How to have a money-making yard sale


Although the art of yard sales may appear simple, it is possible to make a sale a success with some minor adjustments in pricing, timing and display.

We spoke to Ava Seavy, about the best ways to sell your unwanted wares. These tried-and-true methods could help you make a sale and possibly strike it rich.

1. Titrate your event wisely

“Estate Sale” and “Moving Sale”, both mean that you are selling a house’s contents. This can make you more than “Garage Sale.”

2. Drum Up Attention

Advertise in local newspapers, online or on public bulletin boards. You can reserve signs for the day of your event. Please include only the date, time and location.

Your signs should be legible from a distance that allows drivers to see them. This means large, bold, black letters printed on posterboard that is brightly colored and easily readable from several hundred feet away.

3. Offer Freebies

You shouldn’t give away items without a catch. Instead, encourage people to spend more by offering buy-one-get one deals. This allows you to advertise for free products.

4. Don’t Forget Friday

Experts agree that Sunday is the best day to sell because people are more likely to use Saturdays for running errands. Seavey says, “Start your sales earlier than you think.” Believe it or not Friday is the best day to have a sale because most retired people and dealers will be there.

5. Time it Right

Seavey says that most business happens in the morning so it is best to start early. Start business at 9 a.m., and close by the end of the afternoon.

6. Don’t Toss Workshop Leftovers

Seavey claims that building supplies and materials such as leftover lumber, old tools and gutter segments are the most popular. You can arrange similar items and, if necessary, support them against a wall.

7. Officials give you the go-ahead

Check with your local municipality before you make a sale to make sure you are following all the rules. Some towns may require permits, or limit you to selling less than one sale per year. Recalls can also pose risks, so it is important to be aware of federal regulations governing the resale and sale of baby furniture.

8. Display merchandise with care

If they are furniture pieces, never place them on the ground. To give your sale a cleaner look, hang or place items on tables.

9. Prices for Goods are based on the Condition

Seavey, our expert likes to use the 50-30-10 rule. She sells almost new items at 50% of retail, slightly used items at 25%-30% of retail, and used items at 10% of retail. You don’t have to believe that something is worth more. Think about what you consider a bargain price. Your backyard is not an antiques shop. Yard-sale shoppers are there to make a deal.

10. Tag everything

Avoid spending time or attention haggling over prices with customers by attaching tags to each item in a prominent spot (unless you are grouping them with similar products that cost the same price).


Dia is the Editorial Assistant at, covering Exterior, Kitchen, home Yard, Poolhouse, and more.

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