Yard Sale Tips ::: How To Have A Great Garage Sale

   Fall is upon us….yaaayyyyy! It’s my favorite time of the year!

Because of the lovely weather and people preparing their homes and getting inspired to start projects, etc….

Fall is the best time to have a yard sale.

{a.k.a. Garage Sale, Tag Sale, Stoop Sale, etc.}

This is Eulala..I’ve named her Eulala..at her very own sale…isn’t she just so perky sitting there?:



I have to be honest…..I don’t like to have yard sales. I’ve been having them since I was very young…and I still don’t like to do it. In order to be successful and make it worth it you really do have to put some effort into it. And, quite honestly, I DO NOT want to do it if it is not worth it. I actually would much rather be a shopper at a yard sale than a seller. BUT, it is a great way to be inspired to clear out your home and make some money. Two really great things! =)

I’ve never had a yard sale in which I’ve made less than several hundred dollars. There are tips and little things that you can do that really do make a difference. So, in honor of the best yard sale season, I thought I’d share them with you.



Getting Prepared:

It’s always a good idea to have a sale as a large group….maybe your whole street, or several families all at one home, or your whole book club/Bible study, etc.  The larger the sale…the larger the draw.

If you have a sale at your home be aware that sometimes people drive around the day before a sale to see if you already have some stuff out. That may help you to decide whether to start setting up early..or keep everything hidden/stored until sale day. {I always opt for the latter.}

Don’t just gather up a few things from your home and think you will have a great sale. You need to do MAJOR clean out…and clear out anything and everything that is no longer used, needed, or wanted. I make 3 piles: not worth selling/trash, family heirloom/antique/memento…so, give to other family members, and yard sale.

Once you’ve hauled off the other two piles and are left with the actual yard sale pile…..you need to price EVERY ITEM. This is a pain…but makes a huge difference. I use little colorful stickers. When we’ve had a yard sale with others we make sure everyone used their own color so we know whose items are whose. I use a legal pad with each person’s name and when something their color sells….it goes in their column. {I would suggest only one money box/money handler. Shoppers get frustrated when they have to go to 2 or 3 different people to pay within the same sale….unless it is a huge sale with lots of others in which everyone has their own little ‘booth’ area.}

Pricing:  it’s a yard sale. I wouldn’t suggest selling anything of great value….because this is not the crowd that will be willing to pay for it. Put those things on Craigslist, consignment somewhere, or advertise them individually. Some people suggest the 50-30-20 rule for pricing….which is 50% of the regular price if it’s brand new, 30% if its used, and 20% for the rest.

Make sure you price your items a little higher than what you are willing to take. You need to have some bargaining room. So, if you’re willing to take $5 for that set of glasses…..put $7 on there. {Keep in mind people tend to bargain down to the nearest 5.} Don’t bother with putting any cents attached to dollar amounts….like $1.50. Even dollar amounts are the best. Know that you WILL NOT be getting the money you put into an item back.  You are just turning your clutter into cash. The better your prices…the more you will sale. This is where you make money at yard sales……THE AMOUNT YOU SALE. The ones that are trying to really get a lot of money for what they brought…usually leave with not much money and all their junk.

Make sure you go to the bank the day before the sale and get plenty of cash. Lots of 1’s, 5’s, and quarters. I would say at least $50 worth. Organize it in a specified ‘money box’ or something. You need to be able to keep your money organized and make change easily and quickly. {I like a box because I don’t like everyone being able to see this big wad of cash each time I make change. At a yard sale you look like Daddy Warbucks…..even though it’s mostly 1’s. Quite often people are watching your box and hoping you are not. So, don’t walk away from it.}

Some other fun things to consider selling at a yard sale:  my Lovely Little made $350 selling shaved ice for $1 at one of our sales when she was 10.  We also made almost $200 by selling seedlings of perennials that we dug up from our yard and sold at a yard sale for $1 each. Be creative and think of other items/services that you could add to your yard sale that would really make a difference.


Be sure to list your sale in the local newspaper, as well as all the free websites out there now that will list all yard sales for free. More and more people are checking these sites when they plan out which sales they will be attending. Write an ad that is snappy and has specifics….especially if you have some really neat and standout stuff.

Make posters/signs. Yes, the old fashioned ones. They really do work. Especially to lead shoppers to the sale…there are still many people that do not have GPS devices and get frustrated when they can’t find an advertised sale. And, make cool ones. =)  There are so many free templates available to us now that are geared just for yard sales….use them to make rally cool posters. You want your sale to be a ‘not to miss’! Like this sign…it’s so fun with bright, bold colors and great graphics:

yard sale tips


Send out the word on any social media that you participate in…a great way to get the word out to lots of people in just a bit of your time.

Sale Day:

Be prepared for early birds. They will come. Whether you want them to or not. And, if you ask them not to…it probably means more will come. You can still advertise ‘no early birds’…but just go ahead and make peace with the fact that there will still some.

Have just one person in charge of the money box.

As silly as it may sound….think of your little yard sale area as a store. Display it like a neat shop. You will sale SO MUCH more stuff! Make sure clothes are hanging up….on a rack, on a rope between trees, etc.  Just make sure they are hanging up. Put ‘like’ stuff together….all the kitchen stuff together, all movies together, all clothing and accessories together, etc. Have little ‘departments’. In each area display your items to make them look their best….you want people to want them! In your clothing area…put outfits together with hats, shoes, jewelry that matches.  You get the idea….think like a shopkeeper, not someone that is ready for this thing to be over so you can go to Sonic Happy Hour and declare that you made it and then head straight to Pottery Barn and spend every cent you made. ;) {Not that I’ve ever thought that way, you know, it’s just a, kinda….something I overheard once or something.;)}

As things sale be sure to move stuff around and spread it out.

Toward the end of the sale really start to be super easy to bargain with…take whatever! Your goal is to get rid of it…to not have to load it up and take it back inside your home. I’ve even had someone come to a sale about 30 minutes before the end and offer $25 for all the rest…I took it!

After the Sale:

When your sale is done donate your items to a good non-profit. There are many that will actually come with their truck at the end of your sale and load up everything that is leftover. We have a few ministries here in our area that can be called ahead of time and told what the ending time of your sale will be…they will show up at that time with their truck and load up what’s left; and give you a receipt for a tax write-off.  Woohoo!

Here’s a fun info graphic with some other great tips:



Ok, so…are you ready to have a yard sale?

Have you ever had one before? Do you dislike having them as much as me?

It’s fall….go sale something! ;)




Sharing this in these lovely locations……

 + Savvy Southern Style

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  1. Karen Nelson says

    I have had yard sales. I don’t like them. The one thing about them that is good…it reminds me of how worthless the stuff I buy can really be! I have to ask myself when I purchase something…would this end up in a yard sale…for almost nothing. It slows me down and makes me think.
    I sell bigger ticket items through Facebook and give the rest away. So much work for so little profit

    • says

      I’m with you, Karen! =) I have started doing the same thing the past few years….asking myself before I get something “Will this end up in the clean out pile in a few months?” You’re right…it’s a great way to slow you down!

  2. says

    Well, these are some valuable tips regarding yard sale and according to me, proper advertising is the most important key factor that should be considered by every person while executing a yard sale.

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