Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yard Sale!

Yesterday I had my yard sale!  I definitely consider it a success... we did have quite a few things leftover to Craigslist or donate, but I sold my biggest/heaviest items and made enough for my goal: to buy my first business suit!

My friends LC and CB both brought items, and I think it was a good size sale with good selection.  I had as much fun as the last yard sale I did with CH, but I definitely have some lessons learned to take away from the day...

Yard Sale Tips from Aubrey
1.  Advertise!  And I don't mean just put a sign up on the end of your street (although that IS very important!).  I placed multiple ads with descriptions and photos on Craigslist, posted links to the Craigslist ads on local Facebook pages I belonged to.  I also spread the word to friends.  THIS is what gets people to your sale nowadays; multiple folks told me they found the sale on Craigslist, and the listing is free.

2.  Get your friends involved.  Think you don't have enough for your own sale?  Invite other friends!  I think that even two people will pool enough for a decent sized sale.  The best folks to invite are those who are getting married/combining households, have kids who outgrow things quickly, and those who are getting ready to move/downsize.  Everyone is surprised at just how much they have to contribute; it quickly goes from one box to an entire carload!  We each had an assigned sticker color, so we could help track whose items were whose, and it was a system that really worked.

3.  Prepare ahead of time.  I priced all my items with stickers the night before.  Make sure you have plenty of change; between the three of us, we were fine, but if I could do it again I would get $50 in small bills instead of $25 that I had this time.  Those $1 bills especially make a difference.  Also, set out your wares well in advance...  even though I advertised 'No early birds' and a start time of 9 a.m., I had people showing up almost two hours early, as I was putting things out.

4.  Check the weather!  Have a rain plan, wear the right clothes (I wore workout clothes because it was so hot/humid), and have sunscreen/bug spray/etc. ready to go.  I got some funny tan lines!  Also keep some water handy for yourself to stay hydrated.  It's more work than you'd think... it was a workout for me!

5.  Be willing to bargain.  You may think you've priced everything reasonably, and early in the day you can stick to your prices.  But those first couple of hours are crucial; people are spending their money at other sales, and after about 11 am your traffic slows and you risk not making sales.  Encourage early birds to return later with a promise of lower prices, and give them deals when they buy in bulk.  I think many people go into a yard sale disappointed in how much the things they treasure are "worth" to other people.  I think you need to look at the bigger picture; these items are "used" and possibly even old.  They're sentimental to you, but not others.  It's important that you realize the point of the sale isn't to profit, but to rid your house of clutter.  The money is just a bonus!  When you  look at it that way, every dollar is a treat.

Other advice?  If you have some leftover items, try Craigslist.  You can pad your garage sale earnings with a little more cash that way!  For clothing, try consignment stores.  My friend LC does a great job selling things on consignment at local shops, who offer her up to 50% of what an item sells for.

After the sale, I went out to dinner at Jalapeno's with my friend CM, who is in town visiting family.  It was the perfect way to end my day!  Can't wait to deposit my 'earnings' on Monday.


  1. HI Aubrey. Definitely great advice about combining your yard sale with friends/family or neighbors. I have heard of many neighborhood yard/garage sales that are a huge success. I would like to introduce you and your readers - if you don't mind - to another free posting service called ( If you get a chance, please do check it out. Would love to hear your opinion :)

  2. Love!!! I wish I'd posted there too.


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