Guides, Making Money

My Complete Guide For A Stress-Free, Successful Yard Sale

Yay! Baby is due in 3 1/2 months! I have been SO sick! I mean really sick! I’m still experiencing the joys of morning sickness at 25 weeks pregnant! I had to quit my job (a job I absolutely loved!) because I’ve been so sick. Anyways, we have been busy getting ready. We started clearing out the Man Cave and getting it ready for our…Baby Boy!!! And, man, has nesting come early. After clearing out the nursery, I discovered how filthy (okay, not really filthy, that’s just the hormones talking) and cluttered my house has become in the short few years we’ve lived here.

Luckily, while checking my mail, I noticed a solution to the mess and something that could help out our lean (remember, no job) budget. It was that time of year again… Community Yardsale! Woot! Woot! (Sorry, for the excessive expressions, but I love me some yard sales. Having ’em and shopping ’em)

I was going to get rid of our junk (you know good junk, aka someone else’s treasure…) AND make some good money doing it! But, I needed some help (remember, 5 1/2 months prego and sickipoo…). I came up with my game plan, enlisted the help of my strapping young husband and a family friend, and got to work! I’m going to walk you through my strategies for planning and running a smooth, profitable yardsale…

Before The Sale

First things first, go through all the stuff and start pulling things aside to put in your sale. I tend to go through my house with a fine-toothed comb and get three piles going: for the yard sale, for the donation bin, and for the trash bin.

Next, choose a few “doorbuster” items. The reason behind this is to get some excitement around your sale. If people who are looking for sales to attend see something exciting at your sale they are more likely to get to you before they go to others and spend all their money. This helps to get more people in front of your smaller stuff too, which means it is more likely to sell. We had a couple gaming systems and tools (which are HUGE sellers in our area) to sell, so we chose those. If you don’t have any exciting “doorbuster” items, don’t worry just follow the next step…

I tend to go yardsailin’ (shoppin’ yard sales), scour clearance racks, and look through online resell pages (craigslist, Facebook Yard Sale pages, etc) a few months prior to mine and look for “doorbuster” items that I can purchase and flip.

Then, I ask family and friends if they have anything they have been wanting to get rid of and offer my “storefront” to help them out.

Now, it is time to get the word out. Take pictures of the exciting stuff and announce your sale everywhere!  Online, in community centers, the library, the grocery store. You get the idea. 😉

The last thing I do, my husband (and the family friend who helped us out) said is a bit excessive, but… I am very Type A and I didn’t want them giving something away for pennies when it was worth serious cash (I already foresaw having to leave the sale multiple times to pee and enjoy the other bodily functions pregnancy has decided to bless me with). I fill out an excel sheet with the description of the item, some info (in case someone has any questions about the item), the listing price, and the lowest price I am willing for it to go for in the case someone would like to negotiate.

Don’t forget to get change! (I can’t tell you how many times I have been ready to buy, but the person having the yard sale didn’t have change for the cash I had to pay with, so I walked away empty handed and they lost a chance to make some money!)

Write out and label all items with their prices and we are ready for our sale.

During The Sale

Since all the prep work is done beforehand, all that is left to do is wake up bright and early, make yourself a nice strong cup of coffee, and set up. I tend to set up large, exciting things in the front. These get people’s attention as they drive by, but are large enough they can’t be pocketed and walked off with. Small, cheaply priced things are on a table across from my main table, the “checkout” table. And, the big-ticket items that are easily carried like gaming systems, small boxed items like small digital cameras, etc are on a table right next to me in the center in front of my garage. This way they can still be seen right away, but they are a bit safer from dishonesty should it be on someone’s mind.

Now, just hang out and enjoy! My husband and I had a blast talking about old memories some of the items brought up, and telling our family friend stories. We absolutely enjoyed meeting new people and spending an absolutely beautiful day outside.

Intermittently, I did get large bills out of the cash drawer  (this is the one we use; #affiliate link) and took them inside.

After The Sale

I tend to take the cash drawer in first.  Then, I go through and divide things into two groups. To keep and to donate. We start packing things up and putting them away; small, expensive items first, small things, and then the big stuff and the tables.

We count up our money, give a gift of thanks to our friend and enjoy a cleared out home and some extra cash in our pocket.

I really hope this guide helps make throwing your yard sale easy and fun. I have included a Yard Sale Checklist and an Inventory Template on the Resources page to make it that much easier.  See you next time as we continue to explore new ways of living on less!

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