We all have too much stuff. There's no getting around it, as a society, we are all way in over our heads with bits and bobs we just do not need. Check out these shocking statistics for even more truth about how much stuff everyone has that they don't need:

  • A quarter of people in the US with two garages have so much stuff they don't have room to park a car 
  • If you ditch clutter, you reduce your daily housework by 40% 
  • Every single person spends a whole year of their life searching for items lost at home 
  • 1 in 11 Americans rent additional storage space 

How much does that make you instantly want to grab a bin liner and start filling it? If those statistics aren't enough to tempt you, how about cold hard cash? An easy incentive for ditching the clutter is to sell it in a yard sale. Yard sales and garage sales are easy ways to make some extra cash right at home, for the clutter you would have otherwise thrown away or given to goodwill. Still not convinced? Just think about what else you could be doing on a quiet Saturday. Maybe go shopping, wash the car, go for a walk? Nothing too exciting right? Whereas you could be sat right at home, saving on petrol and energy, generating cash for your unwanted stuff! As long as you do it right that is….

Want to know how to sell well at a yard sale?

Follow these essential tips, and you'll be happy you spent a day selling your wares from the comfort of your own lawn:

1. The Planning Is Key
As tempting as it is to slip out of bed on the day and 'wing it', you are so much less likely to make money from your clutter this way and preparation really does count. You will want to ensure you:
  • Choose the best day for your sale (Saturday is a great choice) 
  • Check the weather forecast so you're not going to be setting up in a storm! 
  • Get all your items to sell separate and organised in the garage or in the spare room 
  • Advertise the yard sale on Craigslist and in local papers 
  • Make signage for the sale, big bright and clear works best 
  • Ask your neighbours to get involved - a whole street if yard sales will attract more visitors 
You only need to spend a weekend, or a couple of evenings planning and if you have kids, they will no doubt enjoy making signs and artwork for the sale. 

2. Pricing & Sales Is A Delicate Art
Pricing is tricky with yard sales, because you're not a shop and a yard sale doesn't work like a shop so you have to abide by 'yard sale rules'. Try to bare in mind that:

  • Nearly 50% of people are turned off by overpriced items 
  • 22% hate disorganisation 
  • Nearly 80% of people prefer items to be clearly marked with a price 
  • Nearly 50% prefer or expect to negotiate the price 

These statistics are reflective of yard sales in general, and they tend to stand true of what you should expect. Realistically, if you are looking to sell an item for top dollar, sell it online. Yard sales are for cheap sales, and people aren't looking to spend a pretty penny at them. Although it might kill you to see something you paid $100 dollars for for $20 dollars, do you really want to keep it? You have to be realistic with your pricing. That being said, do leave room for negotiation so that you have some wiggle room to end up at an accepted price. People are usually looking to pay less than the advertised price. 

3. Setting Up The Big Display Could Spell Success Or Failure
The way you lay your items out makes a big difference, but all is OK because setting the display is the fun bit! It is like playing shop, but at home! You will want the following to make a good display:

  • Tables 
  • Soft or hard boxes (cardboard boxes are great for dollar boxes) 
  • Blankets or sheets to cover the tables 
  • Clear, bright signage 
  • Covers for the floor if items will be laying on the floor 
As a general rule a well organised display is best. You want your buyers to be able to navigate items and prices without any help from you. Keep items grouped together in 'themes' (toys, ornaments, tools etc), and really make the effort to make it an easy and attractive display, so you have the best possible chance of selling as much as possible. 

4. Do Your Best On The Day
On the day of your sale, you should expect people to start arriving at least 7am, but probably earlier. Serious 'dealers' will want to get there first to snap up the best deal. The most popular yard sale time is 8am, according to statistics, but in reality people will always start coming earlier than that. When you have set up, have a box full of change ready to exchange for notes, as well as some bags or boxes for people to carry larger hauls. You'll also want a waist pack or some sort of cash box to keep your money in because sadly opportunists are around and will steal your money if they can.

To set the mood, you'll want to be chatty and smiley to help people feel comfortable (never stare at people whilst they browse) and consider a little upbeat background music. Source cheap diesel generators for sale to hook up your sound system outdoors if you're selling quite far away from your home (extension leads can be dangerous with lots of children around). It will be worth it, and generators are always handy anyway so it won't be a one off usage.

If you notice that nobody is browsing, busy yourself so people feel comfortable approaching, and offer a gentle "Hey, how are you?" before continuing about your business. Kids being a nightmare? Set them up with their own stand, jobs or even a lemonade stand to give them a sense of responsibility, they will soon enjoy their own 'playing shop' game.
I have an antique console stand-up radio that I bought in a yard sale, that I've always half-believed has magical properties. It's in my office, and it has watched over each of the fifteen books I've written. It also helped me find my wife - Ben Mezrich
Your yard sale is going to declutter your home, and put extra cash in your pocket. Doesn't that sound great? With a little organisation, planning and some excellent playing shop, you can make money getting rid of items you would have otherwise ignored, forgotten about, or given away to charity. Trust us, after it is over, you'll be scouting the house for items to sell at your next yard sale!