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Great Yard Sale Ideas

Updated on January 12, 2011

yard sale advertising - strategies - custom signs


Want to have a great yard sale? If you’ve never hosted a sale of your own, you’ll be surprised at how much money you can make! Yard sales are fun, too, and you’ll meet a lot of interesting folks in the process. It’s also a great way to clean out your closets and storage buildings. For a successful event, however, you need some yard sale ideas, especially if you have no prior experience. Read below for some great yard sale ideas that work well for me!



What to include


Include as many items as you possibly can at your yard sale. The bigger it appears, the better. Large yard sales will attract a lot more people.


Of course, you never know exactly what will and what won’t sell, but be sure to include a variety of items: clothing, quilts, tools, toys, camping gear, fishing gear, home décor, crafts, small and large appliances, furniture, shoes, curtains, dishes, china, glassware, pots and pans, and any types of collectibles.


From my experience with numerous successful yard sales, the best sellers are tools, gardening equipment, stemware, old cookware, kitchen gadgets, clocks, crocks, churns, furniture, glassware, and toys. Children’s clothing usually sells quickly, along with any special sizes, like plus size or petite. At certain times of the year, crafts and decorations sell well, also. In fact, we had a fantastic yard sale one year on the first Saturday in December, and I sold tons of crafts that I’d made myself!


Any collectible items will sell very quickly, as will antiques and vintage or retro items.


Crocks and pottery are hot yard sale items.
Crocks and pottery are hot yard sale items.

Timing is everything!


Having your yard sale at the right time of the month is extremely important. Of course, it needs to be held on a Saturday, when most people are off from work. But which Saturday? Every month has four or five Saturdays. Choose the first Saturday of the month for the largest turnout. Why? Because a lot of people are paid on the first day of the month, so they’ll probably still have expendable income at this point.


Begin your yard sale early in the day. Most of the sales around here begin at eight o’clock. If that’s the case in your neck of the woods, you want to start earlier. Many regular yard sale goers plan a strategy the week before they hit the sales. They’ll likely hit several places in the same day. If other sales in your town start at eight, and yours begins at seven, they’ll hit yours first.


Rest assured that several potential customers will show up early, probably a half hour before your sale officially starts. With that in mind, make sure you have everything set up at least an hour before the advertised yard sale time. Have someone monitoring your stuff, too. If the early birds want to make a purchase or two but don’t offer you a decent price, don’t make the sale. Be nice, but firm. Invite them to come back later, and tell them if the article doesn’t sell, you’ll be willing to drop the price.


Most serious sale-goers finish their rounds by noon. If the items haven’t sold by then, drop the prices – unless you want to store the stuff for your next yard sale. You’ll be surprised at how many of those early birds will swing back by between eleven o’clock and noon to peruse your goods again.

With great yard sale ideas, you can make some serious cash!
With great yard sale ideas, you can make some serious cash!

Location, location, location!


Location is another important aspect of a successful yard sale. If you live in town or in a densely populated suburb, you might be able to have a successful yard sale in your own front yard. If not, find a better location. If you have a friend or relative with a potentially better locale, ask to hold the sale at their house. Offer to sale a few of their items in return for the favor.


Many towns have parking lots and other spacious venues that are available to the public for yard sales. They might charge a nominal fee, but the price will be well worth it in the long run. You want your yard sale to be easy to find and very visible.




Don’t just throw all your stuff in a pile and expect people to sift through it. Have a strategy. Group similar items together in different sections, and use tags to display the prices. Spread the sections out some so that people will have room to navigate around them easily. Use card tables, picnic tables, utility shelves, etc. an old door or a piece of plywood on two sawhorses will work, too.


For clothing items, use dress racks, if you access to them. If you don’t, string some heavy cord between two trees or poles for hanging clothes. If you tie a knot in the cord every few inches, the hanging items won’t “bunch together.” If you have a clothesline, monkey bars, or swingset, put them to good use! Have a section for children’s clothes, men’s clothes, women’s clothes, and junior sizes. Make sure all the apparel is clean. If you can’t hang all the clothing, hang the shirts, blouses, and jackets, and stack the jeans neatly by sizes. Be sure to display the sizes on the price tag.


Place high-end items near the back of the sale, but make them visible. That way, customers will have to walk through your other items to get to the real “goodies.” Keep out a couple of really attractive items, however, to be displayed right at the front. Doing so will encourage passers-by to stop.


When you have a lot of items on a table or other flat surface, highlight some of the best by placing them at a higher level, like on top of a shoebox. That will draw more attention to the articles, and it will make the overall display much more attractive.

More yard sale ideas


You’ll need several “salesmen.” Enlist the aid of friends and family members. Make sure everyone involved with the event is friendly and approachable. Each person handling money will need a good supply of change and one-dollar bills. A waist pouch works well for this.


Cover your tables with cheap plastic cloths to make your display more attractive. For kitchenware, use red-and-white checked cloths for a homey feel. You can find large plastic tablecloths at dollar stores for just a buck or two.


To encourage potential buyers to stay longer, you might want to serve free coffee. In the colder months, you could also serve mulled hot cider, and in the summer, a cold glass of lemonade would be refreshing. In the hottest part of the summer, you might also wish to set up a few large outdoor fans.

Use plastic tablecloths to display items like kitchenware.
Use plastic tablecloths to display items like kitchenware.

Advertise the yard sale - yard sale advertising


You have to advertise the yard sale to generate a lot of interest. There’s a strategy with yard sale advertising. Of course, you want to give a general overview of the types of items you’re offering for sale, but list a few specifics, too. For example, when you advertise the yard sale, list some items that always generate interest, like antiques, furniture, appliances, tools, quilts, and camping or sports gear.


Advertise the yard sale in and around your neighborhood with yard sale signs and flyers. If permitted, advertise the yard sale at your place of employment with small yard sale signs and notices, too. Send out emails to advertise your yard sale to your contact list.


Many local newspapers offer free yard sale advertising, so take full advantage of it. Make sure the yard sale advertising includes the date of the sale, the location, the time, and a summary of items. Advertise your yard sale two weeks in advance, including a reminder a day or two before your event.


Advertise the yard sale two weeks in advance. Many local newspapers offer free yard sale advertising.
Advertise the yard sale two weeks in advance. Many local newspapers offer free yard sale advertising.

Yard sale signs


You’ll also need yard sale signs to advertise the yard sale. You can make your own yard sale signs with poster boards and large markers. Studies show that black print on a yellow background is the most visible and easy to read, so keep this in mind when you’re making your yard sale signs. Buy bright yellow poster board, and use a black marker with a wide tip. Make your lettering neat and BOLD, and keep it simple. Just say something like, “GIANT YARD SALE! 222 Pine Street.” Place your yard sale signs at intersections near your sale.


Place yard sale signs at intersections.
Place yard sale signs at intersections.

Custom signs


Custom signs for a yard sale? If you hold yard sales often, you might want to consider custom signs. There are people, believe it or not, who make a living having yard sales. These people “curb surf” on a regular basis to obtain items to sell. Some of them hit yards sales and garage sales as they’re closing down and purchase all the unsold items at a very cheap price, then they offer them for sale at their own yard sales.


If you’re interested in something like this, using custom signs can be a good strategy. The custom signs look a lot more professional than homemade signs, and they’ll last for years. With custom signs, all you need to display is the event and the location.


Custom signs should be colorful and eye-catching, yet simple and straightforward. Custom signs can be purchased locally, or they can be ordered online. When shopping for custom signs, be sure to compare prices before making a purchase.

Custom signs can be a good strategy for regular yard sales.
Custom signs can be a good strategy for regular yard sales.


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    • Woodmckinney profile image


      5 years ago from Maryland

      Great article! You said " Custom signs should be colorful and eye-catching, yet simple and straightforward."

      I could not agree more, I can't tell you up many yard sales miss potential sales because their signs simply blinds the driver, you have got to stand about 20 feet away from it to see if you can read it. If you have to squint, or it hurts your eyes, you've got to change something about it

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Lol. We Southerners have some strange but fun traditions! Yard sales are just a few of them.

    • Shelvajay profile image


      7 years ago from If You Know Me Personally, You Know Where I Am...

      I got my first introduction to Yard Sales from my cousin who also lives in the South (Mississippi). You guys in the South really know how to do this sort of thing! I loved this Hub, thanks for sharing!!!!!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Dallas, glad you liked my yard sale ideas!

      CollB, thank you for reading!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      HH, do you folks in the UK have yard sales?

      BJ, me, too! I'm sick of winter!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really great ideas and thanks for sharing these ideas.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Great useful ideas. Thanks for sharing. Flag up and useful...

    • BJBenson profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Love your hub! Makes me want spring to come even sooner!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Great information and well followed through. Good idea. Thank you.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Yeah, Kookoo, location is super important for yard sales!

      Great idea, Jane! I hadn't thought about Craig's List.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for reading, Becky!

      Tonzofkids, if you have a lot of kids, you prolly have a lot of great stuff for successful yard sales!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch, Katie!

      Dahoglund, too funny!

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Drbj, sad story. lol. I love having yard sales - or at least, I used to. Haven't had one in about a year.

      True, Chuck! We've had some really good ones!

    • Jane@CM profile image


      7 years ago

      Well done Habee!! We live in a gated community so we have a yard sale twice a year - when the community decides! Since moving to CA I have become a garage sale addict. The deals are unbelievable!

      Our strategy: We go on Craigslist late Friday night and look for all the sales in an upper class neighborhood first (they have a lot) then we map our way back home. The neighbor has a GPS system so we get from place to place quickly. We leave at 6:15 sharp and are done by 9:30 or so. Craigslist is great for advertising!

    • kookoo88 profile image


      7 years ago from Cripple Creek

      Excellent hub. Our last yard sale failed miserably, I think because of our location.

    • tonzofkids profile image


      7 years ago

    • tonzofkids profile image


      7 years ago

      We will be moving next fall so I have big plans of hosting numerous sales this next spring and summer. Thanks for the helpful advice.

    • Becky Puetz profile image


      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great ideas for having a successful yard sale. Thanks for the advice, tips and ideas. Great Hub.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      I go to a lot of such sales but am not inclined to give one. Most things I want to get rid of nobody else wants either. It is also a lot of work.

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Oh I like this, most of all thinking of all warm summer days and yard sales brings back a moment in time I could go for right about now!

      I have a friend who's a yard sale diva, I will def be sharing you ideas with her! Well done! Thanks :) Katie

    • ChuckHuckaby profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Yard sales are often under-rated ways to make some quick cash... and I for sure have plenty of stuff that needs to be cleaned out!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      Great ideas for yard sales, Holle.

      I tried to have one where I live but they made me take down all my beautiful signs I had created . . . and posted in the elevator.

    • habee profile imageAUTHOR

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      Good point, Bpop!

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      Interesting hub. Just a word of caution, don't get caught selling any children's items that might have been recalled or the "garage sale police" will fine you!


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