10 Yard Sale Tips {To Have An Amazing Yard Sale!}


Today, I’m going to share a few of my tips and tricks on how to have a successful yard sale.  Two years ago, my sister and I organized a yard sale at her house, where we both made over $400.  I recently organized a yard sale at my house and it was another successful sale!

yard sale tips

10 Yard Sale Tips

1. Location Is Key

It is of utmost importance that your yard sale location be in a busy area with significant traffic.  If you live in a rural area or on a quiet street, it is well worth asking to borrow a friend’s yard or garage for your sale.

2.  Join Forces

Instead of trying to pull a successful yard sale together all on your own, collaborate with friends and family.  The more stuff you have out to sell, the more enticing it is for potential customers to stop and browse.  I recommend that if more than two parties have items in the sale, everyone should watch their own stuff and keep monies separate.

3. Promote To The Max

Avid yard salers always check the newspaper classifieds and Craigslist. Place an ad in both those places as well as your newspaper’s online classified section.  It’s usually free to post ads online while print ads cost around $30 for three days.  I always divide the cost of the print ad between the participants of the yard sale which keeps cost to a minimum for everyone.

4.  Make Great Signage

I can’t emphasize this point enough. It is imperative that you have easy to read signs with sufficient information on them.  I bought bright pink {yellow on the other side} poster board at Staples for our signs.  I made ten signs all double sided {because I folded the poster board in half} with big arrows directing customers to our sale.

A friend brought old political signs and I taped the folded poster board signs over the political signs. This keeps the yard sale signs stable and they are easy to put up and take down.

5. Price To Sell

If you have stuff {I call it “junk”} to get rid of, price it to sell!  I’ve skipped over items at yard sales that are overpriced and I know other people feel the same way.  Price it low and be done with it. Just think, if you price on the low end and sell a lot of items, you’ll probably make more than pricing high and selling fewer things.  Makes sense, right?

6.  Display Items Thoughtfully

This is probably my organizing, decorating, creatively weird brain, but I love displaying my stuff to sell.  I place items in loose categories like this: home decor, kitchen stuff, health and beauty products, clothes, shoes, tools etc.  The more organized your sale items are, the more quickly and easily they will sell because customers will be able to see what you have without digging.

7.  Don’t Forget Change & A Money Box

Make a run to the bank a day or two before the yard sale is scheduled to begin. I normally get $100 in change – $10 in quarters, $40 in fives and $50 in ones.  I like to use my dad’s money box, but you can use anything {a shoe box, plastic box, baggie} to keep your money all in one place.

8.  Set Shorter Hours

I loved the shorter hours that we set for the last yard sale.  We opened at 7 AM and closed down at 12 PM.  Since it’s July {and incredibly hot} these hours worked beautifully.  I really liked being able to get things done in the afternoon and I was refreshed and ready to go the next morning.

9. Schedule A Charity Pickup

Before the yard sale begins, give your favorite local charity a quick call and schedule a pick up after the yard sale.  This will save you time and energy…plus you can get an easy charitable donation tax write off!

10. Lemonade Stand

My thirteen year old brother and one of his friends ran a lemonade stand complete with cookies, sweet tea, and free kittens. It was amazing how many people bought lemonade. I think they made over $50! I think the heat was on their side and made selling lemonade and other treats quite easy.

Next time you plan a yard sale, use these tips and I’m sure your sale will be a smashing success!

Do you have a yard sale tip to add to the list? Tell me about it in the comments!

I’m linking up to Tip Me Tuesday and Tips & Tutes!




  1. My daughter used to work in retail and was used to setting up the store displays so she would help set up the yard sales and we had lots of compliments and sales!!! It is so very easy for them and us to keep track of what was selling.

  2. One tip I have is that everything is clean as can be! Items will sell much faster. Glassware and kitchen items in particular.

  3. After several yard sales a good old fanny pack works great to keep your money in. I wonder around too much for a traditional money box.

  4. If you have something special to sell (like antiques, etc.) try to put it in a word or two in your ads and signs. One of the best yard sales I had I did include “vintage aprons” and a couple of other things on the sign and that’s what drew the people in.
    Tamara´s last blog post ..31 Days to Clean Winner!!!

  5. I always have a 1/2 price sign to post during the last hour of my yard sale, really helps get things cleared out. My motto also is, nothing comes back in the house, everything will be taken to a giveaway donation center that is left.

  6. Hi! On my signs, I write the address the largest just because the sign itself idicates that it’s for a yard sale. Plus as I’ve gotten older, my vision isn’t what it once was!

  7. On smaller items, I use the colored dot circles and put prices on a poster that explains the system. Then, I have ‘falling’ prices. Half price after two hours, 75% off an hour before clean-up, and free after the sale is over (I take away anything I don’t want to give away). We don’t have a charity that picks items up. I usually leave the clothes and leave for lunch so that anyone without the $ to pay for them can just come get them. I hate packing up!

  8. Great tips!

    We just had a yard sale a couple weeks ago and I would say having good signage was KEY! Neon is definitely the way to go and placing them on busy street corners was a plus.

    I love how you hung up all your clothes! Looks great!

    P.S- when I was little, my brother and I used to sell donuts and coffee at our parents garage sales and it was a HIT! Great way to get kids involved!
    Samm Spangler´s last blog post ..Spring Time Storage

  9. The last hour have grocery bags customers can fill with clothes for $5.00. Also sell bottled water for $1.00 that you buy tor 3.00 a case. Can you spell profit?

  10. When I hang clothes at my yard sale I use dog chain and put a 6 ft ladder in the middle the ladder helps with the sag and the hangers fit right in the chain links and do not slide to the middle.

  11. Another piece of advice: have your yard sale right after the 15th of the month. Rent’s not due, but a lot of people have just gotten paychecks!

  12. Lots of great tips!! I love the ideas about food and drinks at a yard sale. One tip i didn’t see was post a sign that says “all prices negotiable”. I also wore a bright colored apron and had a sign in my yard that said “have any questions? ask the redhead in the blue apron”

  13. Have an apron with deep pockets, fanny pack, or cheap cloth tool belt (think Lowes). It’s much easier to keep handle on money and keep up with your customers. Have large cooler on wheels stocked with ice, bottled water, sodas, popcicles, etc. Not only will you be thirsty, but so will your shoppers. Easy way to make a little extra money, and kids can be in charge of cooler!

  14. I am over our church’s VBS this year. We just had a two day yard sale and raised over $700!! I agree that location, location, location, is a number one key, but a friend told me once that people will pay more for clothes that are on hangers than clothes that are on a sheet on the ground or a table. Well, we tried this theory out. The first day we had some hanging items and some of sheets. The hanging items were $1 and the rest .50. We sold lots of stuff but did not sell many clothes. Day 2 we hung up everything and had no sheets. That day we made over $500, mostly in clothes sales!

  15. I’ve done and been to lots of yard sales. Low prices is key. And th eater is a great idea. The one yard sale I did with my own stuff the only thing people bought was water., haha! I also went to a yard sale once where she boxes items to tether. And put a price on the whole box. I got the me thing In the box I really needed and then some extras that I have found a use for but wouldn’t have bought other wise.

  16. Great advice! I do want to add that rather than using a cash box, wear a fanny pack (I know, frump city!) or a comfortable cross body purse to keep your money in, that way it’s safe. You can get really busy at a yard sale and you don’t want anyone to “accidentally” walk off with your money!
    Oh, and be sure to place an ad on Craig’s list, it’s free and easy and a lot of people look there for garage/yard sales!

    1. I totally agree with “wearing” your money. At a yard sale several years ago I had a lady that showed up later in the day and kept poking around. She stayed over an hour, trying to get me to hold this or that for her because she wanted to go get some more money, and basically annoying other customers that showed up until they finally left. I got nervous and took all my money into the house and hid it. A few hours later, we were taking a quick break before loading up the car with the leftovers for Goodwill. I had taken all the money out of my fanny pack and hidden in the house, but had left the fanny pack in the open garage. My husband found this lady in our garage holding that fanny pack, digging through it. I was right to have kept the money on my person and I was right to hide it immediately.
      Laura´s last blog post ..Meal Plan Monday – April 21 – 27

  17. Another tip I’ve heard is to have a $1 table, a $2 table, etc. Much easier that way.

  18. I always have a freebie table. It is a good starting pplace for people to look over. Also, I move items there as the day goes on.

  19. Fun tips!! We did a lot of these, and it really was a successful sale. You were sooo brave for doing it this year!! SO pumped to see you next week!

  20. I think its terrible to have free kittens at a yard sale. How do you know they get a good home. We had a kid around here once that would take free kittens to feed to his snake.
    Dont ever give free kittens away at a yard sale, make sure they get a good home and will be taken care of, and spayed and neutered.

    1. When we’ve needed to find homes for kittens, my mom would always put signs up that said they were $20-$50. She’d interview the prospective people, and if they “passed” she’d reveal there was no charge. The price helped weed out creeps and animal abusers, but we were still able to give the kittens to good homes without charging them.

    2. I agree!! poor little kitties….give to a shelter or the SPCA before you give them as freebies, they can be used for scientific research, snake food, bait animals etc!

  21. We’ve had a LOT of yard sales and recommend adding two more tips.

    1) Timing – have your yard sale the first Saturday of the month. Folks who get paid monthly will have more cash to spend then.
    2) Pricing – to simplify your cash needed for change, make 25 cents the smallest price.

  22. Definitely put the date on your signs. I will pass over a yard sale without a date on the signs, every time, because so many people neglect to take their signs back down that I don’t want to follow the signs to a “sale” that was two weeks ago.

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  24. Don’t forget a supply of bags and newspaper for glass items. Putting larger items out front and center helps too as you try to pull people in to the other tables. For clothes I price all items the same and do buy two get one free. Every kid that comes also gets a free trinket or toy. I always have someone help me so we can cover for breaks. Happy Yard Sale.

  25. Thanks for all the tips, they are great. The only thing I would like to add is that we have found it is better to leave the yard sale open till later in the day. I know that when I was working, I was always excited if I found a yard sale still open on my way home from work. And I know there are other people who have to work on Saturdays, so we have made some good sales to those people by keeping our yard sale open later.

  26. try selling bottled drinks………some strangers may not like “great grandmoms old lemonade so get a pack of drinks …… Oh and you better not sell liquor or you can get I trouble bigtime!

  27. Here are a few of my tips:

    * Bottled water – by a case for about $3 and sell for $1 per bottle
    * Timing – I make sure I do a sale at the beginning of the month or the 15th…if you do it towards the end of the month it seems like less people come.
    * Start your sale on a Friday – I was amazed at how many people I got on a Friday compared to Saturday.

    I think I will do less hours on my next one…when I do the long hours it just makes me more tired.

  28. At my last yard sale I had two blankets laid out, one blue and one green. All items on the blue blanket were $1 all items on the green blanket were $5. We also used painters tape in the same colors to put on the items so we could keep them straight and saved me from writing the price so many times! Plus the painters tape won’t over stick to items! Hope this helps!

  29. I always keep a long electrical cord handy so customers can make sure an item works and I have batteries on hand for the same reason.

    1. Electrical outlet – yes! I also use bright signs. If someone has to take turns through a neighborhood, just use that same color/writing and an arrow to let them know that they are on the right track. We get so many compliments! Also, Friday’s are really popular around here. Check out the dollar store for signs and stickers. Poster board is .50 there!

  30. I have to say as a buyer, I like neat! I will not dig through ANYTHING! You better have enough space for your items! I also don’t ask prices. I rarely negotiate, if you price to high I won’t buy. The last thing is the signs, put arrows on them! I am not driving around for 20 minutes looking for a yard sale that might have been cancelled! As for me, I have never hosted a yard sale. I donate my goods. I never have enough to sell and my family is never on the same page/schedule as far as to be able to have a combined sale!

  31. I like to have friends join me in the sale. To keep track of money we each mark our items with price on seperate color of duct tape. We have a poster board or big paper with a section for each seller on which we place the tags sold with her color. It is easy at the end of the day to add up the sections and divide up this proceeds. Extra colored tape for items without tags.

  32. At the end of the day and you have a lot of clothes left, give customers a plastic bag and tell them to fill it up for $5. A quick way to get rid of leftovers and make some money!

  33. Also, if you are having it on a busy highway that people are having to park on, place a sign that says “Not responsible for accidents”.

  34. I will add after Sale is over please take down the signs ,Great ideas, planning a sale this weekend, hoping for much success as I have a lot of goodies,

  35. When cleaning out closets, drawers, etc., go ahead and price the items, and store them together in a box, so when you’re ready to have a sale, a lot of stuff is ready to go. Also, only put out seasonal clothes. People won’t buy a coat in the middle of July, so don’t waste time putting it out. Another thing we do is, make boy/girl grab bags with small toys and happy meal toys, and sell them for $1.00 each. Kids love grab bags!

  36. If you use regular poster board and plan to tape your signs to poles and such, first tape paint sticks on the back of your poster board across the top and bottom. This prevents your signs from curling due to moisture in the air in the early morning. And always use packing tape!

  37. Believe it or not, I IRON EVERYTHING before the yard sale — EVEN THE SHEETS. I use a satin ribbon to bundle the neatly-folded sheets. My stuff sells very well, I think because it’s prepared and displayed so nicely.

  38. I have found that as stuff sells, i needed to move things around again to make it look full, shoppable and interesting. also dont be afraid to sell..you can do it without being to chatty or pushy..if you know your clothes are size 22, be sure to point them out to ladies that might be a good “fit”.

  39. use a professional clothing rack when possible. They are more stable and will not blow over in a breeze. Also, use painters tape to size and price clothing on the outer right-hand corner so shoppers do not knock your clothing off the hangers when looking for sizes. When you advertise, give the general genre and size of clothing available, including if you have no baby items, no toys, no silver or gold. Or if you have no antiques. This will lessen the crowds of people that will not buy or are out for specific types of items.

  40. I love these ideas! Especially the charity pickup, I hate packing it all up afterwards and taking it to goodwill 🙂
    We recently went to a flea market where 1 vendor displayed a huge assortment of broached on an old this pea coat and I thought that was very creative.
    I have a list of 7 tips for a successful yard sale on my blog
    If you want to check it out 🙂

  41. around these parts nothing drives a crowd like an auction! So we set up our seal the same day as the auction down the street. The auction had no drinks for food so we grow and hotdogs and sold ice cold drinks. We may have as much on the hot dogs and drinks as on the yard sale. People of the yard sale become customers when they buy the first thing from you. Most people buy more things once they’ve purchased the first thing. Make people your customer by giving them a fantastic price on the first thing. Signage is ultimately important so please signage at every possible avenue to your sale. Make your lettering large and readable and clean the date and the times and your address. And easy way to put the signs shortly before your sale opens is to put signs on cardboard boxes with a rock in the bottom and placed them on the path to your sale. When it’s time to close your sale simply go by and pick up all the boxes. Always expect early buyers. Many early buyers will buy in more looking for bargains in a variety of items. If you advertise you are starting at 7 AM be ready to sell at 6:30 people will be waiting. Take a break mid afternoon and reopen to catch the crowd on the way home. Start your sale on a Thursday and continue Friday and Saturday. Restart and consolidate your items. Keep everything neat.

  42. If selling kids toys it’s a great idea to have them equipped with batteries so the little ones will be more intrigued if they work properly!

  43. Do a “soft opening” on Friday afternoon and evening. Get everything out and on tables, sorted, priced, looking good. As soon as things are resonantly ready, go put up signs for Friday and Saturday sale, post on Craigslist and continue to refine and make it as perfect as possible. Then when the sun goes down put it back in the garage in an organized way and you’ll be all ready Saturday to pull it out again for the early birds. This is a huge brain and sanity saver, and helps you not forget items you meant to include.

  44. Another tip that I do with signage…our signs are on bright paper with permanent markers, bold and legible lettering, and then we put our signs in plastic page protectors. When the sale is over, we collect the signs and save them for the next sale

  45. Always collect your money before boxing up goods. I lost a whole set of China at a yard sale since I was busy trying to box it up and other people were coming up paying for things. I finished boxing it up and ask for the $40.00 it was priced at and the lady said “I have already paid you.” I had a lot of money in my cash box so I did not feel I could argue with her but I knew she did not pay for the china. Lesson learned!

  46. I plan a yard sale well in advance and let others in my neighborhood know and encourage them to join in. If you advertise that it is community sale and there will be multiple sales, it really brings out the shoppers!

  47. Scheduling a charity pick up is definitely the way to go..it’s practically life changing LOL. I used to hate having to load all of the stuff that didn’t sell into my car and drop it off to Goodwill. Now a local charity van comes by to pick it up and makes my life much easier!

  48. Awesome tips! Thank you. I’m pretty giddy about the prospect of closing up shop at Noon. I live in Oklahoma and much of our Garage Sale season is sweltering hot – I’m talking 90-100 degrees and sometimes higher! To me, the risk of heatstroke is just part of Garage Saling (LOL!) But if early hours work for you, maybe they’ll work for me, too! At least now I feel like it may be worth trying. ~Kristi

    1. I bundle like items together for a larger sale. For example, books of the same genre, cooking utensils, complimentary accessories. This way you sell a bundle rather than single items. Use plastic bags and pretty ribbon to make your packaging appealing.

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