put in”, the more you get out. I had just thrown stuff out in my driveway and hoped my haul to the Goodwill would be small. Now I actually made some money that I really needed and still had items to donate too.

Yard Sale Tips – Really Just Means Preparing

Taking the time to prepare your yard sale is not wasted effort. Price items fairly and tag them, make sure they are clean and neatly displayed. Add a comment card that might be helpful to someone making a decision to purchase. Offer snacks (even though I've heard health codes don't allow selling like this — but bake sales go on all the time at schools etc).

You may just walk away with a week or two worth of wages to spend, splurge or save!

My yard sales tips are common sense, but even I had overlooked how senseless I had been. If you're going to go through the effort to have a yard sale, make it worth your while, and worth your customers time!

Having yard sales are a great money maker, but there are other ways to turn your yard, home… read my post, Turn Your House into a Money Making Machine for ideas.

More Yard Sale Success Using This Toolkit

If you're looking for even more help with making your yard sale the most successful ever — you might be interested in this guide.

Get Organized Now! Garage Sale Toolkit
– Secrets, Systems And Tools To Help You Easily Plan, Promote And Profit From Every Garage Sale You Hold. These Proven Methods Have Helped People Maximize Their Garage Sale Profits — And They Can Help You!

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