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Have a Successful Yard or Garage Sale in 4 easy Steps.

Updated on September 25, 2013

Yard or Garage Sale.

Two Ladders and Rods.
Two Ladders and Rods. | Source
We Saved the Doors that we replaced for the sale
We Saved the Doors that we replaced for the sale | Source
Items that did not sell last year were put into Surprise Boxes for this years sale. Children love these surprise boxes.
Items that did not sell last year were put into Surprise Boxes for this years sale. Children love these surprise boxes. | Source
The Lawn Mower was sold!
The Lawn Mower was sold! | Source
What ever did not sell was brought to Goodwill.
What ever did not sell was brought to Goodwill. | Source
We put as much stuff as we could within reach.
We put as much stuff as we could within reach. | Source

It's that time again...

Where do we start?

First be sure to check the local laws about having a sale on your property. Laws can vary from State to State.

Our Garage and Yard Sales always start in the winter months. I purge all closets, drawers and storage spaces. What I mean by purge is that I hunt for items that I know we will not use or don't have a need for anymore. I label and price EVERYTHING. Tip: DO NOT PRICE ANYTHING FOR UNDER 25 CENTS. I can't stress this enough. One time I let a friend share my driveway and some of her items were marked 15 cents & 10 cents. I didn't like making change for a $20 bill for a 10 cent item! Back to the process... After sorting, and cleaning or spray painting various items I place whatever I can in boxes or large garbage bags. Unfortunately our dining room will suffer with the clutter of the boxes, bags and furniture that we want to sell in the sale. However, it's not such a long time and I have the space there, that is out of the way and not used as often in the winter. I get deep into it from Jan.-April. Towels, linens, pots, pans, doubles of anything. It all gets ready for the sale.

So much time is saved when you price each item as you prepare for the sale. People Do Not want to ask you how much an item is. They will just pass it by. On the other hand, if you see someone lingering with an item... Shout out, "That is half price now, or make me an offer." You don't want to take that thing back inside... do you?

Getting to the Bones of your Sale.

You'll see that with a little planing ahead of time, it won't be so overwhelming when your Yard/Garage Sale day is just a few days away. Have a working extension cord ready to show people that the radio works... better yet, have the radio playing all day, until it's sold. Music always makes people linger longer at a sale. If you don't believe me, go to the mall. Most stores play music to keep the customers shopping for as long as possible.

Here are the Steps I've used for Years.

1. Place your ad in the newspaper by Wednesday for a Saturday Sale. Don't bother with sales for Sunday, no one goes to yard or garage sales on Sundays. Trust me on this, when I was new at this I had a Sunday sale... only two people showed up. Be sure to put your ad in for the Friday and Saturday Classified ads. Some newspapers have a special rate just for Yard/Garage Sales. (Yard/Garage Sale junkies like to plot their hunting trips.) Make the ad short. Put three big items in the ad that you really, really want to sell. Then add a few more smaller items with a... And More, on the end of the ad. In our community we pool our money for one large ad. Not too large, just enough to bring some traffic to the sales. We each put in three big items and one lesser item... like children toys, clothes, or Plus Size clothes. Then we divide the price of the ad and each pay an equal amount of the cost.

2. Put out Signs the night before the sale. Use arrows to point the way on the sign. Make separate signs for Larger items, (couch, TV, lamp, etc.) Also put your tables out the night before the sale. On the day of your sale you can place the empty boxes under the tables as you fill the tables with your sale items and keep some bags handy for people to take their items home. While you are making the signs be sure to make a few... "ALL SALES FINAL," signs, to put in plain sight for the day of the sale. (Be courteous to your neighbors and take the signs off right after your sale is over.)

3. The day before the sale go to the bank and get $30 in five dollar bills, $50 in one dollar bills and a roll of quarters. If you have a lot of 50 cent or $1.00 items make a Dollar Box or 50 cent box. This will free up space on your tables for items above a dollar. I sometimes make $1.00 Surprise Boxes. I take some time one weekend in the winter and place a whole lot of small things in boxes. If I have the time or the used wrapping paper, I even wrap the boxes. I list what is in the box so people are not too surprised. The children and men really go for the surprise boxes. It just makes the sale a little different.

4. SALE DAY! Get up early, have some kind of breakfast even if it's a cup of coffee with a buttered roll. Next, take your stuff outside and fill those tables. Place your clothing on hangers and put them on your makeshift clothes holder, (See Photo.) Be sure you wear a Carpenter's apron. It holds pens, pencils, money, calculator, and paper nicely. One Hour before your sale is over... usually when not too many people are stopping by anymore, announce that... EVERYTHING IS HALF PRICE! This will help sell stuff that you don't want to take back inside or to Goodwill.

There you go. It's that simple. If you are not planning to have any other sales in the future be sure to take all the left over items to Goodwill right after the sale. Make a list and take a picture of everything. Then you just attach the list and photos to the receipt that they give you and you are ready for tax time.


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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 6 years ago from Germany

      Thank you for the tips. Voted Useful!

    • WandasHomePlace profile image

      WandasHomePlace 6 years ago

      Great! You've covered all the points I needed to have a sale. Thank you, thank you and thank you again!

    • profile image

      ajthesmeagol 6 years ago

      I'm going to help my mom do the things you do at her next garage sale.

    • profile image

      NTR57 6 years ago

      I agree Simone. I need to downsize myself and will try Francesca27's suggestions.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, you're a pro! I appreciate the tips. Now, I'll be set should I need to hold one of my own!

    • profile image

      chonett 6 years ago

      It seems you have covered all the important things that have to be done to simplify and do a good yard sale. Got me in the mood to have one before the season ends! Thanks!

    • profile image

      NTR57 6 years ago

      Great advice. I haven't had a garage sale in years. I dread the pricing and set up. You make it seem so easy. Maybe I will give it another try.

    • profile image

      bri36 6 years ago

      showed this to my MOM and she was in heaven! now maybe i will find all those things that have been missing for awhile. thank you Francesca27 for making mom's summer fun and busy.

    • Francesca27 profile image

      Francesca27 6 years ago from Hub Page

      Thanks IsaBbott... there's always next year!

    • IsaBbott profile image

      IsaBbott 6 years ago from In the penthouse

      This was great. I wish I'd seen your hub before my friend had her sale. She ended up doing well but I'm sure this would've helped her tremendously!

    • Francesca27 profile image

      Francesca27 6 years ago from Hub Page

      Thanks everyone... just want to be helpful.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Good information.

    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 6 years ago

      Good stuff!


    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Great garage sale advice. It should help a lot of first-timers.

    • Hypnotherapy-Guru profile image

      Hypnotherapy-Guru 6 years ago from Idaho

      Great yard sale tips. Thanks!