How to Hold a Great Yard Sale

Four Parts:Finding what you'll sellAdvertising your yard saleSetting up the yard saleSelling

If you have a lot of old stuff and need some cash, hold a yard sale! Here's everything you need to know to make it a success.

Part 1
Finding what you'll sell

  1. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 1
    Gather all the unwanted stuff together. Go through your bedroom, house, attic, basement and garage. Any garden sheds or other storage areas? Check those too. Try to find all of the things that nobody at home is using anymore.
  2. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 2
    Check each item closely to make sure a family member will not need it anymore.
    • Are the items in good shape?If so, sell them.
    • If not, trash that item, or try to fix it.

Part 2
Advertising your yard sale

  1. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 3
    Create flyers for the yard sale. Post them all over your neighborhood. Check that this is permitted though! Consider also advertising in the paper, online and at the local supermarket or mall bulletin board.
    • For online advertising: Post it on Craigslist, Facebook, etc.
  2. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 4
    On the day of he sale, make sure you have signs out so people can find the yard sale easily.

Part 3
Setting up the yard sale

  1. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 5
    Set prices for everything. Make sure the price is reasonable. If you don't have prices, however, people will take advantage of you.
    • Don't overprice your items. Ask other people to help you price correctly. People will walk away if things are overpriced.
    • In spite of having prices, expect some people to haggle. It's part of the tradition––and fun––of yard sales. If you don't want something to go for a song, don't sell it through a yard sale!
    • Shy, quiet or reticent people like to see prices and can be very uncomfortable if they don't see some indication of a price. Make things easy for them as much as preparing yourself for the hagglers.
    • Most people hate to keep asking, "how much for this?" even if they're keen on a bargain. The moral is, make it really easy for people to see prices, even if you price by table or lot (for example, "All things on this stand are $1).
  2. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 6
    Set up your yard sale. Use tables, large boxes, or just lay everything on the driveway. However you set up, make sure:
    • Have the valuables near you. If you would be distraught if it walked without an appropriate exchange of value, keep it where you can see it. Things do walk at sales, so be vigilant and choose what matters to keep secure.
    • Place heavy items close to transport for removal.
    • Have all weather covers at hand.
  3. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 7
    Make it so that people are able to access items easily. Do not create bottlenecks, lack of space or messy areas. Think of flow when setting up, making it easier for people to find things.
    • Organize clothing. People don't want to go through a ton of clothes looking for one particular size or age group of clothing. Make use of large grocery boxes to put things in, such as "men's t-shirts", "girl's dresses" and "size 18 lady's skirts", etc.
    • Place freebies away from the actual sale, in clearly marked boxes, at the front of the yard. This allows people to rummage out of the way of buyers.
  4. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 8
    Have change. Organize this in advance. There will be someone with a large bill, as there always is!

Part 4

  1. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 9
    Wait for customers. Be patient. They might not come for a while. Sometimes they come in groups, so have people to help you available.
  2. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 10
    Be friendly. This helps to establish some rapport and reassures people that you're a good egg who has good items to sell.
  3. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 11
    Don't try to be a salesman. People don't like pressure, especially not at a yard sale. After all, they are there for a bargain but don't really need your stuff, so let them be to form their own needs. They will, don't worry, as bargains always create a sense of need!
  4. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 12
    Negotiate. Part of a yard sale is talking the seller down. Be willing to do so. And enjoy the process, it's all part of the fun; you'll just happen to have a bit of cash out of the end process too!
  5. Image titled Hold a Great Yard Sale Step 13
    Finish up. When you don't have much stuff left and want to stop, take everything inside and count your money. You just held a great yard sale!


  • Remember your manners.
  • In the USA, holding a yard sale the weekend after the first or third might work best. People who receive SSI or SS get paid on these days.
  • It helps if you hold the yard sale with a friend or other neighbors.


  • Don't set really high expectations on how much money you'll make. This could lead to disappointment.
  • If you fail on the first yard sale you hold, try again later. Be careful of holding regular yard sales though; this might be regulated in some areas, where they might treat it as your "business" and seek taxes and licensing from you.

Things You'll Need

  • Tables
  • Unwanted items to sell
  • Paper and pencils or a computer (for the flyers)
  • Family members, maybe a friend or two
  • Calculator to help you add up, or your phone

Article Info

Categories: Garage and Yard Sales | Money Management for Young People