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Planning the perfect yard sale


Spring is the perfect time to amp up your declutter mode and earn some extra cash in the process. Garage sales, yard sales, and tag sales are a great way to clear out the items you no longer need and gain some extra space in your home. The tips below are a great way to prep for a successful sale and to turn your clutter into cash.



Garage sales are fairly straight-forward, but preparing and setting your plan ahead of time will help ensure a successful event.



    • Set a date and obtain a permit if your neighborhood or municipality require it.
    • Invite your friends, neighbors, and family members to participate.
    • Advertise digitally:
      • Utilize the networks you already frequent. Post the details (date, time, and location) on your Facebook page, local Facebook groups, craigslist, and on your local newspaper’s website.
    • Advertise locally:
      • Create signs and hang them in high-traffic locations such as intersections, on corners, on local retail shop locations, and of course at the location of your sale.
      • Use the same materials and wording on signs so shoppers know they are all advertising the same sale. Use big, bold letters so your signs are easily legible from a moving vehicle.
      • Where it makes sense, include an arrow on signs pointing shoppers to your location.
      • If your sale will be multi-family or a neighborhood sale, include that in your advertisements.
      • Highlight specific items you feel would draw people to your sale.
    • Gather your inventory
      • If you haven’t used it in the last year, consider parting ways.
      • Remind yourself that your goal is to clear the clutter if you’re having trouble letting go of enough items.
      • Price everything. Use masking tape or small stickers to quickly work through all items.
      • Items that sell well in garage sales: kitchen items (dishes, cookware, and other gadgets), toys and kids' items, art and frames, tools, lamps, and furniture.
      • Items you may want to consider selling online are: high-end and expensive goods, lightweight trinkets, list heavy or large items on craigslist.
    • Get cash from the bank so you’ll be able to make change for customers.



  • Position your items strategically:
    • Place large items like furniture closest to the front of your sale to attract customers but also to make it easy to load when they are sold.
    • Highlight your eye-catching sale items at the ends of tables with a short descriptive sign.
    • Organize your offerings: department store style, by color, hang up clothing on racks, stage furniture pieces etc. Be sure all pieces are on tables, or in a place that is easy for a customer to pick up and inspect.



  • Cheerfully greet your customers and strike up a conversation. Keep a warm atmosphere and an open line of conversation for customers to feel engaged.
  • If a particular item has a history or a story, share it. Customers like to know where the item came from or how it was used. But, know when to stop chatting. Some people prefer to browse in peace and aren’t looking to chat.
  • Pay attention to your customers’ style and what they are looking at, then suggest items they may have missed.
  • Midway through your sale, rearrange and condense your displays to fill empty space. If it makes sense, remove tables so it doesn’t look like there is empty space.
  • As your sale winds down, be more open to accepting customers who negotiate a lower price or combine items together to move more stock.



Once the last customer has cleared out, consider donating unsold items that are still in usable condition to a local organization or non-profit. And don’t forget to remove signs you placed on community boards and around your neighborhood!