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5 Tips to Make your Yard Sale Truly Worth it!

As it turns out, Houston and I’s best friends, Danie and Austin are moving to Austin, Texas. There are so many Texas cities in that last sentence it’s ridiculous. Anyway, Austin  received a job promotion, so now they’re high-tailing it to Texas. They leave exactly one week from today. Breaks my heart, but I know they’re excited and ready, just as we are.

     Whenever Danie and I move, the first thing we always do is have a yard sale. Trust me, we know the order of business when it comes to moving. I’ve moved ten times since I was sixteen. Danie has moved at least five times since she was eighteen. We’ve got it down. So, the yard sale was a natural expectation. What was unnatural about this yard sale was its size. It was ridiculously large. Not only did it have Houston and I’s things, but it also had Danie and Austin’s, most of her grandmother’s things, and some of her brothers.  It had become a monster of a sale.
Here’s a picture of what it looked like on the first day.
    Since Danie and I currently live in apartments, her brother was generous to offer his house as the site for the sale. We spent one whole day over my spring break loading everyone’s junk into this tiny rickety trailer and dumping it into poor Mike’s garage. Mind you, we did this multiple times during that one day. It was so hot. On Friday, the first day of the sale, I got my butt out of bed and was over there by 5:30 in the morning. I wanted to die, but you can’t quit when it comes to a yard sale. We got everything set up and we were open until about two. I was so dehydrated and sun burnt by the end of that first day, but we had sold a lot.
The view as I headed over Friday morning.
    The problem was, even though we’d sold a ton, we still had not seemed to make a dent. The clothing alone took up about twelve trash bags before it had been set out. At the end of the day I was crying at the thought of pulling it all back into the garage. We survived, however, and I was back the next day at seven with Starbucks and my husband this time. Even after we had continued to sell, the leftovers were literally junk. It was finally time to load the remains into our cars and take trips to Goodwill.
     Since the finish of the sale, many people have asked me if it was worth it. To them I say, no, ABSOLUTELY NOT. This yard sale was too much of a beast. It killed my weekend and left me sun burnt. The only good thing that came out of it was I got some good quality time with my best friends who will soon be leaving. The question still remains, if I ever move again, would I still have a yard sale? Yes, I would. I’m weak, so give me a break. However, I’ve come up with 5 tips to make your yard sale work truly worth it! Hope you enjoy!
Artwork Provided by Danie.
1. Junk is junk, even at a yard sale…
     When you’re preparing for a yard sale, be sure to make a box of things that can go straight to Goodwill. No one is going to want your collection of sand filled lizards that you got for 25 cents from a gum ball machine. Just save yourself the clean up after and get rid of it now. People are picky when they go to a yard sale. They want nice stuff at a cheap price, so give the people what they want and throw out your junk prior to the sale.
2. Signage is KEY…
     This is not a joke. When Danie, and I would spend our Saturdays yard saling, (which is a thing) we would only stop at yard sales with signs that were visible and gave us clear directions to the sale. Make sure that your signs are visible! If it’s a windy day, double check that they are properly secured and won’t blow over at nine o’clock in the morning. Also, write the address on the sign, so people can use their GPS on their smartphones. This allows you to not have to place a sign at every turn, although I would still recommend it.
3. Clothes are a waste of time…
     Very few people will take the time to weed through your clothing. I think ours was way to overwhelming for people, so hardly any of our clothing sold. This kind of goes along with number one, but if you’re going to sell clothes, only have your best items out. This is of course after you’ve visited Buffalo Exchange, and have been humiliated that they would like to buy ZERO of your items. List your clothing at a reasonable price. Most items should cost no more than five dollars in the clothing department.
4. Your stuff is important to you, and no one else…
     It’s so easy to over price items because they have a really awesome story, or they hold a lot of sentimental value. The problem is, to the buyer, they have zero connection with your items. Sure you can share the story with them and they’ll nod and love it, but it’s not going to make them want to pay one-hundred dollars for your childhood bike that has “vintage” training wheels. It’s just not going to happen. When pricing your items maintain a buyers perspective. They have no attachment and are wanting to get a good deal. Usually they do know the value of items, so don’t let them rob you blind, but be reasonable and FLEXIBLE as your price your items. A time saver that Danie and I have always practiced is not labeling items with a price. This not only saves you time, but allows you to price the item based on the person holding it. Some people will pay five dollars for every item they’ve touched, whereas others won’t go above fifty cents. Not to mention, it’s one less thing to do when you’re setting up at five a.m..
5. Cleanup can kill…
      At the end of the sale on Saturday, Houston wanted to cry as we were taking loads of the remains to Goodwill. It was the last thing any of us wanted to do! A way to save yourself from this awful task is to schedule a donation with a charity that will come and pick up your remaining items. Be sure to do this ahead of time! For instance, Goodwill would have required at least a week’s worth of heads up. You may be able to find a smaller organization that is more flexible, but I would just plan ahead and get it scheduled at least a week in advance.
    Now that I’ve offered all of my yard sale advice I wish you the best of luck for whenever you attempt this task! 🙂
Danie (right) and I (left) on the last day of the sale.

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