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Friday, May 31, 2013

My First Yard Sale Experience

Yard sales. Love going to them. I love seeing other people's trash-slash-potential treasures, and finding some good deals. I have lots of good memories from helping with yard sales and also going to them with my grandma. We sold our old toys and clothes every summer and my sister and I would work at the cash table. My grandma was always the lady who circled all of the good sales in the paper and went out at 7:00 am Friday morning to hit all the sales in town. Believe me, I would do that if I could. In fact, I just might when I retire :) Anyway, since it's yard sale season now, I thought I would finally share my first experience having one! Last year, I hosted the first yard sale at our house. This is the only photo I have of the experience, unfortunately:

It was the end of September when I finally got around to having it, so it was a little chilly but still nice out, which was good. I had it on one day (Saturday) only, although I would have liked to have it Friday as well, but due to my regular 9 to 5, that was kind of impossible.

I also would have liked to have Trent helping me, but he had to work that day, so I enlisted my sister Haley, who also put some items in the yard sale as well. (Tip #1 I have for you: Multi-family sales are always good to provide a little more variety, more stuff to sell, and will probably draw more people in!)

Like most people, I chose to have a yard sale because I had tons of stuff sitting around and taking up space! I also had a lot name brand clothing I wore in high school and college that were still in really good condition, so I figured, why not try and make money from first them instead of just giving them away?

It's hard to believe so much work goes into having a yard sale, but it really does. I think I was preparing for maybe a month! Preparation included the following steps:

1) Gathering up everything I wanted to sell
2) Marking prices on everything with tape and a marker
3) Placing an ad in the local paper
4) Snapping a few photos of some items, then posting them in a Craigslist ad
5) Making a sign advertising the sale and posting it at the post office
6) Making signs for the street and putting them out the night before yard sale day (Pictured above are the signs that I made and put out on the street corners - Tip #2: Make them bright and bold so you can see them from a distance!)
7) Setting up tables outside (the day before)
8) Setting out all of the items (the day/ night before)
9) Getting everything ready for the cash table - spare cash and change, a calculator, notebook and pen, chairs, and Tip #3: I put out free donuts and hot chocolate for anyone who wanted them. I don't know if that's really a tip, but I just thought it would be fun, and you can always snack on them, too. :)

See all those steps?? Talk about a lot of work. I told Trent I think I was doing nothing but yard sale prep after I got home from work the entire week of the sale. You couldn't even talk to me - I was too busy going through clothes, marking, taking photos, making signs, etc! Haha.

In the end, I made about $80 after one day of selling. I considered that pretty good, since a lot of my clothes sold that were priced at .10-.50 each, so I didn't have a whole lot left over in comparison. We live in a small town so the traffic wasn't constant throughout the day - It was really busy in the first couple of hours, then really spaced out after that. My last tip - Price things low if you want to get rid of them! And if it's later in the day and people keep passing them up, price them down lower. That $80 was extra spending cash for me, so I was happy. I ended up taking most of my things that didn't sell to Goodwill afterward.

Overall, I don't know if all of the hard work that you put into having a yard sale is completely worth it, unless you live in a more populated area (unlike I do). It's just hard to get the traffic and people that like to spend money around here in Small town USA. Moral of the story is, I think it will be a while before I have another one. Maybe next year, but I think I'll pass this summer!


  1. Aren't yard sales a pain? I forget how much I hate them, then haven another one every 5 years or so. I usually make about 300 or so and take a full van load of stuff to Goodwill.. who wants to put it back in the house? Love your blog! Cindy @

    1. I feel the same way..It is really so much work! Thanks for stopping by! :)


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