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How to Throw an Amazing Yard Sale
So you can sell more and make more!
by: Lindsay Allyn

If you're even THINKING about having a yard sale, be sure to read this post first! It will give you some ideas for ways to have a successful sale, so you can sell more things, and make more money at your next yard sale, garage sale, moving sale, etc!

A Yard Sale can be a great way to get rid of some things that you no longer need, plus earn a little cash. But if you've ever thrown a garage sale before, you know that they can be a LOT of work, with sometimes very little reward. That's why I've put this post together -- it's full of ideas that you can use to make sure you make the MOST out of YOUR sale.

If you enjoyed my page or found value in it, I'd appreciate it if you gave it a little love on social media!
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post may be affiliate links or ads. There is no additional cost to you, but The Scrap Room will earn a small commission should you choose to purchase through those links. Click here for my full disclaimer. Thank you for your support.
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Tips for selling books, dvd, and other media

Sure, if you set up a bookcase or table full of books, you'll probably sell some. 

But here are a few tips that might help you sell a few more...

Did you know that there are subscription companies that charge people money to send them mystery book boxes? People are always looking for something new to love. (New/used. Whatever) ;)

Sort the books you think will sell well out by the "each." It doesn't hurt to use a "Buy X books get 1 FREE!" deal. ;) Then take some of the others and assemble a few "Mystery Book Bags" and see if people are interested! Try sorting them by different genres and even make a couple "Miscellaneous Grab-Bag" style sets.  If they sell well, you can always make some more! Just set some extra bags aside and as soon as you have a free moment, go put a few more bags together! 

(It doesn't hurt to keep a list of the books you make into mystery bags though, in case someone is looking for something specific, you can let them know if you have it or not.)

Selling a cute reading chair, table, and a vase or small table decor? Set up an adorable reading corner next to the books. You might inspire a bookworm, or someone else, to take the whole set! (Don't forget to offer a bundle deal on it!)

If you have an old video game console and games and a TV it still works on -- SET IT UP! Show people it works, and let them play with it! It might hit that nostalgic spot for someone, or you could even inspire a new gamer who hasn't played that gaming console before! (Plus just seeing with their own eyes that YES, it works great will help it sell)

Same goes for that old CD player, cassette player, 8 track player... play some music, enjoy it one last time, and subtly draw in that nostalgic, music loving shopper. 

What type of sale are you having? 

It's been my experience, as a customer, that yard sales can be a lot of different things. 

They can be a couple of tables of crap that someone *really* should have just thrown in the trash, they can be a garage filled with some interesting things that I could probably live without, but find maybe one or two fun things, or sometimes, just sometimes, it can be one of those situations where you're backing your car up to load up all your new finds -- or even have to go pick up a bigger vehicle for your favorite new find.

That last customer? THAT'S the one you want! (But the others are good to have too) ;)

It's been my experience, as a seller and a shop owner, that if you market to your niche, you're going to do a better job of bringing the *RIGHT* customers to your sale.

The time I threw a "Crafter's Yard Sale" I not only attracted people who love doing all kinds of DIY projects, who were LOOKING for DIY project supplies, I made more than any other yard sale I've thrown!

So many people showed up that actually told me they were NOT out looking for garage sales that day, but that they were crafters and just knew they HAD to stop. And buy!

I cleared out so many older crafting supplies I didn't need any more (and they went to good homes!). I ended up giving some crafting things away just for fun, and still walked away with more money in my pocket than I ever thought I would from a humble little driveway sale with half a dozen tables!

The best part of having my Crafters Yard Sale though, was just in meeting all the local crafters in the area and surrounding areas. I got to meet people who were into candle making, cardmaking, scrapbooking, origami, furniture upcycling, painting, and more! It was so fun to spend the day with craft people! 

My Crafters Yard Sale was only a ONE DAY EVENT, yet I offloaded more of my things than any other garage or yard sale I've ever had!

Decide what you have the MOST OF and gear your sale towards that. Are you moving? Do you have a bit of everything? That's good too! Say that! 

"MOVING SALE - A lot of everything!"

It might seem like an obvious detail to you, but to the person who just left the garage sale with one table of crappy stuff, it says a LOT! You likely have a LOT of stuff

Do you have kids who've outgrown clothes and toys that you're ready to let go of? Make a note about that on your signage or social media posts!  You'll attract parents who are looking for inexpensive hand-me-downs for their kids who will probably only need them for a few months!

Cleaning out your garage and getting rid of lots of tools? Drive people looking for those items with a note about it on a sign -- or even add an EXTRA sign on a few major corners. If you keep the paper in the same color and put the signs right next to each other, people will figure it out easily!

Attracting the *RIGHT* customer is key.

(You also need to help them FIND YOU EASILY with clear directions and signs)

Marketing Your Moving or Yard Sale

This is not an "if you build it, they will come" situation. If you want people to show up to your garage sale or yard sale (or moving sale, etc) you're going to need to GET THE WORD OUT!

You can always do the tried and true "Yard Sale" sign, simply printed out on bright paper. Using the same brightly colored (neon preferred) paper for all your signs will give people an easy visual que that they'll understand before they can actually read the words on your sign. (Ex: Using hot pink paper, after seeing the first sign they'll automatically hone in on hot pink, so they'll be on the hunt for it.)

Another thing you can do with your signs though, is to use a branded Yard Sale Marketing bundle -- which sounds like something fancy and expensive, but it's not. It's just a themed group of signs that gives other visual clues to your potential customers, like font and general design, that tells them they're on the right track for the your sale.

Like I mentioned above, if you're throwing a sale with a lot of something in particular, it's important to either add a note onto your sale sign indicating that, or just make a 2nd sign to place at the most important intersections to drive that niche traffic to your sale. If over half your items are of one theme, I think it's safe to say you should highlight that on your signs.

Same goes for large items.  If you've got a lot of big things, note that on your signage: "LOTS OF FURNITURE! It tells people who are looking for that to show up -- and bring a truck! 

This is a set that I designed that has 23 different digital signs that you can print out, or use with your compatible electronic cutting machine to make your own signs. There's all sorts of helpful designs that you can use to clearly indicate to your customers when you're open, where to turn, even where to park! That way they feel comfortable and welcomed and know right where to go. (If you need me to add something custom to the bundle, don't hesitate to send me a message.)

Make sure you set up signs on all your local corners. I like to put signs at all main intersections in at least a 2 mile radius of my house, plus signs at all the biggest intersections even further out.  Put multiple signs on different sides of larger intersections to make sure no one misses the opportunity to come to your yard sale.

When you go put your signs up, have a game plan and BE CAREFUL!

You'll be on foot at busy intersections so remember to take extreme caution. Use your hazard lights when you're parked on the side of the road, watch for traffic, etc. 

 I like to bring a roll of duct tape, plus a stapler. You may find metal poles, as well as wooden posts to attach your signs to and you'll need to be ready for both.

If putting signs on posts is a problem, you can also use old boxes. Just add a sign to each side of large box, and put a few heavy rocks into the box to hold the box in place. (This won't work to well in heavy rain though.)  If your budget allows, this DIY sign kit from Amazon is PERFECT. It comes with 5 white plastic coated signs plus metal stakes so you can just stick your sign into the ground! It's easy and fast. Add any design you want to the blank sign, including signage from my Yard Sale Marketing Bundle, to customize it for your sale.

There's also *this* yard sale kit that comes with ready made signs, stakes, stickers and balloons. It's so bright and cheery and will very likely bring more people to your event.

Yard flags work great for some signs too, like in the photos below! Just Print the designs onto iron on fabric, print a mirrored version on some ink transfer paper, use the png for sublimation or cut out the svg from some heat transfer vinyl! There are so many different ways you could make eye-catching signs for your sale! I recommend the heat transfer vinyl though -- it's super quick and simple if you have a compatible cutting machine, or cut it out by hand. (Since yard flags cost a little more though, I'd save that for the signage AT your sale.)

(*Once your sale is over, remember to go collect all your signs. You don't want to be a litter bug, right? You also don't want to piss off all your neighbors by sending unnecessary traffic through your neighborhood, confuse people, etc.) ;)

Investing in an inexpensive bouquet of balloons to put at the end of your drive way is also a great way to let people know that they've arrived. It's something they will be able to see far away and may also attract some extra shoppers! (You can also attach one to some of your other signs too.) 
Help customers navigate your sale once they're there

What's the first thing that usually happens to you when you enter a store. Usually someone greets you, right? It helps people feel more welcome, (it's also been argued that it helps deter theft).  You definitely want people to feel welcome, like they can take their time and browse and shop all you've set out. So when people arrive at your sale, be sure to greet them, and ask them if there's something in particular they're looking for. 

Many people will prefer to browse though, and that's a good thing -- they might find all kinds of fun things they didn't even know they needed! Create an atmosphere in which it's easy for your customer to navigate and see everything you're selling. You don't need expensive overhead signage, since your "sales floor" won't be very big, but you can organize your sale in clear sections or areas that sort out all your wears into different categories.

No one wants to search through your old clothes to find out what books you're selling.  Set up a cute area for the clothing in one area and a little library nook somewhere else. 

As you're setting up your tables of stuff, don't just put every thing on tables in a big long row. Make little areas and decorated spots to display each section. A section for the kid's stuff. A section for kitchen items.  Use items you're selling as decor to help set up and establish defined "areas".  

Always try to set some items up in a useful or decorative way. (Then replace them with other items as they sell.)

Example: Have a bunch of workout items? Don't just sprawl them out on a table, or put them in a box. SET UP CUTE A WORKOUT AREA using the items. A cute plant, a oil defuser, a inspirational poster -- these are all things you can add to your "at home gym" setup.  Help someone, who may be interested in buying a lightly used treadmill, decide to set up a small inspirational home gym instead!

Price things strategically and think about offering bundled items and special deals

When you price your items, and you definitely should (see note below), just know that a lot of people are going to ask you to to come down on your price. So unless you want to be telling everyone NO all day, or don't want to let go of your items for less than you'd like, I've found it's often easier to just price things a little higher than you actually want. 

Now, I'm not saying over charge anyone. Not at all. 

But it's a lot less stressful to spend your day "giving people a deal" or "accommodating their haggle", without selling things for a price that is below what you're comfortable with. 

If someone came up with say $12.40 worth of stuff and didn't haggle at all, I'd just say "how about ten bucks and we'll just call it even?" They felt like they got a good deal, and I felt like I got a good deal. It was a win win.

But if someone came up and wanted to haggle, then there was a little room for that too.

Bundles are a great way to generate some extra sales. Offering a group of items for a discounted price might encourage them to pick up a few items they might not have, just because it's a better deal. If they're items you may not sell well by the each, this is a great option!  

Example: Selling some paint brushes? You could price them by the each, say 25 cents a piece, or sell the whole lot for a flat price. As people buy them by the "eaches" you can always reduce that bundle price to encourage shoppers that arrive later.

Buy X get Y free sales are great too! Someone who may have picked up only 1 shirt may take you up on a "buy 2 get 1 free" deal. Then you'll be selling them 1 extra shirt that you may not have been able to otherwise sell, and they get one free. A great deal for both, and you still have less stuff to put away at the end of your sale!
It comes down to your marketing

When it comes to the success of your yard sale, garage sale, moving sale, or estate sale, remember, it comes down to your MARKETING

You need your potential customer to know:

About your sale -- that it exists, where it is, what time, what are you selling/offering (what kind of sale?)
How to get there -- they can't shop if they can't find you. Get the word out through signs and social media
Merchandising -- Advertise and display your items in a way that are easy to shop and explore

About a week before your saleremember to post about it on your social media accounts, share it with your friends.  You can even sign up with GarageSaleFinder.com and post about your sale there, or share it in your local online newspaper. 

A couple days before your sale, GET THOSE SIGNS UP! They are probably the most important driving factor in getting shoppers to your sale. It will tell people who are looking for sales right when and where to find you. 

Like I mentioned above, I have a yard sale marketing bundle in my shop, and I take custom requests. So if you're looking for a "Crafters Yard Sale" sign, or something else specific, don't hesitate to reach out! These signs work great just printed out onto neon printer paper, but you can also use the SVG/EPS/PNG files to create your own signage. 

I hope you have an amazingly successful yard sale, and that these tips I've shared from my experiences help you to make the most of your sale!

Selling Clothing & Accessories

You probably spent a lot of money on your wardrobe. It'd be nice to get some of that back, am I right? You might get some back if you dump it all onto a rack or table, but sorting it all out nicely, and displaying it more like you'd see at a department store will probably help you sell more. 

You see, no one wants to sort through a bunch of old clothes in hopes they might find one or two treasures. Sort things into departments (Women's, Men's, Children's, and Baby) so people will know *right* where to find what they're looking for. 

You could set up a table for each demographic, and arrange the items nicely so people are drawn in and can see not only the items you're selling, but how you could put them with other items to create outfits or looks. 

Pair accessories, shoes, and purses with outfits. That woman who might have just bought your old pair of jeans off a rack might buy the entire ensemble you put together for her. (Just remember to replace it with a different complete ensemble after she's left with it, for the next shopper.) ;)

Make Checkout and Load-Up Easy

The goal is to sell everything you put up for sale at your event, right? So make it EASY for people to LOAD UP on your second-hand things!

Provide boxes and bags for people to take items home in. If you're selling a lot of big furniture items, make sure you designate and "loading section" so people see "oh, okay, I pay, then pull up right there to load up." (And don't forget to note on your signage you're selling a bunch of furniture items! There are a LOT of people looking for used furniture these days!)

And I don't know about you, but when I find a good sale and a lot of stuff I want, it stresses me out a little to carry around all the things I want to buy.  If you have room by where you're checking people out, set up a "SOLD" section, and keep a few empty boxes and a Sharpie marker there.  That way when people's arms get full of fun things to buy, they can go drop them off in a box, put their name on it, and keep shopping! 
Selling Kitchenware 

You might think that that one random glass or that old set of salt and pepper shakers may not sell well at your sale, but you'd be AMAZED at the amount of people who pick up kitchenware second-hand. There's always the person living in their first apartment, the collector who's missing just that *one* piece, the chef who loves to play with new kitchen toys, the middle aged person who remembers their mother using that exact same baking dish, the person who happens to collect salt and pepper shakers (my Mom ♥). You never know who's going to stop by your sale! So if you don't want to hang on to it any longer, put it out just in case! 

Just keep things organized by setting up all the Kitchen things together so people looking for this type of thing will know exactly where to go.

If you have a set of dishes, don't leave everything in stacks or boxes. Set up a full place setting so people can see what it looks like. (You can leave the rest stacked nicely.) Pair it with a placemat, silverware, napkin, drinkware, or whatever else you have that you're selling that looks nice. Help the buyer see the full vision. If there's just looking for the dishes, cool. But if they're a shopper who just moved into a new place, they may be inspired by your put-together look!  

​Have a bunch of dishes that don't match, and a table, build on that! Set up a table of mis-matched place settings that look whimsical and purposeful! Done well, mis-matched dishes are a timeless trend, and you might just sell the whole lot to someone! (An optional bundle deal wouldn't hurt here either). ;)

Lots of small kitchen appliances? Be ready with a power source so people can test it out if they want first. You never know when you're buying someone's old mixer...does it *really* mix? In an all-sales-are-final situation such as this, you want people to leave confident in their purchase.

By the way...​
if you have a bunch of mismatched dishes, remember, dishes aren't *just* for eating on.  People will buy them for all sorts of reasons. For their kitchen, but also as home decor, to put things in... even to make garden art with! If you have some extra time before your sale, and plenty of dishware or silverware, use some to make a little garden art of your own! Put it up for sale at your event -- or don't! It's okay to share it with a sign that says "not for sale". The point is, you may inspire someone to try out the project, and pick up supplies at your sale!

What to do with the leftover stuff 

If you sell everything at your sell -- CONGRATULATIONS! That's amazing! Pack up those yard sale tables and put your feet up early! 

But chances are you'll still have a little bit of left overs from your big sale. If there's something you genuinely wanted to hang onto, you probably wouldn't have offered to sell it in the first place. 

Don't put that stuff back in your home -- you *did* want to declutter, right? Aren't you loving the empty space that it left in your home when you took it out to sell?

When you're all wrapped up with your sale, put a big 'ol "FREE" sign up, (put a note on tables that are only for display, so they don't walk away too) and give it a little time! Late "shoppers" might be happy to help you clean up so you'll have less to pack up and less to haul away.

When you're ready to take things down for the day though, consider donating your items somewhere that can make a different in someone else's life, like the Habitat for Humanity StoreGoodwill, or your other favorite organization. You can even write it off as a donation in most cases, if you ask for a receipt and claim it on your taxes.
Selling Toys & Other Kids Things

Kids outgrow things. FAST.

A garage sale is a great way to give old toys new life.

And there are a LOT of people who are looking to score some fun new goodies for their kiddos on the cheap. Let parents know on your Yard Sale signs so they know not to miss your sale! You can even note the approximate age to further draw in your niche demographic.   Remember, someone shopping for their 9 year old, isn't going to be interested in your toddlers clothes. But that new mom? She might clean you out! So market to your niche. 

Put any kids toys at an appropriate height level for that age of child to view. Remember, that have to SEE it to know they WANT it. They can't say they are interested if they don't know it's there, right? Make a nice little display right at their height.