How to Make Money at Yard Sales: Tips for Making Your Sale Profitable

If you’re planning a yard sale of your own and are wondering how to make money at yard sales, there is a lot you can do to improve your profits. From setting the right atmosphere for buyers to making sure your sale is running at the right time, Yard Sale Radar has put together this list of tips for a successful yard sale to help you earn more money.

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale #1: Research Your Items Before Pricing Them

Figuring out how to price yard sale items can be difficult. The economic reality of a yard sale is that many of your items are going to sell for next to nothing, but some items are going to be hot commodities that could potentially fetch a lot more money than you might think.

Here’s one rule of thumb for how to make money at a yard sale this way: If it’s an item that you regularly see for sale by itself on sites like Craigslist, you might be able to sell it for a higher price. Do some research online to see how much other people are selling it for.

One related tip for a successful yard sale is that, when it comes to some types of goods, such as clothes, the brand name can matter. Not all items are equal! If you have any hot brands, that should be reflected in the price.

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale #2: Sell Some Items Elsewhere

It’s important to recognize that the main goal of most yard sales isn’t to make money but to get rid of excess stuff that you don’t want anymore. Yard sales are designed for motivated sellers to sell their belongings at steep discounts.

That’s why, when you’re thinking about how to make money at a yard sale, it’s important to think outside of the box. If you have items that you’re pretty sure you can sell, and you want a certain price for them, then maybe they don’t belong at a yard sale. Consider selling them separately on Craigslist or elsewhere.

A variety of patches cluttered together.

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale #3: Use Bulk Sales to Monetize Low-Value Items

If you can learn when to sell items individually versus when to sell them in bulk, you’ll have mastered one of the secrets of how to make money at a yard sale.

Generally speaking, some of the most popular yard sale bulk items include:

  • Low-value items (such as books).
  • Matching sets (such as a set of bowls and plates).

If you’ve got a dozen packs of playing cards, you could list them individually for 25¢ each, and probably only sell a couple. Or you could package them all together as a “Mystery Box of Assorted Playing Card Decks” and sell it for $2. That’s a great example of how to make money at a yard sale by getting creative about how you think about low-value goods.

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale #4: Sell Matching Sets

Another yard sale tip and trick?: Sell some items in complete sets. If you have a complete set of dinnerware, with matching dinner and salad plates, bowls, cups, and utensils, then sell it as a complete set. You’re more likely to find one buyer who’s interested in purchasing all the pieces together than you are to find a bunch of different buyers for random cups and spoons and such.

A rack of clothing set out on a sidewalk.

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale #5: Sell a Lot, Not a Little

Here’s another angle on selling in bulk when it comes to how to make money at yard sales: Put more items up for sale to begin with! The more items you have on offer, the more you’ll sell. Likewise, don’t give little things away for free: Charge 50¢, 25¢, even 10¢. It’s easy to lose sight of the value of low-value items, but those coins and dollar bills really add up!

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale #6: Be More Firm When Negotiating Price

You can expect most yard sale buyers to haggle with you over your listed prices. It’s up to you how much ground you give in these negotiations. A more generous negotiating style will help you get rid of more stuff, but, if you want to prioritize profits instead, be more firm on the price and learning haggling tips.

This is especially useful earlier on in your sale when buyers are still in a treasure-hunting mode as opposed to looking for the best possible bargains. One tip for a successful yard sale is for you to hold firm on a price and invite interested buyers who won’t meet you on the price to come back toward the end of your sale to see if the item is still available. Some will give in and decide to make a purchase on the spot. If they don’t, well, maybe another buyer will show up in a few minutes to scoop up the find!

Tips for a Successful Yard Sale #7: Start Your Sale on a Friday

Most yard sales are on Saturdays, or Saturdays and Sundays. To make more money at your yard sale, consider starting yours on a Friday and holding it at least through Saturday—or preferably through Sunday as well.

One way this helps is that, by holding your sale over multiple days, you can reach more people who aren’t available to come out on a given day. You’ll also earn a few sales from people who see something they like, go home to think it over, and come back the next day.

But the main way that starting your sale on a Friday helps is that plenty of yard sale shoppers are willing to visit yard sales on Fridays, yet comparatively few sellers actually hold their sale on Fridays. In other words, by starting your sale on a Friday, you’ll stand out from your competition by meeting consumer demand that other sellers aren’t meeting.

The Most Important Tips for a Successful Yard Sale: Advertise Your Sale

You’ll have far more visitors to your yard sale if you advertise it properly. Advertising your yard sale online at Yard Sale Radar can help save you time, money, and allow people nationwide to see your sales.

For yard sale online advertising, advertise as much as a week ahead of time, then revamp your post again the day before your sale, and each day during. For physical signs, don’t put them up until the day of the sale, and send people around once or twice each day to make sure the signs are still in place. Be sure to take your signs down at the end of the day when the sale ends though so strangers don’t show up at your house!

We hope these tips for a successful yard sale help you out and give you a better idea of how to make money at yard sales. Good luck, and happy selling!