Tips for Yard Sales

Is your garage getting filled with clutter? Need a little extra cash? Sounds like it may be time to consider having a yard sale! It may seem like a big undertaking. However, with a little planning and strategy, your yard sale can be a huge success!

What are Some Tips for Planning a Successful Yard Sale?

  • Plan for the right time/date/season: Spring is when yard sale season really kicks off! A weekend after a major holiday would mean people are settling back into routines and looking for something to do on the weekends. Having a sale on the 1st or 3rd weekend of the month will coincide with payday for many people. Avoid the first warm weekend of the season, as most people will be out enjoying the weather. Keep these factors in mind as you’re trying to pick a date. Yard sales typically start at 7:00 a.m., although starting earlier (6:30 a.m.) may give you a competitive edge and may entice the early birds to hit your sale first. Typically, they end no later than 1 p.m.
  • Make a newspaper ad: The die-hard people will always check the local newspaper listings for new yard sales. If you have high-ticket items, you could highlight those in the Classifieds.
  • Use yard sale signs to advertise on high-traffic corners/streets. Not only will this help the sale-seekers find your location,
  • Make sure you have enough cash to make change. Remember, you can always return extra bills to the bank later, but it’s better to be over-prepared than underprepared. It all depends on the volume/value of things you’re selling, but a good rule of thumb would be to have 4 of each bill and 2 rolls of each kind of coin.

Getting the Most out of Your Yard Sale

  • Use labels to price items. Keep in mind: people will negotiate. Choose a price that you’d be comfortable going lower for. That’s the nature of yard sales. People need to feel like they’ve gotten the better end of the deal by negotiating lower. Use your own discretion on how low you’d like to negotiate based on value/how much you’d rather have some cash or free space.yard sale stickers
  • If you’re selling clothes, make sure they’re washed and hung on a rack. Nobody wants to bend down and look at those piles of clothes you’ve heaped on a bedsheet. Put them up on a portable clothes rack or at the very least, hang them right at eye level for easy browsing.
  • Only accept cash. It may seem tempting to use cash apps like Venmo or Paypal. However, cash is the best and safest way to go. People will buy items and you’ll never have to see them again. Cash apps can take fees, and it means the possibility of transactional errors or attempted returns.
  • Let the kids sell something. I’m a sucker for that fresh lemonade or homemade brownies those kids are selling at the garage sale. They’re more likely to make a sale with people already having cash on hand. Also, it’ll keep them occupied and within your sight. Who knows? You may have an entrepreneur or two!

What Can I Sell at a Yard Sale?

The short answer is, just about anything. However, the real question is what will people WANT to buy at a yard sale?

  • gently used clothing
  • furniture
  • vintage items– glassware, dishes
  • tools
  • bikes, exercise equipment
  • video games/board games
  • artwork/framesyard sale items

How to Be a Savvy Shopper

What is an Estate Sale?

An estate sale, also known as a “tag sale” is a sale is a means of liquidating the items from a family or estate. This is often due to a family member’s death, downsizing, moving, or divorce. The great thing about estate sales is you’re more likely to find higher-end items, and they’re not seasonal like yard sales. Although prices are often much higher, this is a great place to find antiques, jewelry, collectibles, and higher-end items for auction.

Tips for Buying at Yard Sales

  • Plan your route: If you really want to do it like the experts, pick a couple near your area you’d like to browse.
  • Bring plenty of cash. It’s the only thing many people will accept.
  • Time your visit right. Most garage sales start at 6:30 am or 7:00 am on Saturdays, and this is when the early birds will show up. Therefore, if you’re interested in finding the best items, it’s best to show up right when the sale begins. Because Sundays are usually a second-day sale, you may find sellers are more willing to go lower on items they want to get rid of.
  • Inspect items carefully. Many items have spent a good amount of time in garages or storage, so be sure to check for damage or erosion. If possible, test electronics at an available outlet.
  • Negotiate prices. This is expected at yard sales! For some people, it’s part of the fun. Importantly, pick a price you’re not comfortable going higher than, or see if you can make a deal by combining a price for two items.
  • Make sure to bring your own packing supplies/means of transportation. This will help out with larger items. People will not want to hold items for you and would prefer to get rid of them immediately. Therefore, if you buy it, you should have an immediate means to take it.
  • Don’t buy anything you wouldn’t buy at retail: This may be a hot take, but it’s how I’ve saved myself from a life of hoarding and buying unnecessary things that I regret at thrift stores and yard sales. Picture whatever you’re holding as if you’re paying full price. So, if you don’t like it enough to buy it (at least close) to retail price, you probably don’t need it and probably won’t use it.

Yard Sales: Treasures and Lessons in Frugality

Now you have all the tips and secrets as both a seller and a shopper! So get into that garage or spare room and see what treasures you can sell. Check your local weekend listings to see what bargains you can find. Explore your destiny as a garage sale guru. Okay, that’s a little dramatic. Just have fun and enjoy the bargains and the weather. Share your greatest yard sale finds with your family and friends on FamilyApp!

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Jayne SchultheisAuthor posts

Jayne Schultheis

Jayne is a Virginia Beach native who loves her local community. She’s a thrift store enthusiast, musical theater fan, amateur hiker, and lover of all things creative and artsy. You can often find her combing the racks at the local thrift store searching for a fun and unique outfit or spending time getting lost in a good book.

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