Got Tips? Help Me Host a Yard Sale!

Home Stager with VoteAudrey blog

Okay Stagers and other Savvy Rainers, I need your help!  I'm holding a YARD SALE for my mother and need some advice.

First, the yard sale won't be at her house (she just had 45K in landscaping and bargain hunters traipsing through wouldn't be great---plus, it's super private and hard to find).  The only feasible spot is at a house in the neighborhood my mother owns but is rented by friends.  It's on a main street in the neighborhood, easy to find, but is up small hill/slope.  Will this be a deterrant?

Second, what are the best ways to advertise?  Columbia, SC doesn't have a happenin' Craigslist community unfortunately (although I will try).  It's cheap to run an ad on the local rag's website, so I'll do that as well.  Place flyers around the neighborhood, et cetera.  Any interesting promo ideas?  

Thanks in advance AR!


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Stage It Forward...
The Lounge at Active Rain
Dedicated Bloggers
Front Porch Majority
Stager's Coffee Clutch
yard sale
home stager

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Patti A. Puckett
Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche - Belvidere, IL

Was on my  way to bed and saw your post and couldn't resist!  Not sure that uphill will deter a well advertised yard sale with certain EYE catching choice of words.  For instance: any antiques? collectibles? tools, be sure when you advertise to highlight and mention the HOT items. I use a local paper we have that is known for advertising weekly yard/garage sales; EVERYONE grabs for the paper Wed when its released (for subscribers) freebies are delivered on Thursday to homes; early bird gets the worm so I know here? folks map and plan out their days for Fri and Sat and they PLAN for POWER SHOPPING!  hahah

A GREAT suggestion that has worked VERY well for me for several years is co-opping or partnering with a local Realtor! I have yard sale/realtor assist packets and when the season begins; I offer to pay for the sellers weekly ad in the paper, PLUS I do flyers, blast out emails (of course every resource has the HOT items in bold or listed in the beginning.  Then I make it festive, like a party; just like when I do open houses or brokers opens.  Purchase the colorful plastic flags that the car dealers use? You know to sort of ROPE OFF an area? Put some up the driveway or around the yard or garage, whatever works for your venue. I offer to pay for and help plan and set up IN EXCHANGE for allowing MY NAME and SIGN to be right in the midst of the sale; I announce on my advertising that "This Yard/home/garage/estate sale is SPONSORED by your local Broker/Realtor: Patti Puckett  815-378-8642.  I ask permission to have a presence during the sale (each day) I would be there personally some of the time and/or I might have a son/daughter/neighbor anyone that will either volunteer OR get paid CHEAPLY to walk around with my cards to hand out; OR incorporate giveaways or door prizes and have a set up to collect names and phone numbers for leads and have a couple of prizes.  Let your imagination run wild.  The sky is the limit; it can be lots of fun---an excellent way to meet people, build repore, get leads, assist the seller  (remember I want to make her/him HAPPY and pleased that they chose me to sponsor them; I don't want them to feel I was an intrusion or irritating. your profession you must know some realtors?  Maybe some newbies that are looking for inexpensive ways to get their name out there?

Let me know if I can be of further assistance, I hope I've helped and I wish you much success.  BTW--my first time around at the Marriage Gig? I got married to my husband in Columbia, SC where he was stationed in the Army. GEE; we were married 18 years and that feels like a lifetime ago; LOL


Patti Puckett

Broker/Realtor,Independent Student Advisor with Nouveau Riche/Investor

Northern Illinois

May 15, 2008 03:51 PM #1
Patti A. Puckett
Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche - Belvidere, IL

AHHH; I am sorry Audrey , I re read your blog and I now see I goofed; YOU might not know any Realtors in Columbia; maybe Mom does? or are  you from there originally? maybe neighbors of Moms or friends?  Sorry; I was so quick to send my fun idea; I got your venue mixed up; BUT  I still think it can work to your benefit

Find a Realtor that IS familiar with yard sales, what works best, etc and let her/him really assist you.

Again I wish you much success; I will keep thinking of other ideas too


Nighty night

Patti P

May 15, 2008 03:54 PM #2
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Well, I certainly can't top Patti's suggestion (which I am stealing!!!!!) but Craigslist has been very successful for me.  I also do flyers in the neighborhood and have had the best response when it is a joint effort with another neighbor(s).  Good luck!

May 15, 2008 03:59 PM #3
Patti A. Puckett
Broker Associate/Realtor/ISA with Nouveau Riche - Belvidere, IL


YOU ROCK, and you are most welcome to theive my suggestion HA!  I hope you have as much fun with it as I have.  Let me know when you do your first one; or what you do and share the details; I would love to hear


and BTW--LOVE Craigslist too!

nice to meet you both

look forward to hearing from you again

Patti P in Northern Illinos

May 15, 2008 04:21 PM #4
Audrey Hoffman
VoteAudrey blog - Columbia, SC

Patti--See?  I KNEW someone on AR could help :)  Yes, that's a great idea! I work in both SC and MD so no snafu really :)  Thanks sooo much!  (PS--thanks for mentioning calling out certain high interest items--will remember that too!)

Leesa--I am going to try and recruit some neighbors, thanks for the suggestion!

May 15, 2008 05:14 PM #5
Patty Carroll
Vancouver, WA

Use your realtor open house signs and put your garage sale signs on them.

Putting up signs everywhere is vital. Check your area sign rules first. : )

May 15, 2008 05:54 PM #6
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I yard sale every Sat.  I always check on line in the classified section of my city newspaper.  Your daily newspaper is a "must" location for an ad.    I have had many, many yard sales and here is some advice on writing your ad:

Highlight any big ticket items.  (collections, big appliances, tools, dolls, books, records...)

If you plan to have it rain or shine...make sure you state that or give a rain date.

I don't usually put the number of my house in the ad, only the Street name.  That way the dealers can't show up the day before.  Just make sure the house is clearly identified when you open.

I usually only list a start time, no end time.  That way you can end whenever you feel like it.

If you don't want anyone there before the start time, make sure you state No Early Birds.  Understand, though that some people will still come early.  If you don't state No Early Birds, plan on people arriving very, very early.  If you advertise 8 am, you could have people there at 6:30.

Regarding the sale:

Have big, easy to read from a distance, signs at both ends of the road.  Make sure signs can withstand weather if rain is a possibility.

The better the presentation, the more valuable the items will appear. (Staging by organizing stuff into sections...housewares, holiday, toys, tools, books, etc. is helpful)

It is best to have items marked with a price.  Don't group items by price (everything on this table is $1) because the stuff gets moved all around and it gets too hard to keep track.

Prepare yourself to bargain.  Most people want it for less than you price it.

Get change (ones, fives, and coins) the day before. 

If you have several people working the sale, then only one person should be cashier.  People claim to have paid someone else if you all take the money.

It is really sad to say, but people steal.  Keep small pocketable items in view or inside  zip lock bags.

If you have a lot of electrical items, have an extension cord available to prove that they work.

Don't keep candles or record albums in the sun.  People do this all the time and they melt.

Hope this was helpful.  I've decided it was long enough to write my own post, so thanks for the idea!

May 16, 2008 05:36 AM #7
Debra Brodhecker
House Dressing - Branchville, NJ
House Dressing, New Jersey

A local organization that held a garage/yard sale to raise money offered this twist for early birds.  The starting time was 9 am if you wanted in earlier you paid an entrance fee--$5.  Might discourage the early birds--I have had them camped out waiting for me to open the garage--and you make a little extra.


Good Luck!

May 16, 2008 09:45 AM #8
Tori Lynn Wallitsch
Prudential Ambassador / Ross Designs, LLC - Omaha, NE

I have found that it is best to have many items close to the street - in other words, line the driveway with them so people driving by can easily get an idea for what category of items are for sale.  If they see something that interests them, they are more likely to park and walk up to the house.  if the stuff is mostly in the garage people may decide it's not worth stopping, parking and walking all the way through. Also, one of my friends always insists on having a "free" box filled with toys and other small, sometimes useless items. People love free!

May 16, 2008 12:46 PM #9
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Another craigslist like webpage you can consider is and I am sure you have done your mom's yard sale already audrey but just in case in near future you decide to do one again or no anyone who wants to do a yardsale you can tell them about this site. And I stopped by since I have commented on any of your blogs in a while. Take care. Great post.

May 19, 2008 11:10 AM #10
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,

Hi Audrey, you've already got some great advice - have fun and you can sell soda and bottled water to make extra bucks on a hot day or get some neighborhood kids to set up shop and tell their friends and family (plus they can help keep an eye on stuff too) increasing your foot traffic

May 19, 2008 11:15 AM #11
Carson Porter - Baltimore, MD

Even as an online sales rep for a newspaper, I'd avoid spending much outside of your time and energy promoting the yard sale. I always go the lazy route myself and just donate my old stuff, get a receipt, and write it off come tax time.

Jun 13, 2008 05:46 AM #12
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Sooooo, how did it turn out?  Got any tips now for those of us thinking of doing it that would help us now that you are experienced?

Jun 13, 2008 02:16 PM #13
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Audrey Hoffman

Ask me a question
Spam prevention