8 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Moving is the perfect time to take stock of your belongings. After living in my current house for the past 5 years -- the longest I’ve ever lived in one dwelling in my adult life -- I can’t even imagine all the junk that’s accumulated in the closets and attics and other nooks and crannies. But as I gear up for my upcoming move, I have a feeling I’m about to find out.

Some of the junk really is junk and will end up in the trash before moving day. But most of the stuff is still in good enough shape to find a new home with another family.

So what’s my next step? I thought about selling online. But I have so much stuff that I thought it might be easier to sell it all at once.

I think it’s time for a yard sale.

Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about yard sales. So I turned to the experts: our SpouseBuzz Facebook fans. Here are 8 tips they came up with to have a successful yard sale:

1. Switch up the name. Why should buyers choose your yard sale over all the others? You can stand out and be unique just by changing the name.

“Don’t call it a ‘yard sale,’” advised Facebook fan Milinda. “In N.C. every weekend there are dozens of yard sales. Make yours different and call it a ‘Tag Sale.’”

2. Advertise online. Facebook fan Heather suggested doing “a Google search for ‘yard sale finder’ and ‘garage sale finder’ and post the dates, times, hot items and directions on the first 10-20 sites you see.”

Arianna suggested posting on bookoo, checking to see if there is a local Facebook page to advertise on and ask Facebook friends to share on their walls.

3. Advertise offline. “Advertise everywhere you can in town and on base,” Amanda said. “Smaller towns that have bases know PCS season as well as we do and expect the ‘moving sales.’”

4. Price to sell. As Staci-Jill wrote, “The point is to get rid of it, not make a million.” Toni Rose Owens said to “be willing to take your prices super low, regardless of what it is.” And Milinda said, “If you aren’t willing to negotiate, put a price on it. Otherwise, negotiate your prices to sell.”

5. Be prepared. Yard sales are a lot of work, but it will go much more smoothly if you’re organized and well-prepared.

Toni Rose Owens suggested to “have everything ready to go” like putting toys in a bag and cleaning furniture.

“Sell things clean, and have batteries available so buyers can be sure they work,” said Lyz. “Hang up clothes so buyers don’t have to dig through boxes (getting all your clothes dirty). Borrow some tables so everything is in view. Put larger, bigger priced items near the street to entice buyers out of their cars.”

Milina’s advice was to “Provide lemonade and cookies or something like that. People like goodies. Start early and have plenty of small bills for change. Have something kids will want to buy. Bring in the kids and you will bring in the parents.”

And Maria said to “use color-coded stickers with a price chart.”

Consider teaming up. People love one-stop shopping so ask your neighbors to join in on the fun.

“Ask others around you if they want to sell stuff too,” Toni Rose Owens said. More sellers “can equal more foot traffic.”

You can also check out your local base to see if they organize regular yard sales. Lyz said that “David-Monthan AFB did two annual base-wide yard sales per year.”

Timing is everything. Now that the weather is warming up, people want to find things to do outside the house. That’s why spring and early summer are the perfect time for yard sales.

Also keep in mind that people can’t spend money if they don’t have it. So take Arianna’s advice and have the sale “on a payday weekend.”

Plan for leftovers. There’s no way you’ll sell everything. So as Christi said, “Schedule for someone to pick up the leftovers, so you don’t have to drag them back in.”

You can also try to sell your leftovers online or you can donate them to a local charity. “It’s sometimes better to donate and write off donations,” said Maria. “I usually donate items to other military families."

What are some of your tried and true yard sale (I mean, tag sale!) tips?

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