Tips for a more successful yard sale

A yard sale

Everybody loves a good yard sale. / Image: kirinqueen/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Spring is here, and summer’s right around the corner. It’s time to declutter and spend some time in the fresh air. What better way to do that than by having a yard sale and making a few dollars in the process? With a little planning, the experience can be more profitable and more enjoyable.

Check the weather

Nothing spoils a yard sale faster than a rain shower! Keep your eye on the 10-day forecast before you schedule or do any advertising.


The more people who know about your sale, the more traffic you will get. Craigslist is a great place to post an ad. It is free and will likely be seen by more people than a newspaper ad. While you are at it, post your ad on websites like And don’t underestimate the value of neighborhood signs. Colorful signs on cardboard or posterboard get attention and add homemade flavor that appeals to local buyers. Remember, people in cars have only a few seconds to get the message, so keep it simple and don’t forget the arrows pointing toward your sale!

Group similar items

Displaying similar items together keeps down the clutter and provides a more pleasant shopping experience. When you pick the items from your home that you want to include in the sale, you may want to start by grouping similar items in the same boxes. This will make it easier when it comes time to set up your sale.

Keep it uncluttered

Have plenty of tables so that items can be be displayed in a clean, uncluttered fashion. An exception might be boxes of loose, similar items like baby clothes. But even in that case, several smaller bins make it easier to see what is for sale than one large one.

Have plenty of change

Nothing will cost you sales faster than not having proper change. Quarters and $1 bills will be the most helpful, but depending on your prices and number of items for sale, you may also need dimes, nickels and $5 and $10 bills. A cash box with dividers for different denominations will keep you organized and make sales go more quickly.

Price things right

Some items may have sentimental value to you, but that means nothing to your shopper. She or he is there for a bargain and for a fun time outdoors. Often, more money can be made and more items cleared out if you keep the prices low. If you are going after top dollar, you may want to consider foregoing a yard sale and opt for Craigslist or eBay instead.


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