How to Make More Money with a Yard Sale
Updated: May 15
Want to declutter your home while making extra cash? Then grab your picket sign and price tags ‘cause you should have a yard sale! I know, I know, I’m sure you’d rather do anything else with your Saturday. But yard sales are a great way to throw some more cash towards your debt! Before you start the process, here are some small steps you can take to guarantee success:
Before the Yard Sale
Unfortunately, you can’t put all your clutter on the driveway and call it a yard sale. There’s some prep work you have to put in beforehand.
1. Clear Out Your Entire House. Dedicate an entire weekend to skimming through closets, the garage, and any other places to find items. Start to separate what you can sell vs. trash. Then start to separate by item type (clothes, household, children, tools, etc.)
2. Have an Intervention. Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye to stuff that we love but never actually use. Let each family member know this is their chance to get rid of all the toys, clothes, or other items they don’t use anymore. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t worn or used it in the past 6 months, you can live without it.
3. Price Your Items. It’s much better to do this beforehand. For items that could be more valuable look on eBay or Craigslist to see how much they list for. Some people might want to negotiate. Choose which items you aren’t negotiating with the word “firm” on the sticker next to the price.
4. Advertise to Your Neighborhood. Advertise through Craigslist, Facebook Groups, signs, and word of mouth a week or so in advance. Sometimes neighborhoods even have a designated yard-sale-day so advertising won’t be necessary.
5. Check the Weather Ahead of Time. The worst thing that can happen is doing all the prep work to realize it will rain at the same time. Check your radar and have a backup plan if necessary.
During the Yard Sale
1. Ease the Shopping Process. Have grocery bags at hand so people don’t have to carry around a handful of small items. Also, make sure someone is able to help carry heavy items when checking out.
2. Offer Snacks and Refreshments. Yard sales are usually hot and in the middle of the afternoon. Visitors will be in a better attitude to buy if there is food or drinks involved.
3. Accept Multiple Forms of Payment. It’s important to have a cash box. But some people might say “sorry, I only have my card.” Use something portable like the Square Reader to accept debit cards making people more likely to buy.
4. Offer Package Deals. Sometimes people will want to package items together at a discounted price. At the end of the day, you are selling used items. It’s better to offer a package deal then get no sale at all.
5. Organize As You Go. If you’re familiar with retail, you’ll know how often people will look at something and put it back unorganized. Have a few people in the family in charge of organizing throughout the event to keep items well on display.
After the Yard Sale
1. Package Items for the Next Yard Sale. Especially if this is your first time, you might not sell as much as you hoped. Package everything in plastic containers and store them for your next sale.
2. Sell Items Online. You can put items up on eBay, Craigslist, or even neighborhood Facebook pages designed for selling local items. This works great for tight-knit communities.
3. Try for a Sale One More Time. If some clothes or items didn’t sell, try a local Plato's Closet or pawnshop to see if you’ll have any luck there.
4. Donate Items Unlikely to Sell. Some items are best given to a local Goodwill or donation center. Just remember to get your receipt for tax purposes.
5. Put Your Cash to Good Use. Whether it’s to tackle debt or pay for an unexpected expense, use this money to move you forward in your finances. Last time we had a yard sale, my family made $300!
Looking for a Financial Coach Near You? A yard sale is one of many tactics to eliminate debt. If you think you’ll need more than a yard sale to pay off your debt, contact me for a complimentary consultation. I’d love to get you started on your debt-free journey and make finances more simple!