Things I Learned by having a Yard Sale

Things I Learned by having a Yard Sale

I thought about making this a "How To" post, but I honestly don't feel anywhere close to being an expert. I don't know if I rather be the buyer or seller, but there are perks to being on both sides.  

My best friend, Christina, has been doing such a great job going through her things to sell since she and her family are preparing to go back overseas.  She has gathered a lot of items that she wants to sell.  We have been talking about since last year how we would like to sell things at our own yard sale one day.  So we finally buckled down and decided to go for it!

Here are a few things I learned in having a Yard Sale:

Gather items you definitely want to sell.
After reading Marie Kondo's "the life-changing magic of tidying up", I found my view on materialistic things has changed.  I'm not saying I don't ever shop or buy anything (because let's get real there's just so many cute things in the world!), but I do look at things from a different view.  I continually ask myself "Does this bring me joy?" and my response really helps me decide if I should buy it or keep it.

Pre-Price your items.
I found already priced sticker dots at the Dollar Store, which made putting prices on things easier.  The hardest part was trying to put monetary value on things that had meant something to me.  I really had to put my feelings aside on many items and just think: "If I were to buy this, how much would I be willing to pay for it?"

After pricing everything be sure to pack them in boxes or bags so that transporting the things to the yard sale spot will be easier.

It's okay to not sell some things.
Of course there were just some things I could not part with.  Luckily, I was pricing my things with my husband in the room and I had picked up something that I had since I was a child and I was telling him stories on how much I loved using it, playing with it, and that parting with it would be so hard, so he told me to keep it because he could tell how much it meant to me.

Plan out how the items will be displayed.
Folding tables are great for displaying breakables such as glass or trinkets.
Laying things on blankets to keep it from touching the grass or dirt is also helpful.
Keep any extra boxes and containers because you can group together similar priced or themed items and just label the lid of the box with the price.

Multi-family/community yard sales.
If your community holds annual yard sale, that's the best time to join because you know this time is designated for other people to sell things.  Sure there might be more competition but that also means more potential buyers.

We were going to have our yard sale during our community's annual yard sale. Unfortunately there was no advertisement the week leading up to the yard sale date, so luckily Christina quickly made signs to be posted around our area.  

Seriously, signs do work, even if it's last minute.  We wouldn't have had such a good turn out if it weren't for the signs we posted.  Be sure if you do put up signs, write in large print, with the location and time.

Another way to advertise is online.  Facebook has various yard sale groups for specific areas.

Spare Change.
This is definitely important.  I had googled what was the appropriate amount of spare change to have on hand and I found different results.  We ended up with too much spare change but money is money so it wasn't a loss at all.  It's just better to be prepared than not!

Beautiful weather are perfect for yard sales.  But we can't control everything.  The week prior to a yard sale was cold, wet, rainy, and cloudy.  It had rained of course, all day the Friday before.  Luckily the morning of the yard sale the sky finally cleared up and we still decided to set up.  Who knew it would still be so successful.

Make friends.
Yard sales bring all kinds of interesting personalities to life!  You will meet some hard core vintage lovers, people who are in search of precious metals, collectors of all kinds (we had a man who only wanted antique men's watches), people who basically want things for FREE (not sure how this is possible at a yard SALE), and of course people who just love a bargain and good finds.

Be flexible.
By flexible, don't get upset if people walk away after finding out the price of something or if someone tries to counter offer you.  It's okay to say no, but also be flexible to go down on your prices.  It's so easy to regret not selling something or to sell something lower than you expected.  

But you have to remember in the end, the reason you were having a yard sale is to find new homes for your once loved things.

What to do after the yard sale is over?

You could always craigslist items that you know could sell.  
Or my friend, Christina has opened my eyes to is Facebook Yard Sale Groups.  There are tons that are centralized to your location.  It's so similar to craiglisting an item, but what I like about Facebook is that you can see who your buyer is and directly message them in order to meet at public places (such as grocery parking lots) to exchange items.  

Even a week after the yard sale I've had some buyers contact me about things left over from the yard sale and have met them and sold the items so quickly!  Such a new and advanced way to yard sale!

Happy selling!
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  1. I've never done a yard sale, but it seems an excellent way to get rid off unwanted things to declutter the house. Thanks for the tips, will keep them in mind if I will ever do one :)


    1. I hope you do! It is nice to see your once beloved items go to new homes (not to mention also earning some extra cash).