View Full Version : any tips of having a successful yard sale

06-24-2004, 01:48 PM
I know I've seen this post before but since it's the season I suppose it can't hurt. We're having our yard sale this saturday at my sisters house, more traffic. All of my sales are going to the disney fund.

I have lots of toys, some clothes, so odds and ends. Is there a better way of setting things up to get people to buy stuff.

I saw at a recent yard sale I went to they had videos in a shallow clear plastic bin, I liked it because I could see all the videos with out having to pull stuff out of a box.

I plan on hanging most of the clothes.

Also I had a question about a rocking chair I was hoping to sell. It's pretty new. I purchased when my son was born but soon found out the back was to low and the arms where to low for me to hold my son and rest my arms on the chair. It's solid oak. I paid $200 for it. What do you think is a good price for a yard sale. It's not sentimental at all so. Is $50 too much or maybe $40?

Also when my son was potty training I purchased the "once apon a potty" for him (fisher price) he hated it. He wouldn't sit on it. so later I purchased a different one that locked on the potty and he liked that one. The FP one is clean and new w/o the box. Do you think someone will buy a slightly used potty chair? or is that just gross? lol

I think all in all we will have a ton of stuff, my sister has some things and her BF has a ton of furniture and my sister's friend is bringing stuff along with my stuff.

any suggestions on how to make the most of a yard sale and $$$


06-24-2004, 02:26 PM
I say put the potty chair out there! Believe it or not, I sold a used Diaper Genie! You never know what people will consider a bargain.

My only tip about the clothes is to try to divide them by sex and then by size. First it saves people time and will save you cleaning up and refolding when someone has been digging trying to find something. You might also post some signs stating what sizes are where.

Another thought, sell water and/or cans of pop. If it is hot out, you wouldn't believe how quickly those will go.

Good luck!

06-24-2004, 03:02 PM
I have sold two potty chairs....just make sure they are clean! Just about everything sells. I sold training pants (freshly bleached and clean)! My garage sale this year was great we were $100.00 short of paying for our Dreammaker pkg. at PC. I sold over 48 cans of soda (DD had a "soda stand"). We had a lot of new stuff and did really well. Ask more for the chair than you really want because they will ask if you will take less. We had $20.00 on two toddler beds and 3 people asked if we would take less, the second day we put $25.00 on one and said we would take $20.00! Both sold within the hour!!

06-24-2004, 03:29 PM
I've been cleaning out clothes for a yard sale this morning! My best piece of advice is PRICE LOW! Your goal is to clear stuff out and make a little bit of money. If you price things too high, you'll just have to move it all back into the house. 10% of the original value is a good rule of thumb; add more if the item is genuinely "like new" or is still in the box.

Many of my clothes have been through two girls (and many weren't new to start with), so they can only be considered "playclothes" -- none of them are stained or ripped, but they are worn and faded. I've got them ready to lay out on a big tarp on the ground with a big sign that reads "Everything in this area .25 per item OR stuff a grocery bag for $2.00". My newer/better quality clothes are going to hang, and they'll be priced individually.

Another option is to have a box of poor condition clothes that are "free with any purchase". They'll disappear.

06-24-2004, 08:19 PM
I love the "fill a bag" sales. We've hit a few at churches recently and I guarantee we bought tons more than we would have if everything had been priced separately. We always wind up with multiple bags.


06-24-2004, 10:18 PM
Thanks, Swilshire. I've not used this technique myself yet, but I'm hoping that the "fill a bag" concept will encourage people to buy bagsful instead of only individual items.

06-25-2004, 12:01 AM
You'll find that a majority of the time people will say clothing is the hardest to sell. The biggest problem is that many people overmark their clothing at garage sales. I go every Friday and Saturaday. Clothing-- I'll only buy if it's cheap $0.25-0.50. Don't care if it's LL BEAN or Gap--- I can't tell you how many sales I've been to at the end of the day and there is still piles of clothing there.

Most everythign else will sell if it's reasonably marked. Except dishes- I find these really go as the luck of the draw.

Aside from going pretty much every week. We hold 1 sale per year w/ my whole family too. I don't usually sell to much as I ebay my stuff-- but we go 1/2 price for the last 2 hrs. It really helps move all those little items nobody bought. Some people buy them just because it's 1/2 off. Just remember your yard sale isn't ebay--- people aren't going to pay ebay prices. If you really don't want to lug the stuff back in-- go cheap.

06-25-2004, 07:43 AM
I think perhaps I got this tip from these boards a while back-

Put anything you can in a zip lock bag.
I did this at my garage sale and wrote the price on the bag. Everything I packaged this way sold!

Good luck. =)


06-25-2004, 09:21 AM
We just had a $1300 garage sale last month....compliments of my sister's "Monk-like" tendencies. Here's what she suggested, and personally, I think it worked! :)

Clean everything! Including your garage! For all items, use this simple rule......dust it, press it, hang it, tag it. Present everything as clean and as organized as possible. (As a side note, we sold over half of the clothes and they were priced no lower than $1....most of them at $3-5. If the clothing is stained, worn, or has small holes, don't even put it out.)

When pricing items, think of a price that you feel would be reasonable or what you would pay and then place the tag price just slightly higher. Everyone will bargain with you and offer you less than the tagged price.

We priced Disney movies on VHS at $5. (No flames on discarding Disney movies....we merely upgraded to DVD! :)) We had three shelves when we started and ended up about 1/2 shelf by the end of the sale.)

Hang simple signs (Garage Sale with an arrow pointing the direction) at all major intersections with secondary signs pointing the way. Don't forget to place an ad in the paper for the dates of your sale.

On the second day of the sale, drop all prices at a set time to half off the tagged price. Don't forget to hang new signs under your posted Garage Sale signs that say "All 1/2 off!"

After the sale, do not bring anything back into your home! Call your local charity organization and ask if they will send a truck to pick up the remaining items. The organization will give you a form to write up a receipt showing the value of the items donated and you will be able to deduct that donated amount on your taxes at year end.

I also think that a successful garage sale and the way its handled will vary depending on what part of the country you live in. For instance, clothing placed on blankets on the lawn in some regions, tagged with a general price will sell like hotcakes. However, in my area, this is considered a major no-no and most people won't even stop if they see that as they do a "drive by". As for me, I just want a bargain! :)

Best of luck and I hope you makes lots of $$$ for your upcoming Disney trip. (We paid for our hotel with our proceeds!)

06-25-2004, 01:31 PM
I also heard about the plastic bags. I had several like items like small tub toys and other things I cleaned them put them in a bag and made labels for them, they look nice :) Hopefully people will buy them.

Oh also last year I purchased a Thomas the tank movie, Thomas and the magic railroad for $5 bucks at a yard sale it was in great condition and I was planning on buying a new one so I thought $5 was a deal. Plus everyone in our house has seen it at least 100x's so we got our money's worth already

06-26-2004, 11:30 AM
that clothes don't sell!

I just finished my 4th annual rummage sale. The first year, all I had was clothes, with the exception of a few small toys, and a toddler bed that I got $40 for. We made $1200 ON CLOTHES!

The last three years, we have averaged about $800, but we have a lot less traffic (we moved to a different city). Still, it is almost all clothes, with a few toys or kid supplies (baby gate etc.).

However, while we make a lot of money on the clothes we sell, we don't bother to put out anything with even a minor stain or hole. That all goes to the free box. AND- adult clothing rarely goes, we don't bother with that either. Maternity (modern styles only) would be the exception, that usually sells.

I have also noticed that clothing in sets sells better than alone. If I have for example, a pair of OKB bib overalls, it will sell for $4-5 if I have a shirt hung with it. I sell Gymboree sets with sweaters for $8-10 and they are always gone immediately. Leggings with shirts for $4.50. Oh, and hangers are a must, but I use water or wrinkle release (dollar store brand), I don't iron unless it won't respond to the spray. Plus it makes it smell great.

We have sold potty rings/chairs, and yes, they must be clean! I haven't tried the ziploc thing though, maybe next year. Then again, we haven't gotten to all those toys in the playroom. . .

Good Luck!

06-26-2004, 12:07 PM
I also disagree about clothes not selling, we sold tons of clothes. I had the nicer things at $1.00 to $5.00 for dresses and almost everything sold. I put everything that appeared "too worn" in the Goodwill bag. Other slightly worn things were .25-.75. I had 30 ziplocs full of assorted "little toys" and I sold all but 4 of those. I had .50-1.50 on each bag. (kid's garage sale with their own $ and these were a hit with them). Women's and Men's clothes (designer) did not sell as well, but the kid's clothes really went.

06-30-2004, 07:05 PM
I didn't have a lot of luck with selling adult clothes at our sale last year, but I refused to sell things for 25 cents since they're worth more than that to me as a tax deduction. I had a lot of name brand new looking items so I did goodwill for whatever didn't sell. I use a service called Itsdeductible.com that my bank recommended and it really helped me organize my charitable deductions so that we got the most back.

We're having another sale end of July and I have a lot of baby clothes to sell since #2 (due in Oct) is a boy and probably won't get much use out of all the wonderful pink things DD has outgrown. I love the idea of the baggies! Last year my clothes rack broke the last day and I had to hang clothes from a ladder. For baby clothes I think the baggies would be a great idea!

06-30-2004, 07:36 PM
We do our yard sale when our community has the "Town-wide Yardsale". This draws more people than just a single sale. See if you can organize one or ask your immediate neighbors if they want to participate in a "Block Sale".

One of our biggest sale items has always been FOOD and DRINKS.
I make homemade chocolate chip cookies (big ones) put 2 in a baggie and people go mad for them at $1. People come and say, "We heard you had homemade cookies here." I arrange them in a pretty, lined basket for added appeal. Other things we have ventured into is brownies, muffins, hot dogs ($1 each) and bags of chips. I get cases of the store brand soda and bottled water and they sell, esp if it's hot out. Coffee is a good draw starting early in the morning but sells all day.

Men's items sell fast and at great prices. Men just don't seem to have the inclination to haggle the way we women do. My husband gloats over what he draws in selling his tools and fishing equipment.

Someone mentioned using "wrinkle release" to smooth out clothing for the sale. I make my own. Use tap water, with a teaspoon of fabric softer added to it, in a cleaned out glass cleaner spray bottle. Why pay $$ for what you can make at home for next to nothing?

Have fun with your sale!