Frugal Living » Clean the House & Fatten Your Wallet with these Yard Sale Tricks

Clean the House & Fatten Your Wallet with these Yard Sale Tricks

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Check out these 24 Tried and true tricks to maximize yard sale success!

Step 1: Declutter

Each Spring it becomes overly clear that I have run out of space. Somehow over the winter months, I manage to accumulate small items here and there that fill all those corners and crevices. It seems as though my closets have shrunk and I find dust on items that I didn’t even know I had.

When trying to decide whether an item is clutter or new cash, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have I used or worn the item within the last 6 months? (Twelve months if the item is a seasonal use item).
  2. Do I have more than one (and if so, do I actually need more than one?)
  3. Do I LOVE it? Items that you don’t love or use are clutter. 


Follow these tried and true tips for De-cluttering your Home & Making a decent profit on your sale:

    • Go get some boxes or containers. You can find these at local grocery stores, markets, etc.
    • Go through each room of your home, 1 at a time. Toss anything that you haven’t used or adored in the last 12 months into the box. If it’s dusty or dirty, wipe it off with a cloth as you go. This way, you won’t be spending time later cleaning the items you’re selling, and they will sell for a better price. 

Tips for a Successful Sale

  • If you have a fido, put him in the backyard, you might be surprised at the number of people that are petrified of dogs, no matter how friendly. If I pull up to a sale with my mom in the car and she’s seen so much as a chihuahua, we keep going.
  • Avoid holding your sale on a holiday weekend. Although the traffic levels are higher, most people already have plans and you’ll generally have fewer visitors to your sale.
  • Make sure you have adequate change. You should be able to comfortably cash a couple of 20’s without running out.
  • Don’t leave your money out. A fanny pack or carpenters apron work very well. It is unfortunate, but there are some people who will attempt to scam or cheat you, even at a yard sale.
  • Have plenty of plastic grocery bags on hand for “customers” to carry off their loot. Also, if you have glass items or other breakables, it’s great if you have newspapers ready to wrap their new treasures in so they make it to their new home safely.
  • If you’re selling an item that requires power, such as an appliance, radio, etc, have a cord handy to show the buyer it works fine. Also, if you have toys or electronics that require batteries, it’s great to have some on hand to pop in and show them the item is functioning fine.
  • Regarding the restroom, you will always, inevitably, have someone request to use the restroom. Unless you want a perfect stranger wandering through your house and digging through your medicine cabinet, etc.,  I would highly suggest giving them directions to a nearby restaurant or convenience store.

Yard Sale Directions

Signs & Advertising

  • To have a successful sale, you need decent signs. You won’t sell much if your sale location is a big secret. Place the signs several days ahead of time with the date, time, and location.
  • It is helpful if all your sale signs look the same- in clear letters that aren’t squished together. Ensure that the signs are bright, large, and colorful.
  • Depending on your area it may be helpful to place an ad in the local paper advertising your sale. This is a good time to state whether your early birds are acceptable or not. If your sale runs from 9 am- 3 pm and you don’t want people showing up at 7 am while you are setting up, you need to add a note of “no early birds please”.
  • After your sale, TAKE Down your Signs! Your neighbors will thank you.
  • Place ads on bulletin boards around your community, the Post Office, local shops, grocery stores, etc.
  • While you’re at the grocery store placing your ads several days ahead of time, pick up some old boxes for free. Cut those boxes into Arrows and place your directions on those for creative signs that point to the sale.

Selling Clothing:

Make sure the clothes are clean and free of stains. If they are stained, put them in a box marked free, rags, (or dirt cheap).
Check the pockets carefully before putting them for sale. I once found a $50 bill in a pair of jeans I purchased for $3.

Getting Men to Stop so their wives can buy:

I knew that would get your attention. You know what I mean, some guys just won’t stop at a sale. You can remedy this by placing tools, lawn care items, etc out in front where they can clearly be seen from the road.


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5 thoughts on “Clean the House & Fatten Your Wallet with these Yard Sale Tricks”

  1. here’s another tip: don’t insult your customers. for example, if a heavier person is looking through your size 2 petite clothes – let them. Don’t run your mouth and say something like “I don’t think I have any clothing your size”.

    They might be looking for items for a friend or daughter etc. I was humiliated at a yard sale once!

  2. the best garage sales i have attended had employed every suggestion here! it made the sale much more enjoyable and i will use all the tips when i have my sale in a few weeks.


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