Yard Sale Tips

Price your items: Mark each item, or color code your items with little stickers and create a chart. Example: all items with blue stickers are 50¢, items with red stickers $1, and so on. Make it easy for yourself to total items – price things evenly: 25¢, 50¢ and $1.

How much money to start off with: It depends. If you have a lot of small, low priced items, $80 – $100 is a good number (two $10 bill, four $5 bills, 25 $1 bills, 1 roll of quarters $10). If you have higher priced items, then a little more.

Managing money from sales: It is recommended to wear a fanny pack or carpenter’s apron so you’ll always have your money with you.

Organize and Display:

  • It may be best to organize things in the house and then bring outside. Most hard-core yard sale scavengers start looking around 7 am so keep this in mind when you are setting up.
  • Clean the items but don’t spend hours on something that is going to sell for $1.
  • Arrange books, CDs, DVD’s and videotapes in a box so customers can easily read the titles.
  • Sets: bundle things together in a shoe box or with a rubber band, and sell as a set.
  • If you have sports balls, it is best to fill with air.
  • Hang clothes if possible. A large box or tarp filled with clothes won’t make them sell as well. For smaller clothes, a small tub or box can work – “baby clothes – 50¢ each.”
  • Mark the measurements for things like curtains and drapes, sheet sizes (twin, double, etc.) You can do this with masking tape.
  • Sort small toys and put them in clear plastic baggies according to type of toy. Seal and staple the bags closed so customers can’t open them, and set a price for the entire bag.
  • For electrical items, have an extension cord handy so people can test them. No one is going to take your word that your television “works great”. They’re going to want to see it in operation.
  • Have some batteries on hand so a prospective buyer can test that old handheld game for himself. Or consider putting half-used batteries in something that needs batteries.

Bags: Have plenty of plastic or paper grocery bags available to put sold items in.

Children: If your kids are going to be there, have them set up their own table with a goal in mind for their earnings.

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