View Full Version : Do beverages/treats really sell well at yard sales?

09-28-2008, 02:30 PM
I am having a yard sale next weekend, and my ds (age 15) wants to set up a table to sell pop, bottled water, and snacks. He wants to make a bit of money on his own, and I appreciate his initiative, but I really don't know if it would be worth his time. So I thought I would check with you "real" yard/garage salers to get your take on this. It isn't hot around here now, since summer has passed so I don't know as if people will really be thirsty. I don't go to sales myself so am not sure if this is done much, but I think I recall reading on this Board that some do this. If so, what sells best, and how much do you charge for stuff?

09-28-2008, 02:34 PM
Double check with your local board of health. Around here kids can no longer sell any type of food/ beverage item without a special permit to do so. We had a lot of local kids small lemonade stands shut down this summer... ridiculous if you ask me, but I just wanted to let you know in case your area is the same way.

09-28-2008, 02:47 PM
If any of the items are things you would keep around your house for personal consumption after the sale, there is not much to loose. In our house - if we were doing a garage sale, I would definitely have coffee (we normally have it brewing on a Saturday morning anyway:thumbsup2 ), we always have bottled water around, same with soda. For us, those items wouldn't be a big deal, becuase there it would be a no-lose scenario (other than the teen's time if nothing sells). I would not want to invest in bags of chips...because that is something we don't normally purchase.

If I was going to a garage sale, I would by a cup of coffee!:thumbsup2 Of course - if DD, 14 were running this concession stand...she would want the garage sale to start about noon:) .

I would not buy any baked goods, especially if I did not know the people whose house it was from.


09-28-2008, 02:50 PM
I usually let me kids sell sodas at our garage sales, mainly to keep them out of my hair. I just get Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite. The kids sell them for 50 cents a piece. They usually end up netting around $15. Not much - but again, worth it to give them something to do. Of course, when Mom is hot and sweaty, do I get a free one??? NOOOOO!! I need 50 cents MOM!!!!

09-28-2008, 03:11 PM
We usually sell bottled water and soda and do pretty well. But it's usually fairly warm when we have our sale. We usually put it in a cooler and people can help themselves.
So, if it's warm, soda and bottled water will sell well. I've always wondered about coffee, never tried that or treats. If it's cooler weather I would think coffee or hot chocolate would sell.

09-28-2008, 03:27 PM
We always make some sausage biscuits, they sell out really quickly! We also sell cookies (2 or 3 in a baggie for 50 cents), soda and bottled water. We sell out everytime! :)

I put the cookies near the checkout area. It never fails, most every kid will want a bag of cookies!

09-28-2008, 04:08 PM
We always sell cans of soda bottles of water for 50 We sell lots but there is not a big profit margin. I think if you raise your prices much you wont sell as much

09-28-2008, 04:18 PM
A couple years ago my kiddos (ages 7 and 9) sold rice krispie treats and lemonade and made $35+!!! Now it didn't hurt that they had a sign on the front of the table that read Please help us buy a puppy!!! Needless to say, they had a puppy a few months later... ;)

09-28-2008, 04:30 PM
My daughter did this one yard sale, she sold water bottles and pepsi products. lol People were very generous, but she was only 5. So She made around $100 in 2 afternoons. Seriously! She was only asking for $1 for each 1 liter bottle. And most people gave her the "oh, your so cute $5.

09-28-2008, 04:58 PM
Last summer my mother in law had a barn sale in the middle or a horrible heat wave. I think I made more money selling brownies, cupcakes and water than she did! I think I raked in almost $200!!! I had my wife run to the store twice in 1 day for cases of water.

09-28-2008, 05:01 PM
Our township also requires permits for this, like another OP said. Crazy, I know! I'd stick with pre-packaged drinks & snacks. I personally wouldn't buy homemade food from someone I didn't know, but I would buy a drink if I was thirsty.

Grumpy's Gal
09-28-2008, 05:27 PM
we sold soda in cans (50 cents) and packages of pop tarts (50 cents)

09-28-2008, 05:39 PM
We sold cans of soda and they did sell well. We also had candy bars DS was selling for some fundraiser. I put them out and they sold really fast. Just make sure you keep those out of the sun!

09-28-2008, 06:04 PM
I personally have never had great success with it.. however I know when I go to a garage sale I would buy a canned or bottled drink.. I wouldnt buy anything that is homemade though..

09-28-2008, 06:21 PM
I few sodas, chips, homemade cookies/or the slice off roll of cookie dough baked in your oven. They do sell pretty well in my experience. Especially to people that have their children with them. Good luck with your yard sale!;)

09-28-2008, 07:19 PM
Thanks for all of the responses and tips. I talked with DS about it and he has decided he will sell: pop, bottled water, cinnamon rolls, chips, and fruit (apples and bananas) for 50 cents each. I don't know how he will do but we'll see soon enough.

09-28-2008, 07:59 PM
Good for him for wanting to try!:thumbsup2 Some kids are too busy with their video games to even get off of the sofa. Cudos to him!
DD9 and her Dad did it this year at our yard sale. They had hotdogs, hamburgers, pop and water. We ran out of "stuff" twice and they cleared $175!!!! :) :) :)

Suz D
09-28-2008, 08:08 PM
Our township also requires permits for this, like another OP said. Crazy, I know! I'd stick with pre-packaged drinks & snacks. I personally wouldn't buy homemade food from someone I didn't know, but I would buy a drink if I was thirsty.

I agree with this. If you are selling pre-packaged things you shouldn't have a problem with any health dept issues (if there are any in your town). It also just makes good sense. If someone were to get sick, they couldn't come back to you.

We have a yard sale with good friends each year and the kids always sold drinks and treats for Disney $$. I went to Sam's Club and bought individual packs of chips, crackers, chex mix, fruit snacks and pretty much doubled the price of what we paid for them (some I charged a little more and some a little less, but I made sure it was an even amount). The thing that sold the best was the pink iced sugar cookies. We sold them 2/$1. If someone wanted them we handed them a napkin and let them use that to take two right out of the package. Each kid ended up with about $30.00 after expenses for about 4 hours work. It was fun!

09-28-2008, 08:29 PM
My kids did this last year. They sold every single thing they had and cleared$50.00! And they sold out by 11 a.m. We should have had double. It made me laugh, though, as I'm a professional baker so I made sugar cookies that I normally sell for $2.00 a piece for $1.00 as I thought at a yard sale baked goods should be cheap, and I just frosted them with white with sprinkles, not my normal cute decorations. Anyway, I didn't anticipate consumers being so smart & they all knew after one bite that these were real cookies & went back to buy 1/2 dozens to take home!

Next spring when we have a yard sale I'll start making cookies a lot sooner & just freeze them as it totally stressed me out to be baking cookies the day before a yard sale! And I'll make twice as much. I just like my kids learning about business & customer service.

Around here (southern Ohio) you don't need a permit for anything & people aren't afraid of homemade items. Of course, even if they were afraid, I have a bakery license so it doesn't really concern me. You know your area, though.

09-28-2008, 08:42 PM
I always do coffee, soda (in cans) and actually grill out with pre-packaged goods (hot dogs, Bubba burgers, wrapped cheese, etc).

Plus, donuts from local grocery, Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme. Dollar per dollar, I make more on this, than I do on actual garage saleing goods.

I actually advertise it, and never thought (as another poster said) about codes, etc. I think the food goods bring as much dollars, if not more, than goods I'm selling. Heck, I advertise the price of my coffee and food goods while advertising my sale on craigslist. The price of "food goods" makes me money anyways, brings in potential sales and really seems to excites buyers.

09-28-2008, 09:45 PM
We sold cans of soda and bottled water for 75 cents at our last yard sale. Cleaned out completely. Now we are in Florida and it was June. YMMV.

09-29-2008, 07:54 AM
My DD made around $100 selling canned soda, water, & cookies (homemade). If your yard sale is in cooler months...hot apple cider and coffee would be a good seller along with some individually wrapped biscotti and/or donuts. If you want you can put the donuts in individual bags (ziploc or wax bags) and seal them.

09-29-2008, 09:17 AM
DD6 and DS3 sold canned soda for 50 cents and bottled water for $1 and cleared over $100. Our neighbors did cookies and they didn't sell very well :confused3

09-29-2008, 09:27 AM
What a great idea!! I never thought to have drinks or snacks at a garage sale! We're having a neighborhood garage sale next weekend, and I think I'll run by Costco and buy a few cases of soda - worst thing to happen is that we end up drinking it ourselves. I'll probably bake some cookies as well, but not too many in case people are a little cautious about buying homemade items.

Thanks for the great idea!! Anything to make a little extra Disney cash before our trip next month!! :banana:

09-29-2008, 10:36 AM
We have a well stocked fridge in our garage with lots of soda and bottle water. I just throw up a sign with what we have on hand and charge 50 cents. I cleared about $20 at our last sale. We have the stuff on hand anyways, so we might as well make a profit.

I personally would never buy homemade products from someone I didn't know. I sell Tastefully Simple products and have been in tons of kitchens for parties. You would be surprised at people's varying standards of cleanliness. I am by no means a clean freak, but from what I have noticed, my standard of cleanliness is very high compared to the general population. Therefore, I generally pass on homemade goods.

09-29-2008, 11:41 AM
For what it's worth, I would buy a cup of coffee and a donut for sure. Maybe a soda or water too. The baked goods, not so much. The coffee and donuts would have to be less than I'd pay at the donut shop but that's not hard to beat. I'd buy a supermarket boxed donut too if it was about 25-50 cents. ;) Also, it's a deal-breaker if it's non-dairy creamer (ick).
If you could set up with a thermal coffee carafe or run a plug and put a pint of cream in a bowl of ice, I think you'd make money. Especially from those "early-birds".:thumbsup2
Good luck!:)

09-29-2008, 11:49 AM
My 6 year old sold cans of soda and bottled water at our yardsale this summer. The yard sale wasn't super busy but he did do okay. He was happy with his earnings.

09-29-2008, 01:42 PM
Canned soda, bottled water, apple juice/orange juice(in plastic bottles), and Krispy Kreme donuts sell well. I am not sure about the homemade stuff. Make sure you have a big sign listing the price of each item...one Hispanic family thought the food was free! My daughter(7) was too shy to say anything, so they had breakfast on us, and didn't buy anything!

09-29-2008, 01:43 PM
You guys have been so great with your feedback! Thanks so much! I think the health code points are good to consider. I told DS that he would have to go with prepackaged items only, so I will take him over to Sam's Club this week to purchase his items. I do love the apple cider idea, since it is fall now and cooler in the mornings. I told him about some of the successes posted here, and he is hopeful that he will do well. I told him that even if he doesn't, it will be good sales experience for him! I'll let you know how it goes.