Tips for hosting a great yard sale

‘I am an avid yard sale girl and I have been to quite a few over my many years of treasure hunting.  Today was a great day, my dear husband found a dehydrator for $2, it was brand new in its box.  I call that a major score.  I even found a couple of pieces of curriculum for our home-school.  We do our best to not miss many weekends during yard-sale season and we try to get to as many homes as possible.  Since I am out so much I consider myself rather knowledgeable on this subject and would like to share some tips I have for you on how to have a very successful yard sale.

Yard sales are great to bring a bit of fun money back into your house, or maybe even raise enough to pay a bill or they can be great fundraisers.  The key to success though is to treat your yard-sale like a business, yes I know it is one day but just for one day pretend you have a business.

#1 – Prepare by boxing items as you clean out your home or while packing for a move, box and label yard sale items so they are easy to identify.

#2 – Make sure to have tables, beg and borrow to get them if you have to.  It is okay to have a blanket or two on the ground for clothing, boxes of books and larger items but do try to have a table for kitchen wares, glass ware, collectibles and such.  Honestly it is easier to browse without having to bend over or squat down.

#3 Try to sort your items, have a table for kitchenware, have your books boxed together maybe sorted by kids and grown ups, have clothing sorted by men’s, women’s and children, etc.  Basically have an organized sale it makes it easier for people to see if you have what they need.

#4 – This is a big one – PRICE EVERYTHING!!!! Nothing I dislike more than walking into a yard sale where nothing is priced, I do not want to ask you how much something is, it is awkward and I usually leave without buying a thing, so please if you are taking the time to have a yard sale take a moment to price it, even if you just signs to tell the price of your items, ie all items $1.00 or a chart that has a list of your items and the prices next to them, you could price just clothing one price, books another, shoes, etc and then just price your housewares and certain things like furniture individually.  I will upload pictures at a later date with examples.

#5 – Have great signs and by great I just mean legible, if you put the following:
ARROW (this is vital – a street address does me no good if I don’t know which way to turn to get to that address, you can even just put YARD SALE, DATE, TIME and ARROW and we are good to go).

#6 – Pricing is very important!  Remember this is a yard sale not a department store and I promise you no one will pay $10.00 to $15.00 for a pair of designer pants, we don’t care if they are designer all we know is that they are used and honestly we will never go over $5.00.   So here are some pricing suggestions.

Clothing – T-Shirts .50 to .75 (you can even do a quarter if you just want them gone)
                 Tops (men’s or women’s) $1.00 to $1.50 (these are your polo style and dress shirts)
                 Dress pants – $1.00 – $3.00 no more than $5
                 Jeans .50 to $2.00
                 Kids clothing will sell quick at .50 a piece (you can do $1.00 )
                 Shoes $1.00 a pair and up to $5.00
                 Purses .50 to $5.00 (if you have boutique brand purses and you want more than $10.00 save them and sell them online not at a yard sale)

Linens – .50 to $5.00 (this goes from single towels and sheets to newer sheet sets, bath rugs etc.

Books  – Paperbacks not more than .50 ($1.00 is absolute max, if you want more sell them to you local used bookshop)
              Hardcovers not more than $1.00 ($2.00 is the absolute max and people really think twice even at this price.

Even though I run a book shop online, I do sell books at our yard sales and I usually just charge .25 for all books and they usually go without a second thought.  Sometimes I do paperback .25 and hardcover .50 and they still move, that is my max though because I promise you, you will end up loading boxes full of books for Goodwill.

Housewares – Plates or Cups .25 – .50 or you can put them in a set, we paid $1.00 for 3 glasses the other day, my husband collects a certain style cup and we never pass up a deal like that.

If you are putting new items out price them at about 1/4 of the original price to start and then if you feel it is not moving you can reduce it.

As I think of more pricing examples I will add them.

The gist of this is that if I am not a barterer, if items are prices fairly I will pay your price, I won’t haggle and I move along.  If however your items are overpriced I will quickly look, buy nothing and move along.

My husband and I can usually tell an overpriced yard sale as soon as we pull up to the curb especially if it is after 9am.  Want to know what the biggest clue to an over priced yard?  Here it is, if we pull up to the curb after a yard sale has been open for more than 2 hours and you can tell not much has been sold, we usually call it from the car and we have never been wrong.   If I can see lots of empty gaps on your driveway after 2 hours or if I see people coming down the driveway with armloads of stuff, I know the stuff is priced very well, when I see this I can hardly get out of the car fast enough.

So there are my tips for now, I am sure I will keep coming back as I think of more.

If you are having a yard sale soon post and let me know, I want to come =).

Update – Just had to add to this….BE WILLING TO BARGAIN!  So we are very reasonable in bargaining, we are trying to keep good karma.  We do make offers when we see fit and they are usually always reasonable and always accepted….until yesterday that is.  She had 2 rolls of contact paper, small one from the dollar tree and a bag of stones, the total was 2.50, we asked if she would take 2.  She said no.  People are weird.  Now let me be clear if they were not dollar store rolls of contact paper I would never have even bargained but seriously it was a reasonable offer and she turned us down, people are odd like that.  When people pile stuff up and they offer me something near where I am asking I always say yes, they just cleared stuff I won’t have to pack up. 🙂
Just wanted to share a longed for treasure I found yesterday.  I found this book for $4, now yes I recall my pricing limits, but sometimes you just have to know a good deal when you see one.  This is a very large book and even used online I could not pay less than $4, actually $4.09 plus shipping.  The condition on the one I bought was impeccable too so it was truly worth it.  You can see here on amazon what I would have had to pay.

Peace & Happiness,


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