If you follow along on Instagram Stories, you probably saw that we had a huge yard sale this weekend. We haven’t done one for probably five years (or more!), but we knew for the last couple months that it was coming. It was time. How do you know? Well for us, when we pulled out our deck furniture from our storage unit this year, there was a lot of furniture that we had once used in our home that we put in there “just in case” that I had forgotten about completely. A lot of it I still loved, but I knew I didn’t have the perfect spot for it. The shelves in our home office were filled with the same kind of decor. Things we’ve had and used and loved at one time, waiting to get rotated back in, but I just found myself reaching for them less and less.
We also shared on CLJ TV last week (watch the fun video here!) that we moved all the furniture that came with our cabin out so demo could start up there. (In the same video we demo the kitchen–exciting, exciting, exciting.) That was definitely the biggest push to do the yard sale. We had a whole cabin’s worth of furniture that served us well the past several months, but don’t really fit into the vibe we are going for in the renovation. Think lots of 90s dressers, credenzas, coffee tables–just SO MUCH FURNITURE! Between all of that and the things we have accumulated around here, we had enough to fill our entire front lawn and driveway.
We purged all of our kitchen cabinets, closets, all the baby stuff went (yes, I cried) and we encouraged our girls to go through their toys and told them they could keep any profits they made from the sale of them. The questions poured in over the weekend about everything from how we priced things to why didn’t we just donate everything, so I thought I’d address the most FAQs below!
How did we price things?
In short, really cheap. Before you decide to do a yard sale, think about whether you want to make money vs. purge all the stuff. For us, it was more important to pass on as many things as possible. We were in that purging mindset. If you want to make top dollar, I would consider selling it online, piece by piece. While you’ll likely earn more money, it will also be more time consuming and you’ll have to store everything while you wait for things to sell.
We sold all six of our tan molded plastic chairs for $100 for the set. Most other nice chairs for $30-$40. Most of the dressers from the cabin for $30. Kitchen plates for $1 a piece. Kitchen Utensils for 25 cents. Small appliances for $5 (we had a plug nearby so they could test them.) We had clothes for $1-$2 a piece and baby clothes for a quarter. I sold the dock-a-tot we used for Polly for $60 and a car seat we don’t use anymore for $20. I priced most of the lamps we had for $10, but the ones that used to be in our bedroom for $30 a piece. We had three different televisions for sale–$100 for the largest, and 2 for $50. Bookcases for $10, decor for $1 or $2. Our girls priced all of their toys for less than a dollar, and I put an entire Melissa and Doug train set in a bag for $15.
What about Bargaining?
Truthfully, the whole bargaining thing makes me so uncomfortable and I think that’s another reason why I was more excited about pricing things on the lower end. The sale went from 8am-noon and I told anyone that asked for a deal to come back at 11:30 and if it was still there, I would make them a deal (and I did! We knocked every price by half in the last hour). Otherwise, what the sticker said was the price. The day before the yard sale, my sister and friend came over and they helped me price every last item. It really helped me to keep my head straight during the sale, kept the customers happy and moving since there were no, “how much” questions and it allowed my friend to check people out without having to double check with me. Definitely ask someone you trust to run the till for you! I was so busy talking to people and helping Chris load things into cars, that I would have never been able to accept payments, too.
What payments did you accept?
Which brings us to payment. Gone is the bartering tactic–“I only have $2.” We accepted cash or Venmo–a good idea if you have anything priced over $20 at your sale. At the cash table, we had a lock box for cash and a bright printed sign with my Venmo ID on it for easy reference. We didn’t accept checks or anything else.
Why didn’t you just donate everything?
That would have been a lot easier! Ha! But in the end, we sold things at less than thrift store prices and felt good about being able to pass on some amazing pieces for a steal. There were a few pieces leftover and we did donate those.
Where to advertise?
Our community has a yard sale Facebook page that I posted on announcing the sale. I also posted it on my personal Facebook page and Instagram. The morning of, we planted four big Yard Sale signs on nearby corners (the kind you can find at Walmart and Target) with our address and time on them.
What about having a combined yard sale?
This is such a great idea if you and a few friends/neighbors all have a handful of things to sell. “Multi-family yard sales” attract a lot of people because it usually means there’s going to be a LOT of stuff there. A few friends did ask if they could sell a few things during ours. We just asked them to make sure it had a price label on it (preferably a different color than what we were using) and I gave our friend that was running the till a notebook to keep track of what was sold from each of the three people that contributed. This was a lot easier than telling customers to go find a specific person to pay. At the end, we added up what they sold from the list and paid them from our cash box–easy peasy.
A few don’t-forget-details and surprises
• Don’t forget to say, “No early birds!” on your listing if you don’t want shoppers coming before you even have things set up. Serious yard salers will come sometimes an hour early to snag all the good stuff. To keep things fair, we decided we weren’t even going to let people even browse until 8am. By 8:03, it was a mad house, but at least everyone had the same opportunity.
• Decide if you’re going to allow holds. We had several people asking us to hold an item for them while they run and get cash. I always asked if they do Venmo before agreeing to it. If they didn’t, I told them we could hold it for 20 minutes and I put it behind the cash table. Most of the time they came right back, a couple times, I’m glad we set the 20 minute time limit.
• We had several guys (my dad, Chris, my nephew, Jordan) handy and a furniture dolly to help people load big things into their cars. It was a big help that made things run smoothly and, hopefully, helped everyone had a positive experience. You could easily add “You Haul” to your listing if you aren’t in the position to help people load furniture. Some people did ask if they could pick it up later and our rule was everything had to be picked up by 1pm. As soon as something was paid for, we wrote SOLD on the price sticker and that alerted other buyers that that item was taken and prevented us from selling things more than once.
• Most people came right when we started, but I was surprised to see another rush around 10am–so many people! And then there was another big rush right before we were finished. I think those are the strategic shoppers that know they’re going to get a good deal, even if it’s all picked over.
Overall, it was such a fun morning with perfect weather and so many fun people came. Greta and Faye made $13 dollars from their toy sale and immediately wanted to go buy a new toy. It was fun to have them so into it, and I think having them sell lemonade would have also been fun! We made over $2500 from the rest of the sale, but more importantly we felt so light after purging all of that stuff. There is no better feeling. Hope this helps for any yard sales in your future! Any other tips I forgot? Sound off in the comments!