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How To Set Up A Successful Yard Sale

    It is as hard of a decision to pick what to keep and what to put up for sale to decide to get rid of surplus goods from home. But, once you make up your mind, there are several ways to turn these items into hard cash, including reliable online second-hand market platforms like eBay auctions and Craiglist sales, social platforms like Facebook Marketplace, category-specific markets, the local marketplace, and many others. 

    However, there is nothing quite like the non-digital old school way of setting up a backyard sale and selling everything in person, quickly, efficiently, in a fun and interactive activity. 

    But there’s a catch to it. Although they do not require one to be a pro at marketing, Yard sales sure do need proper planning and preparation. Failing to which your yard sale can go unnoticed or not meet the sales expectations, to say nothing of the time and effort you’d have wasted. 

    Below is everything you need to know on setting up a successful yard sale, tips and tricks, and much more. 

    Plan In Advance

    To plan is the first step towards executing something flawlessly. And, the same is the case with yard sales, in which a significant share of work is not to be done on the day of the sale but before it. For a yard sale, one must start planning at least 2-3 weeks before the day, if not months before. 

    This planning step includes going through the items you have accumulated over the years and finding the ones you no longer feel a purpose for. 

    Pick The Day For Your Sale Prudently

    The day for the sale impacts the success rate much more profoundly than one might think. When picking the date, consider the following factors –

    Day of the week – Weekends undoubtedly make for an ideal choice of day for garage sales and all the obvious reasons. However, Friday is a good day to pick, considering how many people skip work on Fridays to have a long relaxing weekend, especially during summers. 

    Time of the month – Everyone knows how typically tricky the last few days of the month are for most financial-wise. And so, plan the garage sale at the beginning of the month around the first and second week since many people receive paychecks and have a higher chance at spending.  

    Time of the day – Starting your garage sale early in the morning is an excellent way to avoid afternoon summer heat as well as the unnecessary crowd. Only those interested will join the sale early on to get the best deals making it easier for you to manage. 

    Other events – The dates of two competing events crashing is not good news for either. However, if that event is complimentary such as an art festival, etc., go for the day. 

    All in all, choose a pleasant day and a backup date in case of rain or other hindrance. 

    Check Location, Permits, And Local Laws

    Needless to say how a high-traffic location can benefit your yard sale. If you do not live in a neighborhood that will drive folks, consider setting up the sale in friends’ or relatives’ houses. 

    However, there is more to picking up a location apart from traffic, and that is the permit and local laws. Since many places call for permits for publicly advertised sales on any private property, it is best to check the official city or county government website to know whether or not you need one. 

    But, don’t worry, even if you do, chances are you could apply for the same online in minutes. 

    There might or not be application fees, but know that it is always an excellent option to choose over an unpermitted sale. It is so because authorities generally do not look away from such matters, and you can have a fine of high amounts, much more than you might have made. 

    As for anyone living in the HOA community, contact the board to get details on the set of rules and regulations about garage sales. While some HOAs have strict rules regarding the time, location, duration, etc., for sale, others do not allow such sales at all. 

    Advertising Is The Key To Garage Sale Success

    One can never advertise enough, and though many suggest starting it as soon as the day and time is set, you must, under any condition, start so at least a week before the sale, if not before.

    Again there are several ways to inform people about the event and advertise. Still, two of the most integral and efficient methods are making yard signs and using websites that trade in sale advertisements locally.   

    Yard Sale Signs 

    To check for the area’s local laws for putting up a signboard where the sale is to be held must be your priority as many jurisdictions prohibit it. The information regarding rules and regulations must be available on your city or county government’s website, so make sure to check.  

    However, if they are permitted, it must read “garage sale” on a bright solid color poster board with alluring but readable font highlighted with a dark sharpie. Other information you must put on the sign is the address and an arrow pointing in the direction of the sale. 

    You can also add anything that entices passersby to stop at the event but make sure not to make the sign too cramped and difficult to read for drivers. If there are community boards, advertise there as well. 

    Advertising On The Web 

    Reputable websites like Craigslist, Nextdoor, Yard sale search, etc., are a great way to advertise your yard sale successfully without spending loads. But unlike yard sale signs, it is best if you start advertising on these websites only a couple of days before the sale day as sales are listed as they are posted on the site. 

    Sorting And Pricing The Items

    Once everything you want to sell is set, sort the goods into categories, for example, clothes, furniture, books, etc. Now, settle for the price you want to sell each item for. 

    Look up online for similar goods and their price, reduce the amount as per their condition and the usage duration, and settle for a price that you as a person on a yard sale would be willing to pay for it. 

    Do not spend on buying specific price tags; instead, use surgical tape and a sharpie to carefully put up each item’s price or get price stickers. 

    Get Supplies And Payment Methods Sorted

    Some standard supplies you must gather a day before the garage sale include –

    • Chairs for helpers and special guests.
    • The counter table for payment, making changes, bagging up items, etc. 
    • Moneybox.
    • Cash register.
    • Display area surface enough to accommodate all the items.
    • Get plenty of hangers and clothing racks.

    While these are just a few necessary things, depending on the goods for sale, add any number of features, supplies, or creative additions to make space look neatly organized and fun at the same time.

    Do not let bigger stuff overpower small items; keep visibility in mind, create a perfect spot in your yard for each item, and use the entire space.

    As for the payment methods, since more and more people are growing dependent on online methods, including card swipes and apps, make sure you have access to those. However, in case you prefer cold cash, make sure you have enough change in the moneybox at all times. 

    Tips And Tricks For The Garage Sale Day

    • Ensure all your items are spotless, clean, organized, and in their best state before the sale starts. 
    • Layout a map and get your goods ready to be arranged the night before. 
    • Wake up super early and start organizing everything in time, if not before time. 
    • Pay attention to the display and take special care that all the neighboring space is garbage-free and clean.
    • Greet everyone who arrives regardless of how interested or not they look. 
    • Do not follow up with customers trying to sell them an item, praising it, or negotiating. Instead, try to seem friendly, let them know you can answer the questions, and stay seated. Anyone interested will find their way to you for queries themselves. 
    • Be ready to haggle and settle for a middle ground. 
    • Consider selling you valuable goods separately on a website as it will get you more cash. 
    • Any leftover item can be sold separately; donating it to a non-profit organization or thrift store is always a good option. 
    • Offer refreshments without overdoing the budget and stay safe by avoiding heated arguments. 


    A successful yard sale is not an easy achievement, but the money one can make with proper planning and execution is nothing less. Not to mention the additional benefit of getting rid of useless items such as baby clothes, stuffed animals, etc.

    If you do not have plenty of goods to make an overall profit after-sale, consider collaboration with friends or relatives to host a more extensive and more successful yard sale together. Happy Scrolling!