The Homesteader’s Guide to Yard Sale Success

Reader Contribution by Holly Welles
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Spring means housecleaning for many, and that means its time to host a good, old-fashioned yard sale to clear the clutter out of your home. Many people can earn more income for their old belongings. They simply do not know how to maximize their earning potential.

Hosting a successful yard sale shares many similarities with running a profitable retail shop. The difference is, instead of having overhead costs, you pocket 100 percent of the proceeds. Here are some tips for making sure your spring yard sale rakes in some extra money, even if your property is a little remote.

1. Get Out the Word

Advertise, advertise, advertise! You need not pay to advertise your yard sale in the information age. Utilize social media and websites such as Craigslist to spread the word.

Apps exist providing maps of yard sales. Such apps come in particularly handy for those who live in rural areas who host their own sale instead of going the neighborhood route. You have plenty of great stuff — make sure far-away neighbors can find your homestead!

2. Help People Find You

Many people struggle to find yard sale success due to a lack of signage. Remember, most sale visitors whiz past signs at 30 mph or more, so using more than one sign in a signature color is key to helping people find you.

Local dollar stores sell poster board for a buck or less. Select bright colors such as florescent pink, orange or green. Make sure people can see your signs by posting them prominently — and be a good neighbor by taking them down when the sale ends.

3. Can You See a Pattern?

Remodeling your kitchen from country chicken chic in favor of sleek black and silver? Consider having a themed yard sale! Themed sales draw individuals seeking what you have to offer.

Popular themes include kid-themed sales for those with growing tots and sports themes for those looking to peddle their old baseball cards. Those who love the smell and feel of real books can hold a literature-themed book sale.

4. Collaborate With Neighbors

Yard sale shoppers adore neighborhood-wide bargains and why not? Neighborhood sales mean more merchandise to choose from and require less driving and fuel. Joining together with neighbors helps reduce vehicle emissions from idling engines.

5. Have Plenty of Help

Most yard sale shoppers get up early on Saturday to find great bargains. Unfortunately, some come with less than honorable motivations. Some yard sale shoppers travel in pairs where one individual distracts the seller while the other grows sticky fingers. Make sure you have ample eyes to keep your valuables from walking away in someone’s pocket free of charge.

6. Think Like a Retailer

If your idea of staging your yard sale involves tossing a bunch of items on a blanket in the front lawn, you likely will earn little. Just like shoppers in retail stores, garage sale shoppers appreciate an orderly arrangements. Group similar objects such as kitchen appliances together and use tables and empty crates to display wares in an attractive fashion which draws eyes to more expensive items.

7. The Price Is Right

In general, count yourself lucky if you recover a third of the retail price of certain items. Furniture and designer clothing and accessories demand higher price points, but most merchandise nets between $.50 and $5.

Non-designer duds usually fetch anywhere from $1 to $5. Softcover books usually sell for less than a dollar, hardcovers fetch a bit more. Collectible items can fetch a pretty penny, although you may earn more listing certain items on eBay if they have a niche market.

8. Give It Away Now

Even the most successful yard sale enthusiasts get left holding some leftovers. Assuming you don’t want to list items online, consider making a donation of unsold items. Many local churches accept donations to help the needy, and organizations like Goodwill offer receipts for larger items so you can deduct the estimated price on your tax return.

Hosting a Yard Sale on Your Homestead

Yard sales go hand in hand with spring housecleaning, so if clutter is driving you buggy, take advantage of warming temps by hosting one. Whether you hold your own or take part in a neighborhood sale, you’ll walk away with an extra wad of dough in your pocket!

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