Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

With spring in the air, and thoughts of spring cleaning on your mind, maybe it’s time to get rid of the clutter and have a yard sale. Plan it carefully, and you will be able to make some money from all that surplus stuff gathering dust in your closet.

  • Pick a Date – Check with your city office to make sure there aren’t any restrictions about the time and place for a sale. Some cities don’t want you to have a sale when there is a special event in the community. If you’re not sure which day or days will attract the most customers, ask friends or neighbors who have had successful sales. Thursdays and Fridays generally are best.
  • Join Forces – The more merchandise you have, the more customers you’ll attract. Ask a friend or neighbor if they would like to participate. Or better yet, if your neighbor is an experienced seller, ask if you can join her. Having another person involved also is an added protection against theft.
  • Prepare Early – One of our neighbors who has a yearly sale starts gathering and marking her things a month in advance. That way, she’s not stressed out when the big day arrives.
  • Clean – Dirty or damaged clothes and toys don’t sell well. Get them washed and repaired well in advance.
  • Display – Calculate how you will sort and display your items so that you will have enough tables and other equipment. If everything is all in a jumble, it may discourage customers. Nice clothing might be better hung on hangers and put on a rack. If you have a bookcase, consider displaying your books there. Separate clothing by gender and age.
  • Advertise – No one will come if they don’t know you’re having a sale. Craig’s List ( has become a very good way to get the word out. If you have a local newspaper, consider putting an ad in their garage sale classified section. Put signs up in various places with clear directions to your house the night before the sale.
  • Money – Make sure you have adequate coins and small bills in order to make change.
  • Bags – Have an assortment of bags available for packaging. Newspaper is also handy for wrapping breakable items.
  • Electronics – If you have electronic items for sale, have an extension cord ready so customers can try out the product.
  • Pricing – Mark all of your items clearly, or have a table with a sign saying that everything on that table is a certain price.
  • Enticement – Put some larger, more interesting items closer to the street to draw people in.
  • Greet – Greet everyone who comes with a smile, and be available for questions without being intrusive.
  • Children – Get your children involved by allowing them to sell and keep the money for toys that they no longer use. They could also help make cookies and lemonade to sell if they’re interested.