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If you are constantly looking for a new stream of quick cash then the answer could be sitting in your closet right now. If you are like me and everyone else, you have things that you have bought in the past that you know you will never use and then finds itself packed away in the back of the closet. These are potential sources of a little extra pocket cash but how? Setting up a yard sale/ garage sale can be a quick way to put some extra green into your wallet. We’ve done this to help clean out our stuff as well as put a little extra towards our Disney trips. Continue reading to find out our top yard sale tips that have helped up bring in at least $100 per yard sale!
Update for 2020
2020 has been quite a year with everything that has gone on and we are only a little halfway through the year! This has been an especially difficult year for finances which makes it the perfect time to clean out as much as possible and make back some cash. This is not a get rich quick type method but it can put some extra cash in your pocket, as well as cleanout the house a bit. At this point, any money-saving is a good thing!
Update for 2021
We have come a long way since the start of 2020. Now seems to be the most important time to save money, in catching up from the struggles of last year. If you still have stuff lying about your home, then now is an even better time to have a yard sale. Many of the restrictions for gatherings have lifted making it easier to have yard sales. With the changes that we have seen, now is an even better time to make sure to have cash on hand.
How to plan and set up:
The first set of yard sale tips will focus on the actual task of setting up the yard sale, which can be a choir but doesn’t have to be.
1. Do a quick cleaning spree of your house about a week prior to your sale
We will usually do a deep clean throughout the year, which then we find at least a few things that we don’t use or was packed away. If it’s something we haven’t used in 6-12 months, then it would be a good item for a yard sale. If you are starting to think about having a yard sale, it is a better time to start creating a pile of things that can be sold. During this cleaning spree, focus on areas that you don’t usually touch such as closets, basements, attics. Keeping separate boxes for keep, sell, donate is the easiest method to keep organized while in the cleaning process.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted/published in July 2019 and has been updated/revamped for accuracy and comprehension.
2. Put out good items
While cleaning, we may be a little zealous with what we think we can actually sell. You want to be able to give shoppers a variety but within reason. A lot of things will not sell due to condition that they are in. You can price them or create a bargain bin for items that are a little beat up. Other than that, you want to showcase the better items. You can organize the tables to increase the chances of selling certain items. An example of this is some people will use old candles for DIY projects or hobbies, but you don’t want to have a table full of just half used candles. Having a bin or box for them keeps them separated but still out for sale. Those going to yard sales are looking for good deals on items that are in good quality.
3. Check the weather
Make sure to take a peek at the 7-10 day forecast to make sure that the weather will be reasonable. You don’t want to spend time planning and setting up a yard sale if you are going to have 2 days of thundershowers. If the days seem like they will be okay, then you should be all set and you should double-check the weather about 2 days out as this will be more accurate. If there is a risk of showers, then make sure you have tarps or tents available. In those cases, it’s best to set it up ahead of time. To avoid some of the risks, you could do a garage sale rather than in the yard but space is usually limited. Just make sure to have the space available just in case.
4. Start early
The early bird gets the worm is the old adage but the truth is early shoppers get the deals. You can almost put money on the fact that people will show up early to your yard sale. So should plan on starting early and expect that some people will show up before the listed time. Most yard sales start off strong in the morning then slow down around lunch time then may pick up towards the end. You can use this to your advantage later on.
5. Spread the news – advertise in several locations
There are many different ways of advertising your yard sale. The simplest way is to put the advertisement or announcement in the newspaper. This will usually run a couple of dollars up to $10. If you are looking at advertising for free, then there are a couple of options for this. The easiest way is to post to your Facebook or social media account but it will be limited on the reach. Following a similar type of idea, you can post to facebook marketplace. This will be a little further reaching than solely your page. Craigslist would be another option to post to which is free. This is probably the most important one of the yard sale tips. If people don’t know about the yard sale, they aren’t going to come.
6. Make sure to keep some plastic bags or boxes around
The goal with any yard sale is to get people to buy several things and you want to be accommodating. The easiest way is to have plastic or reusable bags and/or Boxes to be able to pack up bigger items. Customers are more likely to buy more if you can easily pack things up for them and they have room for more.
The easiest way to maximize your earnings during a yard sale is to make sure that everything is well organized. This can be as simple as grouping certain items together. Some people will be organized by types of items such as kitchen or clothes. another way of organizing would be to have everything organized by asking price. If you have a lot of items for sale, it can be easier to limit what you’re putting out and keeping things well organized. You can continue to add new items throughout the sale depending on how things are selling. You don’t want it to look like a bunch of items just thrown onto a table.
8. Check to see if Permits are needed
In some cities or towns, there may be permit requirements for any type of sale. It is best to check with your local town office to determine if this is needed. The process is usually straightforward and easy to obtain. It is better to be in compliance than to risk a fine which is usually more than the permit itself.
9. Don’t forget to get change
This one seems to the most common sense of the yard sale tips. However, one of the simplest things that can be overlooked is to make sure that you have plenty of change for the sale. For this, I recommend at least 10 $1 bills, a couple $5 bills. Then at least a couple of rolls of coins. It is better to have more change than not enough. Just make sure that you keep a tally before the yard sale starts of how much you start with to keep an accurate total of how much you made at the end.
10. The more the merrier
A good way of ensuring a lot of traffic is if you’re able to have a multi family yard sale. for the shoppers this increases the likelihood that they will find a good deal and is more likely to bring them to your yard sale. If there are multiple people you’ll also be saving money on the advertising if you decide to put into paper. As you will be able to split the cost of this. What having multiple families there, it will also help the time go by a little quicker especially during this lower parts of the sale.
11. Make signs
For your yard sale, you want to make sure that the area is well seen. This can be accomplished by setting up signs at the end of your road as well as right in front of your house. To be able to capture a lot of traffic you want to make sure that the signs are colorful. It’s easier to have a bright neon colored poster board with black letters as this will attract people’s attention a little bit more. How many signs and where you put up signs will be based on the individual location. The other part that I found helpful in the past is a sign to direct people where to park if there is a specific location.
12. Community yard sale – but at a cost
This is similar to doing a multi-family yard sale but there is usually some cost with this. The cost can vary from location to location. With these, you will likely have more traffic than an individual yard sale, which is why there is also a charge along with this. The cost is usually associated with the number of tables that you will take up. For this type of sale, you want to bring your best items. You’re more likely to sell better quality and I have to carry back a large quantity. With community yard sales, they may be limited to one day rather than multi-day, so make sure to check before signing up.
Now we get to the selling part of the yard sale tips! This will help to maximize your earnings now that you have gotten people to show up.
13. Sell in Bulk
14. Create bundles
If you are selling items such as DVDs and books, it is easiest to sell them if you are selling them as bulk items. You can have them simply as $2 a piece or $5 for 3. You can adjust the actual cost based on the quality of what you’re selling. People are always looking for a good deal and this will create that idea in their mind.
This is very similar to selling items in bulk, but instead you will be creating bundles out of your items. What this would look like is if you have several pieces of exercise equipment and you bundle it with a DVD. Another option would be if you’re selling dinner plates and you bundle it with silverware. The most yard sales there are plenty of options on how to create bundles that will increase the likelihood that something will sell.
15. Create groups when creating prices.
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with organizing the yard sale. Easiest way to organize is to create groups of certain prices. You can have a table with items your selling for $1 or for $5. the biggest difficulty is remembering what you had asked for each item. If you have less quantity a better quality items this can be pretty easy to remember. You can also adjust this based on your individual needs.
16. If you are able to accept different types of payment, do it
Earlier I talked about making sure that you have plenty of change has this is what most people use at a yard sale. However in some cases, but may not have cash on them. If you are able to take credit cards such as with square oh, this will open up the market for you. Another possible way is through options like PayPal. This may not make up a large amount of your business but it ensures that everyone is a potential customer.
17. Be a little flexible with buyers
One of the biggest reasons that people go to a yard sale is to be able to find the best deal. Watching times this includes them haggling to get a slightly better price. No one is expecting you to give away your items but you should expect for people to try to get it at a lower price than what you’ve listed it for. Depending on how things are going throughout the day, You may want to consider lowering your prices. that way you will still be making a profit and we’ll have fewer things to be packing up later on.
What to do at the end?
18. Sell on Facebook or Craigslist
Even with the best yard sale tips, you may not sell everything. But don’t despair, if you are unable to sell certain items at your yard sale you may want to take them online. Even though items to sell doesn’t mean they don’t have any value. It just means that you didn’t have the right clientele at that moment. If you are able to post on to either Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you’ll be able to reach a lot more people than at the yard sale itself.
These marketplaces can be a great way to sell more items. This is especially true for larger items. Not everybody is ready to make big purchases when they go to a yard sale and things that you swear would sell, don’t. If you market it online, then you are getting truly interested parties. There are some risks with this but if you are able to sell something, make sure to meet in a public place.
19. Can try consignment store
If you didn’t want to post items online to be sold, You may be able to sell them to consignment stores. You may not be able to get full price that you were looking for but you’ll be able to get at least some money for your items. This can still be for a good cause even though you’ll be paid less.This can be done a couple of ways, first being that they will sell the items you give then and keep a percentage of the profit. The second way that I have seen, is that some shops will buy the items that they know they can sell for a profit. Either way, it may have a higher likelihood of selling/buying your items.
Bonus tip – Donate the items
For other items that didn’t sell, a great way to get back would be to donate the items. You can donate certain items to various charities based on leftover items. With clothes and household items, Goodwill is a great option to donate to. With this you’re also able to get a receipt of your donation that you can apply towards your taxes for that year. The tax credit is a great perk but it’s best knowing that you gave back.
Hopefully, you have found these tips helpful for maximizing your earnings for your next yard sale. if you follow even half of them, then you should have an easier time setting up and maintaining your yard sale. This can be a quick way to make extra cash on a weekend depending on how much you put out will be up to you and what you have available. The items that you sell and the quantity can make a big difference. The biggest thing is to not run out and spend this money. Instead, put it towards your savings or towards a goal such as a Disney vacation. Using these yard sale tips should help you get started for a successful sale.
Are these tips that you would use? Let us know in the comments below!