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How to Run a Successful Yard Sale

Updated on May 1, 2013

Whether its a Yard, Garage, Tag or Rummage sale, you have some stuff you want to get rid of, and you'd like to make some money at the same time. But, as you've probably noticed, there's more to a successful yard sale than just dumping piles of old clothes and chipped flatware onto your front lawn. Below are some simple guidelines that will help separate you from every other spring cleaner in the neighborhood.


  • Check local statutes. More often than not, you won't be required to do anything prior to starting your yard sale, but some communities may require you to get a permit.
  • Advertise a week in advance. You shouldn't count solely on walk-ins, and the more serious buyers- including antiques dealers- will be more likely to show. Try both online and offline advertisement.
  • Mention what kind of things you're selling in your advertisement. This is more likely to entice serious buyers.
  • Put up large, legible signs near the main roads closest to your house. These signs should offer clear and straightforward directions. Remember, people will usually be reading them while driving, so brevity and clarity are key!
  • Set clear beginning and ending times for your sale. Not only is this just good business sense, it will this help deter early birds.
  • Do a little research on the items you think might be worth more. You don't want to get ripped off by undervaluing something; by the same token, you don't want to overprice something that isn't really worth much.
  • Make sure your items are clean and organized. If someone driving by can't tell whether you're having a sale or if you just have a garbage-strewn front lawn, you won't be making a whole lot of sales.
  • Be ready to make change. In the US, you can usually count on people paying with $20 bills, so have plenty of fives, ones and coins on hand.
  • There's a good chance the people at your yard sale are neighbors, so try to act neighborly! People appreciate a helpful and friendly attitude.

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    • CroftRoan profile image

      Kate Rolands 4 years ago

      These are great tips. Very well written.