5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Next Yard Sale

Easy tips to bring in more cash and get rid of clutter

1. Display items attractively

Display your items so that they’re usable and easily visible. A box of books won’t sell as well as the same books displayed neatly on a shelf, where buyers can see all the titles without digging. Don’t sell your telescope in the box—set it up so buyers can play a little bit. (If you’re worried about it getting damaged, set it up on top of a table or tape it down). For big-ticket items, print out a favorable product review from Amazon or Consumer Reports and set it near the price tag.

2. Set prices before you haggle

I actually enjoy the back-and-forth of haggling, but you’ll save time and establish a stronger negotiating position if you display a price by every item. (It’s also a good way for the family to get on the same page if you value your items differently). Price most of your items at $5 or less, and include a healthy quantity of items for under $1.

3. Offer concessions

A lemonade stand or a cheap box of donuts can do wonders to populate your garage sale, and more traffic means more sales. It’s also a good opportunity to teach kids about money and work, by having them run the stand. It’s the same principle behind the sample booths at grocery stores: eating snacks releases hunger hormones that get people in a buying mood.

4. Accept credit cards

People don’t often carry cash anymore, and inhibitions about buying are stronger when a buyer has to hand over paper money. Check out products like Intuit’s merchant services; you can get a free credit card reader for your Android or iPhone, and you’ll get way more business when people know they can pay with a card. Make sure to mention it on all your advertisements.

5. Do a group sale with another family

The bigger your inventory, the more attractive it is to browsing buyers. If you can pool resources with another family or two for a big yard sale, you’ll draw a bigger crowd and everyone will sell more. Mention that it’s a group effort on your signage—people are more likely to show up for an “event” than a single family’s yard sale.

Shawna Davies is a staff writer for Going Cellular. She has a talent for organization and helping people navigate new technology. She’s a confessed gadget freak, but when she gets out of the house, she loves spending time at the lake with her husband and young son. They live in Beaumont, Texas.

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