A self-proclaimed garage sale guru has five easy tips that will make your next yard sale a huge success.

Hosting a yard sale in 2024 is very different than it was 20 years ago. Simply putting up a sign and placing your items out on the driveway doesn't cut it anymore. Garage sale shoppers have become much more selective and competition from online sales has made holding a tag sale a bit trickier. However, there are a few simple tips anyone can follow to quickly get rid of that old junk while pocketing a windfall of cash.

Prepare to Spend a Little on Advertising

Back in the day, you could buy a cheap ad for your yard sale in the newspaper and everyone would see it. Today, it's a bit more complicated. Sites like Craigslist and Facebook have specific pages for yard sales that are free to post on. While these can be effective, it's easy to get lost in the long list of other sales happening in town. There are sites like yardsales.net where you can pay a small fee to get listed on multiple sites and be featured in targeted emails. I've used the service before and spent around $30 to boost the listing. A majority of the people who came to our busy sale confirmed that they only saw our ad after getting one of those targeted emails.


Don't Scrimp on the Signs

You don't have to lay out a ton of money to make garage sale signs, but you do need to spend a bit of time to maximize your visibility. Your signs need to be big, bright and bold. I don't know how many times I've driven by a tiny yard sale advertisement with an address written so small that I couldn't read it at all. Stay away from those pre-printed signs with a space for your dates and location, they don't stand out at all.

The best signs are made from a huge piece of cardboard painted bright white with bold black lettering on them. Make sure to use all-caps and include the days, times and address of your sale. Arrows are extremely important, pointing customers to your home.

Most people suggest putting signs up earlier in the week so that commuters and neighbors will see them in the days leading up to your big sale. And don't forget to be a good neighbor and take them down after your sale is over.


Price Your Items to Sell Quickly

The best way to make money at a yard sale is to stop focusing on money. That may seem counterintuitive, but the most successful garage sales depend on high-volume sales. You're not going to find customers willing to pay top dollar for your old junk, but you can do an amazing amount of volume by pricing all of your items extremely low.

You may find one person who wants to spend $5 on your old Monopoly game, but if you price all of your games and puzzles for $1 each, or even two for $1, you'll wind up selling all of them. While Monopoly went for less than you hoped, those other games that would never have sold otherwise will make up the difference and you'll have way less to throw away at the end of the weekend.

Don't feel like you're getting ripped off. Low prices make people stick around longer and dig through for items they just can't pass up. You'll find that your customers will begin to make piles of things that would never otherwise sell, earning you much more money at the end of the day than you would have pricing things higher.

Don't Turn Down an Honest Offer

If you're hosting a yard sale, remember that it only lasts for a short amount of time. You don't have the luxury of waiting for the perfect buyer. If someone is interested in an item, don't let them walk away without it. While it may hurt to sell that old lawnmower for $10, it's unlikely anyone else will be willing to pay more. There's a reason you don't want it anymore so if someone thinks they can use it, seize the opportunity to get rid of it now.

The most successful sellers know that holding out for an extra $20 may leave you without any money at all. Not only will you miss out on the cash, you'll be stuck with the cost and hassle of trying to find another way to get rid of your item.


Plan to Start Early

Even though your ads and signs say that the sale starts at 9am, people will be at your house by 7am. Get up early and be ready to go, because these are the professional pickers who will grab most of your inventory. If you're not open, they'll just drive by and may not return. During our most successful yard sales, most of our inventory was gone before the sale even started.

Some of these buyers can be a bit pushy so be sure to have specific boundaries like inviting early birds to look through whatever is in the driveway, but not allowing them in the garage while you're pulling things out.

Just make sure you're ready at least an hour before the sale with small bills for change and organized piles of your best stuff out in the yard.

More Yard Sale Tips

Do you have any other tips for hosting a successful yard sale? We'd love to hear them. Send us a message on our Facebook page or a text on our free mobile app.

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