How to Have the Best. Yard Sale. Ever.

Fall is coming, I know it is. The calendar tells me so even if the weather app on my phone contradicts this theory. And if you’re like me then decorating for fall gives you all the happy feels. I keep a big bin in my garage (yes, just one, be impressed) of fall decor I’ve collected over the years, but sometimes that faux leaf garland you bought on clearance 5 years ago is sad looking and needs to be replaced.

What better way to fund your addiction than by having a yard sale? Most of us think of yard sales as a spring or summer thing. But early fall the weather is still generally good enough to throw some stuff in your drive way and let your trash be someone else’s treasure. Here’s a list of tips to help ensure success every time!

Plan ahead.

Plan. Ahead. Start at least a week before and go room to room in your house looking for items you want to sell. Pull them all into one room, or the garage if there’s space. Knowing what you have, make sure you’ll be able to “display” it all well enough. You may need to get your hands on a folding table or two, remember blankets stretched out in the drive way work great for displaying picture frames, books, board games, even some folded clothing.

Sort your wares.

Sort the things you want to sell by category: clothing, small appliances, books, electronics, tools, etc. If you have a lot of one thing, for example men’s t-shirts, just throw those in one box and mark it “$1 each,” people will dig through it!

Price it all ahead of time.

But be prepared to haggle. People looovvve to haggle. Everyone’s seen one too many episodes of American Pickers and think they are now the haggling expert. So price your items a little higher than the price you actually want to get for it. For example, you want to get $40 for your old Keruig that still works? Price it at $50. During the sale, if you see the first few shoppers hover and then pass it up, you can try lowering it. The other option is to just take the price tag off all together. But if its your first time, you may want the tags as a reminder, especially if you have a lot of items to keep track of.

Plan your advertising well.

Go on Craigslist and see the most common descriptions, pictures and even the time of day to start and end your sale. You’ll notice the trends in your town and can adjust accordingly. Put your signs up the day before. Also put the date on your signs, some people give up on just following arrow signs after they’ve followed one too many old signs that no one ever took down.

Get change from the bank.

Depending on what you’re selling, I’d start with $50-$100 in 1’s, 5’s, and 10’s. Keep it in a bag on your person or wear an apron with a pocket in the front and keep it there. Don’t let shoppers get you frazzled when counting back change. Stay focused and calm, they’ll wait. To make it easier, lay the cash they give you on a table in front of them first, then pull change for them, that way they can’t say they gave you a $20 when they really gave you a $10.

Let them “bundle.”

People LOVE to feel like they’re getting a deal, so if they want you to lower the price on an item, and they have another item in their hand, offer them a slightly lower price for the both, to make them feel like its a steal.

Remember your end goal:

TO GET RID OF STUFF. Don’t be so proud of your used leather handbag from 10 years ago that you won’t budge on the price. It’s just one more thing you’ll be stuck with at the end of the day. The whole point of a yard sale is to declutter, and the money you make is a bonus. You’ll sell a lot more, and make more money with this mentality; rather than just trying to get every last dollar out of your customers.

A half a day and a little effort can go a long way. Subtract your change from your total at the end of the day, and now you have extra spending money for your holiday decorating hoard!

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