7 Tips For Having A Successful Yard Sale

Have you ever looked around your house and thought to yourself “I should have a yard sale to get rid of some things” but aren’t sure where to start? I know the feeling.

I’ve participated in yard sales that were managed by the neighborhood, family, or friends and really didn’t sell much of anything. It wasn’t until I was having a yard sale to sell things before a move that I really did some research on how to make my yard sale more successful.

By doing the things uncovered in my research I was able to make a few hundred dollars in only a few hours. And I got rid of a lot of stuff that I didn’t need to take to the donation center or pack back up.

Not only are yard sales a great way to get rid of junk and unused items but they can provide some extra spending money, or money to pay off debt.

If you’re looking to have a yard sale this year keep reading to see what my 7 tips are for having a successful yard sale.

getting a box of books ready to sell at garage sale.
(This information is not meant to be financial advice and is just for educational purposes. This post may include affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

Select a date

Decide when you want to have your yard sale. Unless you’ve got a pile of items sitting around that you could sell tomorrow, it’s helpful to plan in advance for your hard sale. Personally, I need two weeks or more to properly prepare.


Gather items to sell

Once you’ve determined you’re going to have a yard sale, you’ll need to get items to sell.

Go through every room in your house, including the garage, basement, shed, and attic if you have things up there to find items. You’ll be surprised what’s hidden in the back of a drawer or closet that you forgot about and could sell.

Put all of your items in one place. Don’t worry about organizing them right now if you don’t have the space for it.

Tip: Not everything is sellable. If it’s broken, torn, or stained and not something that could be used for parts, throw it away!

Get organized

3-5 days before the sale, it’s time to get organized. I do this by separating everything by type. So I put all of the kitchen items together, all of the home decor items together, etc.

When it comes to clothing there are many different ways to group them. You can do it by men, women, kids, or by type of clothing, coats, dresses, bottoms, tops, etc. Or even a combination of both.

Get your supplies

It may not seem like it but there are several different supplies you need for having a yard sale, such as stickers for pricing items, old blankets, or sheets for items you’ll lay on the ground, rope or clothing stand for hanging clothes, and boxes to put things on. 

You’ll also need signs to promote your sale. Figure out how many you will need by planning out where you’ll be putting up signs and if the signs should be double-sided or not. Also, think about whether you’ll need to have signs directing people to your street. If you live back in a big neighborhood you may need to put up extra signs to direct shoppers to your street.

When it comes to yard sale signs I feel people get them wrong more often than right. I see a lot of yard sale signs that are small, have small writing on them, and don’t stand out. Most people who would see a yard sale sign are driving quickly past it and it needs to grab their attention like a billboard would on the highway.

Find or make yard sale signs that are 
  • Big so you can have large writing and fit all of the pertinent info - date, time, street.
  • Brightly colored so to get people’s attention
Tip: There are several video tutorials for making a good yard sale sign. You can also pick some up at your local hardware store, Walmart, Lowes, or Home Depot. Depending on how much money you expect to make at the yard sale may guide how much you want to spend on signs.

One supply a lot of people forget is having cash for making change. You can get this from your local bank. What denominations of cash you’ll need will depend on how you’re pricing your items. I like to get a little of everything - some $5 bills, some $1 dollar bills, and then a few dollars worth of quarters, nickels, and dimes. Anything I don’t use goes right back into the bank. 

If you have a lot of big-ticket items it may be worthwhile to accept card payments with Square. If you go this route you’ll have to set up an account and there is a transaction charge so you’ll make less overall. 

Fewer people are carrying cash around, even for shopping at yard sales. If you run into a situation where the buyer not having enough cash could keep you from closing a sale, be prepared to offer to accept payments via Paypal, Venmo, or Zelle. If you do digital payment transactions, just make sure you get a confirmation of the payments before letting the buyers leave with the item.

Price your items right

This is important because if you’re too high your items won’t sell. If you’re too low then you’re leaving money on the table.

To get an idea of how to price certain items search through Facebook Marketplace for items similar to yours. Another thing you can do is visit other yard sales in your area to see how items are priced. 

Tip: Don’t be afraid to push back if someone lowballs you. Especially early in the day. I push back less toward the end of the sale.

Promote your yard sale

About a day or two prior, put up your signs. Try to put them on a street that gets a lot of traffic, post on your Facebook profile, local yard sale groups on Facebook, and yard sale sites.

Get good pictures of some of the things you’re selling. From my experience, people look for furniture, kids’ clothing, toys, electronics, and tools. So if you’re selling those types of items make sure they are featured in your pictures.

Once your yard sale starts you can update or add more pictures to your Facebook posts of all of your items set up.

Set up

There are some things you can set up the day or night before. If you have rolling clothing racks you can hang up all of the clothes. If you have a table where you’re putting items you can set that up inside and then move it outside in the morning. 

In the morning about 15-30 minutes before your sale is set to start 
  • Put up any directional signs to your house 
  • Set up your items 
I’ve learned that some people like to get a head start and may arrive a few minutes before your official start time and you want to be ready to capitalize on potential sales.

Now all you have to do is make some sales!

What yard sale tips do you have?