top of page

Having a great yard sale requires a lot of work and a little finesse.

Hosting a yard sale that runs smoothly requires a whole lot of work and a little finesse. My best friend, Tammy, and I are tried and true yard sale warriors. We’ve hosted countless sales and love nothing better than trekking through the crowds of a thriving city-wide sale on the hunt for our next great treasure. There are a few things we’ve learned over the years that make all the difference between a pleasant experience and a headache.

If you are planning on having a sale, please take the time to clean your items. They don’t need to be pristine, but if your Pyrex bowl has dead bugs and half an inch of dust in it, I’m not touching it and will probably leave your sale without buying anything.

It’s always a good idea to wash clothes that haven’t been worn in a long time to remove the musty smell. I usually use a detergent that smells really good like Gain or Purex with a corresponding dryer sheet. Most people are going to wash what they buy before wearing it, but a pleasant scent makes items more appealing.

Hang up clothes if possible. If you can’t hang them up, please fold them neatly and organize them on tables. I will not dig through a tote or cardboard box of clothing that’s setting on the ground. It’s understandable to put toys in a tote on the ground, so kids can see them. It’s also acceptable to put large items on the ground, but make sure there’s plenty of room for your customers to walk around. You want them to be able to see everything and feel comfortable enough to browse.

Group like items together. If you are selling a sewing machine, some quilt blocks, and a jar of buttons, make sure you put them on the same table. I have a neighbor who sells household supplies at her sales. She is an extreme couponer who once or twice a year has a sale to share her bounty with the rest of us. She groups all of the dryer sheets together with the laundry soap. Her hair color is displayed with her shampoo, combs, and headbands. I’m sure you get the picture.

I personally prefer that everything be priced whether by individual price stickers or a sign that clearly states the price of each item. For example, I attend many sales where I’m either told or can see on a prominently posted sign that all jeans are $1.00, all t-shirts are 50 cents, and all video games are $2.00. Pre-priced stickers are available at big box stores, most drug stores, and online. They come in different colors and packages of multi colors.

I detest attending a sale where nothing is marked and I’m required to ask for a price on anything that interests me. I’ve actually had people argue with me when I’m given a price and return the item to the table because the seller is too proud of it. Some people are open to negotiation, but others are firm on the price. One woman wanted $25.00 for a worn handbag. Had I known she was that attached to it, I would never have picked it up in the first place. I like things with character, but I won’t pay that kind of money for a bag that will only last me a couple of months.

I have a lockable money box that I use to separate change and keep paper money together when I have sales. I’ve found that sales employing some form of money organization run smoother than those where the seller keeps the money in her pockets or in the house. Anything you can do to speed up the paying process makes for happier customers. Having at least two people working the sale streamlines the process as one can bag things up while the other accepts the money and makes change.

Please, please, please have bags and/or boxes available to pack up purchases for your customers. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to buy a bunch of items from someone and then be forced to lug them to the car with no bag or box. Tammy and I have started carrying a bag or two in our pockets because this invariably happens to us at least once during every city-wide we attend.

The keys to a great sale are cleanliness, readiness, and organization. A friendly demeanor also helps. Preparing a sale is exhausting work, but if you do it correctly, you can have a lot of fun, clear out some clutter, and make some money.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page