Posts Tagged ‘yard sale tips’

This is the continuation of my first post on the topic of having a successful yard sale. Hopefully, if you are planning a yard sale soon, these ideas/suggestions will be of help to you.

1. Price everything. As a yard sale shopper, almost nothing annoys me more than having to “ask” for a price. I like to know what the price is in advance. You can get stick-on price tags at Dollar Tree. Also, for clothing, you can put a sign up “$1.00 per item” or something similar. I would recommend setting your “asking” prices slightly higher than what you really want for something, so shoppers can “haggle” down.

2. Set up and Open on Time. Shoppers like to come to a yard sale where the sellers are set-up and ready to go. Be prepared for early yard-salers.

3. Have a plan for inclement weather. Set a rain-date in advance.

4. Have lots of plastic grocery bags on hand to bag purchases. Also, make sure to have plenty of newspapers in order to “wrap” fragile items.

5. ALWAYS keep your money in a safe spot. Do not “man” the yard sale alone. Some people prefer to keep the money on their person (a money belt), while others use a money box. Never leave it unattended.

6. Watch the buyers. People steal. It’s unfortunate, but true. Have someone watching your items, the money, and the buyers at all times.

7. Get your children involved.  Have them help sell their toys, their outgrown clothing, or cookies and lemonade. There are lots of “real-life” skills they can practice—counting money, making change, earning their own money, etc.

8. Reduce prices towards the “end” of the sale to move your items. Most people don’t want to haul unsold items back into their homes. Decide if you want to donate what is left (and where), and make plans on how to do this.

Yard Sale Sign

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Since getting married, we have had two yard sales of our own. I do not enjoy having yard sales. I enjoy the extra cash, but I find having a yard sale to be very time-consuming. I would rather sell on Craigslist or Ebay where the profit is higher.

However, since I have been asked, I will give some tips on how to prepare for and have a successful yard sale:

1. Advertise in advance. I find the local papers in this area to be very high cost for advertising. Where we lived before, it was only $10 for a 3-day-yard sale ad. If the prices are high, consider going in with another family or as part of your neighborhood’s sale. Craigslist and facebook are other great advertising venues (free!).

2. Spring or fall sales tend to be the most highly attended. Summer is hot, sticky, and people are on vacation. Spring and fall have more tolerable weather conditions, and many more people are out yard-sale shopping.

3. Choose what day/days and times are best—base this on research. Where we lived for the first years of our marriage, almost every household was two-income due to very low salaries. To have a Friday yard sale would not be the best choice because traffic would be limited. Where we live now, it is middle-to-upper class, with a lot of stay-at-home moms and retirees. Many people do Friday to Saturday yard sales and report large amounts of traffic on Fridays. Do your own research and decide accordingly. For myself, I have never found it profitable to run a yard sale after 1:00 pm, but have found that the earlier you open, the better!

4. Gather needed items—extra tables (borrow from friends), price tags (these can be bought at the Dollar Store), BRIGHT and many yard sale signs (buy or make), chairs, extra change, cash box, etc.

yard sale sign

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As a yard sale buyer myself, I am sure I do things that annoy people. I probably annoy sellers when I ask for lower prices. I do think that it never hurts to ask. However, some yard sale buyers have particularly irritating habits. . here are a couple:

1. Buyers who grab things out of your pile or your hand. You pick up a shirt that you think might be cute for your child, and the rude buyer snatches it out of your hand and says “I saw it first” or gives no excuse at all for such behavior. Or, the buyer says “that was in my pile” when it obviously was not. Clearly, this buyer cannot stand for someone else to get a good deal, and wants everything “nice” for him/herself. This type of buyer also tends to hog the entire table or box. . .it is almost useless to try to look at a yard sale with this buyer.

2. Buyers who do not buy, but steal. I see this way too often, and it’s almost impossible to bring it to the attention of the seller in time, particularly if the seller is busy with another customer. It’s unfortunate that someone would go to the effort of shoving an extra $1.00 item into their bag, but it happens frequently. If you are hosting a yard sale, I recommend you never “man” the sale alone, but always have a few people to help you, so you don’t have things stolen.

3. Buyers who keep arguing with a seller. The buyer offers a lower price, the seller counter offers. These buyers do not accept, but continue to argue loudly. I have heard some of them go on and on for ten minutes or more, trying to get a lower price. Now, do not get me wrong, I am a fan of offering less, but at some point, continuing to argue loudly with a seller becomes harassment.

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I *LOVE* yard sales. I go every week, every Saturday. In the winter, I wish there were yard sales, but I have to settle for consignment sales or thrift stores.

As a mom, I clothe my children almost entirely from yard sales (and they wear mostly name brand, designer and boutique items). I decorate my home with yard sales items. I get almost *everything* (other than food) at yard sales.

This is the story of my yard sale finds (and other great deals I stumble upon). It is the story of  lots of thrifty things. The story of online yard sales, and online deals. Sometimes I will share favorite quicky recipes or budgeting ideas. But mostly, everything yard sale.

I sell on ebay and make a good amount of money with yard sale finds.

On this blog, I will post tips about how YOU can also become an expert at yard-saling. I will share my tricks, my bargaining ideas, and what to look for. I will introduce you to the world of online yard sales, and tell you the pros and cons. I will discuss Craigslist, freecycle, and more!

I look forward to sharing my yard sale finds with you!

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