how to: yard sale right

Casey and I have now held two yard sales together. I'd say we have been pretty successful, to the point where people ask how we did it. Let me tell you, it's pretty simple actually. I think it's all about expectations. We also had tons of stuff to get rid of, but don't we all? Now these things may seem obvious to some of you. We are not about to give you some profound way to yard sale. Although we did come up with a cool new concept for yard sales. But we aren't here to talk about that. We are here to talk about things you could do better. Let's get started.
Obviously you need to advertise. You need signs. But you shouldn't stop there. Not if you want to bring the people. Post your sale on Craigslist and Facebook. Be specific with your listings. Say exactly what is going to be at your yard sale. The first yard sale we did was mostly women's clothing. So we advertised it that way and listed all the brands that would be for sale. Now as far as signs go, they need to be neat and legible. Make sure that you list all the information that is needed. We even went as far as adding little taglines like "It's amazeballs" and "Our stuff is the best stuff!" You don't have to go this far, but we did talk to people who came because of our signs. Trust me...hype? It works.
This is a big one. I know you want to make money and get back what you paid for stuff. Ain't gonna happen. I mean, you are going to make money... IF you price your stuff right. You can't focus on making your money back. Once in a blue moon will you sell a piece of clothing for what you might actually want for it. But chances are that you are going to sell a bunch of clothes for way cheaper than you want. To make it easy, most of our clothes were priced at $1. It's easy. If everything is the same price, you don't have to label everything. Just make one sign that says "ALL CLOTHES $1." So if you are thinking that you want to sell an Anthropologie dress for $15, you should probably cut that price in half, or more. Brands lure people in, but they don't make people spend more money. After all, they are at a yard sale, probably to get a good deal. A dress for $15 isn't really a good deal (unless it's like a wedding dress.)

It is way better to know ahead of time what you are going to ask for each item. This part may seem tedious, and it is, but it's so worth it. People like to know what you are asking for something, without having to ask. Also, chances are, you won't remember all the prices you came up with. Then you end up selling something for way cheaper than you wanted to or for less than what you could've gotten. So label! Everyone wins. 
Make it easy for customers to see what you have. Lay it out on blankets. Hang up all of the clothes. Don't have 1,000 boxes of stuff for people to go through. They just won't go through it all. They may never see the stuff they would be willing to buy. You basically need to merchandise your yard sale a little. Put housewares with housewares. Put clothes with shoes and accessories. We had a mirror outside by the clothes so people could slip stuff on and see what was going on. That seemed to be pretty helpful.
This is probably the most important thing to think about. How successful you are will depend on how you think about your yard sale. If you think you are going to make a million dollars, you are probably going to fail. Usually the point of a yard sale is to get rid of things you no longer need to make a little extra money. You have to decide beforehand what your goal is. Our goal has always been to get rid of stuff. Before our last yard sale we agreed that nothing at our yard sale could come back into the house. At the end of the sale we packed everything into the back of a truck and hauled it off to Goodwill. We got rid of SO much stuff. SO. MUCH. And it felt great! But knowing that we were going to do this beforehand made it a lot easier to sell stuff for $1 rather than $4. It is better to make $100 than no dollars. Nahmsayin'?
Listen, yard saling can be stressful, but like I said in #5, it's all about your state of mind. Think of it as just hanging out in your yard and making money. Play some music. Make some lemonade. Talk to your customers. Invite your friends over to hang out (they'll probably buy something anyway). Have snacks available for crying out loud. We forgot that last time and were STARVING 1 hour into the yard sale. Heck, you could even have yard games if you're feeling crazy. 

Well I hope this helps a little! We have had some pretty successful sales so I'd like to think that we know what we are doing. Good luck!

xo, Savannah


  1. great tips!!!

  2. You've somehow managed to make a yard sale sound like a place I wouldn't mind going to. Too bad you ladies are all the way in TN!