Yard Sale Tips and Tricks!

yardsale tips and tricks

Thinking about participating in a yardsale here or on your own? We polled our seasoned vendors and compiled a list of tips and tricks for a successful yard sale. Read on to hear how to have a successful sale.

How do you know when to have a yard sale?

If you have lots of items that are unique and not just something you see every day, or whole collections, it might be worth your time to have a sale. Having a variety of items no matter what they are will make for a successful sale and draw in passersby.

Mindset is also an important part of knowing.

While you are preparing, remind yourself to keep things light and fun. And to let things go! Intentional or not you are refreshing your space for a new beginning and you will most certainly feel lighter once this is done.  Except for all the extra cash in your pocket of course! 

Remember this is meant to be fun and is most certainly worth it to give it a try instead of donating it all away or worse yet throwing it into a landfill. 

Preparing for the Sale

Allow yourself time. Organization prior to the sale can take at least a week or two or in some cases a full month. Consider having multiple smaller sales if the number of items to get rid of seems overwhelming. 

Clean all items to be sold that are dirty.

Arrange similar things together in piles to start

Place bulk items in boxes.  People like to dig and treasure hunt a little so it is a good balance to have a few boxes set up for that.  Your entire sale should not be set up this way, however.

Have items conveniently packed away in plastic zip lock bags for visibility. Pair sets together of clothing, books, movies, jewelry, or gift sets.  Then add the price, quantity & size on the front of the bag for easy view.

Start with the most popular things, that you think will sell the best and you want to part with the most.

Big items attract attention and have just as good a chance to sell as any so don’t leave them out. The more variety of items you have more likely that people will stop and have a look.

SOME TOP SELLERS: records, CDs, radios, old ladders, metal items, garden art, wagon wheels, old crates, dinky cars, sports memorabilia, crafts, household items, toys, games, kids clothes, cookware dishes, small appliances, camping items, tools, vintage items, sneakers/shoes, weird stuff from the basement of an old house.

Post advertisements 7-14 days before the event on Kijiji, Facebooks Marketplace/community groups and place a sign on the lawn.


Pre-pricing is by far the most important.  

Not everyone will want to strike up a conversation and haggle even if that is something you yourself like to do. You will sell more with items fully priced – but at the same time be prepared to barter. Pre-pricing also curbs customers from wanting everything for free.  

Have prices visible with colourful sticker tags or vibrant markers.  Again be confident in your pricing BUT be reasonable.  Customers will be drawn to good prices and they will buy more.  It all adds up.  The expectation at a yard sale is that your prices are marked to sell.  

Leave it for the most part to the customer to ask about making an offer.  If you see someone looking at an item but not buying and seems nervous to make an offer, then you can approach them kindly and say “if you’re interested no reasonable offer refused” to strike up a conversation and/or talk about possible uses for the item.

Keep it easy on yourself.  Use a .25 cent increment or whole dollar amount to simply your change. Keeping the amounts even makes it easy to track sales.

If time is an issue have different priced tables with clear signage eg: “Everything on this table $10 each” and section similarly priced groups of items.

The Night Before:

Lay out multiple tables where you want them.

Pitch a shade tent if needed.

Gather up and stow carry bags under tables for use.

Put together the cash float with small bills and lots of change.

Place out lawn flags and signs to attract attention.

Double check online postings.

Keep a clean-looking setup. Consider a table cloth or wrapping paper to cover tables. Have blankets ready to lay out on the grass for grouping pre-priced items in the morning.

On the day of the Sale:

Be ready for the early birds – They are early!

Arrange items so that everything is spread out and visible. Be sure to have your items clear of tripping hazards. 

Set up your sale in a logical order with like items together. This detail will draw attention to what someone might be looking for.

Put things for children closer to the ground.

When creating an appealing setup it is best to have most things at eye level on tables than all on the ground down low. Be clever with descriptions and when talking about an item.  Suggest alternative uses for objects to help the buyer envision uses.

At the end of your sale if you don’t want to cart things off to goodwill you can mark a free sign and leave out for a day and see what goes, or call for a pick up from a community charity that does collections. Of course, you could also hang on to the items for just one more yard sale this season.

Try not to leave anything out of the sale just because you think no one will want it. You will often be surprised by what other people are looking for. “Another person’s junk is another’s treasure” is a saying that is all too true!  Almost ANYTHING will sell to the right person as long as it’s clean and in working order.  

Most of all: BE WILLING TO LET THINGS GO and you will have a great sale where you meet new people and make extra money!

Good luck!

To sign up for one of our outdoor yardsales find out more information here.

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