for today's tip tuesday i thought i'd share some of the things that i think made my yard sale a big hit! i have collected WAY too much crap in the past few months and years of finding great deals and it was just time for a littleLOT of spring cleaning. plus i've been itching to change up some of the furniture and decor in this house since EVERYTHING was a shade of tan or brown when i married and moved in with my husband.
first thing's first: make a list
organizing a yard sale, pricing things, and knowing if you have enough junk to draw a good crowd starts with knowing your inventory! make a list of everything you could potentially sell. i started with the top of my house and went through each room until i got to the bottom. i had quite the list of “treasures” when i was done, and i was pretty confident we'd have plenty of stuff for our shoppers. price it all out and sticker it the night before. a package of like 300 stickers will cost you $1 at walmart.
give it a name
so i have to give a HUGE thanks and shout out to mandi of vintagerevivals.com for her hoard sale tips! she suggested coming up with a catchy name that would stand out amongst all the other yard sales. it was sunny, beautiful, perfect weather for a yard sale last weekend which is good AND bad: good because it's perfect for a yard sale, bad because you have tons of competition! so i wanted to stand out and not just be another “yard sale” so i called mine the “cutest yard sale EVER.” people seemed to like it, or think it was dumb, but either way they made comments and definitely noticed that ours was a little different! there's no such thing as bad publicity, right? ha.
spread the word
get on your local ad site (craigslist or one like it) and place an ad at the beginning of the week before you host your sale. there are also local garage sale groups on facebook where you can post your sale info. people who are serious about hitting up garage sales map out their routes way in advance. they do, trust me. tell your friends too! post it on social media sites, text your friends, send out an email, talk to your co-workers, whatever you normally do to interact with people. and then, the day of your sale, get up EARLY and get your signs out! i hit the streets at 6 a.m. to get our signs up and by 7, people were already trying to find spots underneath and around the ones that i put up because there's only so much room on each lamp post! so if you want a spot … the early bird gets the worm.
also notice that the sign below mine was super hard to read if you're driving by? make your words BIG and CLEAR.
big stuff sells okay, and small stuff sells even better
“one man's trash is another man's treasure” is the golden rule when it comes to a yard sale. we made a few hundred dollars on a really nice sofa set, a couple of dining tables, a coffee table, etc. but you know what we made the most off of? my CLOTHES. and not my nicest clothes. i went through and pulled a ton of forever 21, h&m and target stuff that was a few years old that i felt like i'd gotten enough wear out of and was okay to sell. don't get me wrong, there's absolutely nothing wrong with these stores and in fact i still shop at all of them! i just figured maybe a few items would sell. no. almost ALL of them sold. i did a 2 for $5 rack, a 2 for $15 rack, and a 2 for $25 rack. those were my hottest items by FAR. well, other than the lululemon. but you already know about that (crazy girls giving up family vacations and driving an hour to see my lululemon! crazies!!!)
you know what else? people were asking for small items like jewelry, books, and inexpensive items that we didn't have a lot of. if you have this stuff in your home and you haven't touched or used it in 6+ months and it's not sentimental or special to you, see if you can sell it! we were literally shocked that so much of our profit came from the smallest and least valuable items we put out for sale.
hire a sitter
my mom called the day before our “cutest yard sale ever” and asked what we were doing with our baby girl. i hadn't even considered what we'd do! i just figured we'd tote her around while people came to buy our stuff. well i gave it some more thought and finally hired one of our favorite neighbor girls to come over and play with our little one while we focused on the yard sale. best idea EVER. i was able to focus on helping people who had questions, we weren't distracted, and our kid wasn't neglected. win-win.
bargain with people, but don't sell out
we sold this sofa/loveseat/chair/ottoman set that was in nearly brand new condition for $450. originally i wanted $930 for it. i posted it online and it sat for $930 without a bite for a week. then i lowered it to $799. sat for 3 more days. lowered it again to $699. still no bites. the “magic number” is so hard to figure out sometimes. so we put it outside for our garage sale and i priced it $588 for the set. still NO BITES almost all morning. finally i dropped it to $498 and said this is the LOWEST i'll go. well, someone came by at the very end and offered us $450 and you know what? we took it. because i wanted it gone. and i didn't want to haul it all back inside our house. but there were other items like a cute anthro-style rug and one of the two dining tables that i wasn't willing to come down much on price. because i didn't mind sticking that stuff right back inside my house if it didn't sell at the price i was willing to sell it for.
remember this: people who are serious about buying from yard sales are often aggressive, and might pressure you into selling your stuff for way less than you're okay with. and i mean WAY less. don't do it if you don't feel right about it! except for that sofa set, i was able to sell most of what i listed for the prices i thought were fair. meaning, it was still a GREAT deal to those buying (usually half or less of what i paid) and i got some value out of it. don't feel like you have to give away your stuff for free, especially if it's nice stuff.
our yard sale, overall, was a major success. we made about $1,300 – enough to buy some new furniture that's NOT tan or brown (yippee!) like this lovely little white sofa:
let me know if you have any other tips that you've found helpful in pulling off a great yard sale!
Corrine Stokoe is a blogger, podcaster and content creator behind the brand Mint Arrow. She and her husband Neil live in South Orange County with their 3 little girls (and soon to be baby boy!) and run a blog and business with 8 total team members, where they find the best daily deals and share favorite finds in fashion and beauty. They also run a podcast called Mint Arrow Messages. Mint Arrow has been featured in Forbes, Women's Wear Daily, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, AdWeek and Allure. Corrine is passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as often as she can and teaching others to use social media for good.