How to Have a Wildly Successful Yard Sale - Gathering the Goods


So you want to get rid of your clutter and earn money from home at the same time? Having a yard sale is an excellent way to make money from your clutter! But you've got to have a good amount to sell to make it worth your time. In this second of my 8-part series on How to have a Wildly Successful Yard Sale I'll share how to gather enough merchandise to have the hottest sale in the neighborhood and net you a big profit.

Things You'll Need

  • House bursting with "stuff"
  • Calculating eye
  • Firm resolve to let go of "stuff"
  • Boxes
  • Labels
  • Marker
  • Cleaning rag
  • Cleaning solution
  • Storage area such as garage or shed
  • What Are the Good Goods?

    You should try to have a wide variety of items for all kinds of customers: Furniture, collectables, the book your boss gave you on how to be a better employee, outgrown baby items, craft supplies, those educational toys that your baby played with for 15 whole minutes, especially Barbie toys, Barbie clothes, Barbie accessories, anything Barbie! Any kinds of children's toys are good, but especially Fisher Price toys. New and used books and magazines, household items, your daughters' old prom dresses, large and small kitchen appliances, hand tools, power tools, those funny videos that aren't so funny any more, linens, those antiques you've been meaning to refinish for ten years now, the audio books you've already listened to, even house plants, basically anything that you're not using anymore are good. What you might think of as "junk" others will want to buy. Many collectors and dealers frequent garage sales, so don't be afraid to include one of a kind type items that have no match such as a single glass, teacup or individual dish.

  • How to Gather the Goods

    Start decluttering and organizing items you don't want to keep. Store your yard sale merchandise in clearly labeled boxes. All kinds of things sell at yard sales so don't overlook anything because you think it won't sell. You never know who might buy it. And every little sale adds up to a big profit. Old wooden spools sell like wildfire!

    Go room to room and start cleaning, purging, and placing all your unwanted "stuff" into labeled boxes, one for each type of merchandise: one for kid's toys, one for kitchen items, one for baby items, etc. Set the items you're sure will never sale aside in a box labeled "free." Offering items for free builds goodwill among your customers and will make it more likely they will haggle less. Look through your kitchen cupboards for that never used pasta maker. Are your closets hiding treasures? Are your dressers full of outgrown clothing you could sell? Look in in the basement, attic and even the garage for gifts that you never used which are collecting dust. Even wedding dresses have been known to sell at yard sales! If you haven't used it in a year it's a good candidate for your yard sale.

  • Storing the Goods

    As you place items into their designated boxes, inspect them. Could they use a good cleaning? Do they need a simple repair? If so, do it now. It's much easier to do this as you're slowly going through each closet accumulating and collecting, than to inspect, clean and repair everything all at once while you're pricing items later. Move all of your yard sale boxes into one place such as the garage or shed.

  • Evaluating the Goods

    Now decide if you have enough items to hold a yard sale (the more the better). Three or four tables-full is the minimum. Customers often won't decide to stop until they see how much merchandise you have. If all you can muster is one or two table's worth, many won't even bother to stop. If you don't have enough stuff, get a friend or three to go in with you so you will attract more customers. Really. This really is critical. The more stuff you have to offer the more customers you will have. Give all of your neighbors a flyer telling them when you are having a sale and ask if they would like to have one also. The more sales that there are in one area, the more people will come to your sale.
    Another option for obtaining more merchandise is to buy stuff for only pennies at a Goodwill auction and resell it at a high price. You'll make a great profit. One lady I read about collected stuff all winter in this manner. She had so much stuff to sell that her yard sale netted her $2,000.00!

    In the next part in this series learn about Pricing Your Merchandise so You Get Maximum Bucks.

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