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How to Actually Make Money with a Yard Sale

How to Actually Make Money with a Yard Sale

Garage sales are often thrown around as a quick and easy method to make extra money. If you’ve tried to run your own, you probably know how much work it really takes and how little money you can make after all that effort. As unprofitable as yard sales can be, they can also be very lucrative, if you know some tricks. Let’s find out how to actually make money with a yard sale.

Should You Even Throw a Yard Sale?

A successful yard sale is not something you can throw together on a whim, especially if you’re not an expert. Before deciding on anything else, decide on how much money you need for this to be considered a success – are you looking to break $100? $500? $1000?

Once you’ve figured that out, sort through your belongings and see if you can even meet your financial goals if you sold everything, which is your best case scenario. Realistically, you might sell 80% of your items and then donate the rest. Depending on what you have, it might be more profitable to skip the garage sale entirely and sell your valuables independently.

Team Up For a BIG Sale

The more items you have at your yard sale, the more people you will attract. Team up with friends, family and neighbors to throw one big yard sale. This will not only mean more traffic, more buys and more money, it also means less work for you. Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for so nothing falls through the cracks.

Choose a Busy Location

Most people who shop garage sales do it because they happened to drive by and get pulled in by something that attracts their attention. You will get the most traffic by hosting your yard sale on a busy street. Bonus points if you’re near a heavily-trafficked intersection. If you don’t live in a busy area, look for another place to host, such as a relative’s home or your neighborhood park (you may need a permit depending on local ordinances).


Your pricing needs to be reasonable and visible. Whether you use stickers or boxes or any other method to convey prices, it needs to be clear and obvious to your shoppers.

Consider marking things up in the beginning because a lot of shoppers want to haggle. You will also need some room to come down as the day goes on. But don’t price too high in the beginning or you risk losing good sales.

To get help with setting prices, look up your items on Craigslist and eBay and price accordingly. You typically won’t get as much in a yard sale as you would on Craigslist, but it’s a good place to start.

Advertise Smart

To advertise your yard sale, use these three methods: signs, Craigslist and Facebook.

Tips for Yard Sales Signs

  • Make them large and easy to read
  • Place them at busy intersections in a noticeable place
  • Use a lot of color
  • Pick them up after the yard sale is over!

Tips for Craigslist Ads

  • Use a clear, descriptive title “Yard Sale at 742 Evergreen Terrace Saturday 9-11 AM”
  • List the items you will have, include brand names (to catch people who are searching for specific items)
  • Post a few pictures of your items, especially popular ones like electronics and children’s clothing
  • Post an ad each morning for 3-4 days leading up to the sale
  • Repost the ad the morning of the sale
  • Take all posts down after the yard sale

Posting Your Yard Sale to Facebook
Tell your friends about your upcoming yard sale 1-2 weeks before. Post again the day before, reminding everyone and post again the morning of your sale. Link to your Craigslist ad with descriptions and photos of items you’re selling.

Facebook is also a great way to find people who’d like to participate in your yard sale.

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