One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

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How To Have A Successful Yard Sale  Yard Sale Sign

Spring is the perfect time to clean out the garage, the attic and the closets (even under the kid's beds) and have a garage sale!   We've heard that listing agents are encouraging their sellers to have garage sales to help drive traffic and awareness!  Better yet, organize a neighborhood-wide garage sale!  Offer to help out your sellers with signs, balloons, post on your website, or make some lemonade!  Here are a few tips to share.


Preparing for a yard sale is hard work. Ideally, you should start working on your yard sale 3 weeks prior to the event. However, if you work hard, you can have it ready in 2 weeks. Well prepared yard sales can profit upwards of $800.00 or more.

Week 1: Spring Cleaning - choose one or two rooms a day and begin collecting items in the basement or garage.

Week 2 & 3: Organizing - sort, clean and price your items.


Place an adin the local paper and any online garage sale sites. Craigslist, are some to consider. Large signs or banners placed at all the entrances to the neighborhood and directional signs throughout the neighborhood will bring in the customers and keep them shopping. Also balloons on mailboxes are always helpful to confirm you are open and not just cleaning your garage.


Put a price tag on everything and ALWAYS be willing to negotiate.

Overpricing is the next hurdle...yard sales are for liquidation. Quality items should be priced less than half off the original price you paid. Overpricing can turn everyone away before they get to the garage. 

yard sale


What you have to sell and how much you have to sell are important factors as well. If you don't have much to sell, then partnering with a neighbor is a good idea. Put everything in one need "The Draw". Walk the sale, re-organize items, always talk to the customers. Some people are too shy to ask for a price or to negotiate...being friendly can make a sale.

As the day progresses and tables get sparse. Consolidate items so that tables are always full. 


"The Draw" is very important. Although you should always advertise your sale in local papers and online, you still have to get customers to come to YOUR house. 

Perception is everything. Bring some large items or "hooks" (furniture, play, exercise and lawn equipment, etc.) out onto the driveway. Your goal is to gain their interest. You can also put items out that you have no intention of selling, just to get customers in the garage. Yes, that's right, you may have some items that you are on the fence about and you are not ready to part with at yard sale prices. Just don't put a price on it, or, price it higher, you never know, it may sell.

Sell popcorn, lemonade, cookies, water...these are other ways to get people to your house.


(posted by Suzanne Geddes, Marketing/Graphic Designer for AnotherME)



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  1. The Rains Team 05/22/2009 01:06 AM
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DInah Welch

Great ideas...looking forward to doing one myself!

Mar 27, 2009 12:24 PM #1
Nicole McGrath
Peoria, AZ
Your Real Estate Assistant

Great time of year for some Spring cleaning - and perfect opportunity to make a little extra cash too! My husband and I had a Garage Sale (nothing too big) before our big move and brought in about $200, so I'm sure if you have enough large/furniture items you could really make out well! And organizing a Community Sale always brings in more traffic. Thanks for the great tips!

Mar 27, 2009 12:39 PM #2
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

My favorite comment always is...."look they are having a garage sale, what are they going to do with the rest of the house? Ok, sounds dumb!

I had a garage sale a few years back, and ended up having a great haul to the Goodwill store. Everyone that would of thought they were expecting Macy's or something....very picky...and I had some really nice stuff!

Oh well, one man's trash is another man's treasure!

Mar 27, 2009 01:01 PM #3
kelly marsh

How come you don't have a blog on "Another ME" website?

Mar 27, 2009 02:28 PM #4
Patty Keller
AnotherME, LLC - Atlanta, GA
AnotherMe - 770-414-9393 - RE Virtual Assistant

Dinah - I want to come to your Garage Sale!

Nicole - we have had 2 sales over the past few years, one we made 700, the other 350!  You're still young and haven't been married long enough to collect lots of junk! That's a compliment! 

Thom - it's amazing to me what people will buy and what they want to pay for it.  We had one man who got so obnoxious about bargaining with me on price, I finally told him that I wasn't selling anything to him!  And took it to Goodwill!  HA!  Thanks for stopping by my post!

Patty Keller

Mar 28, 2009 02:31 AM #5
Suzanne Geddes

My husband and I have a garage sale with our neighborhood twice a year. We seem to collect the right junk to sell and end up having about $500+ worth at each sale. He is the expert and knows just how to set up everything and bargain with the customers.

What I've noticed about most of our neighbors is that they have an attachment to their items and they know what they paid for it, therefore, they don't want to give it away. You have to understand that if you are selling at a garage sale, you have to be willing to sell at close to Goodwill prices. If you have things that you want a specific price for you should use ebay or craigslist.

Patty...we see the same 5 or so professional yard salers every sale we have. We already know the ones that are obnoxious bargainers and are prepared when they walk up the driveway. These are the ones that are sitting out in front of your house at 6:30am waiting for the garage to open. Once I had a lady ring our doorbell before we opened...I had just gotten out of the shower!

Mar 28, 2009 03:14 PM #6
Bonnie Ramsey
AnotherME - Marietta, GA

What great extra level of service real estate agents can offer by "sponsoring" their client's garage sale.  Never thought of that!

Mar 30, 2009 08:36 AM #7
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AnotherMe - 770-414-9393 - RE Virtual Assistant
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