The Prowers Journal Crash Course in Hosting a Yard Sale


Springtime is officially here and with it comes yard sale season.  The Prowers Journal will do its part in helping you to clean up your home and simplify your life while earning a bit of extra cash. To do this, we’ve put together a crash course in hosting a yard sale to help your own sales go smoothly. Use the tips below to host a fun and stress-free sale.

  • Gather items to sell – As you do your spring cleaning, gather all the items you no longer want but that are still in good condition. If you aren’t sure what to keep, think about the last time you used the item and what it means to you. If you haven’t used it in a year and it has no sentimental value, then add it to your yard sale “inventory.”
  • Double-check – After you’ve gathered all of the items you want to sell, make sure you aren’t going to regret selling it later. Be sure to check with all family members to make sure that they are okay with the item being sold; something that seems unimportant to you may have great sentimental value for someone else.
  • Prep your “inventory” – Make sure items are clean. Go through all items to make sure there isn’t anything left in them that may have value to you. Check pockets in clothing and bags, open containers, flip through book pages – you never know what you might find!
  • Price every item – This helps the sale to run smoothly. You can always bargain with customers or drop the price as the day goes on, but having a price posted gives you a place to start.
    • Price to sell. While making some extra cash is great, the main reason for having a yard sale is to clear out unwanted items. Be realistic about pricing your items and ask yourself what you would be willing to pay for that same item if you were buying it from someone else’s yard sale.
    • Offer customers a deal. Remember that people are typically inclined to buy more if they think they are getting a great deal. Take advantage of this by grouping items for a quick sale at a great price. For example, you can price all books at 25 cents but offer a deal of five books for a dollar. Also, you can bag small toys and price them by the bag instead of individually.
  • Pick a date – Find a time that is convenient for you but that doesn’t conflict with major events in the area. For example, you may not want to host your yard sale on Lamar Days weekend or the 4th of July because many people will be busy or out of town. Also, keep in mind when area employees are paid and host your yard sale near payday.
  • Clean it up – Make sure the area where you are hosting your yard sale is clean and tidy. Make sure to mow your lawn and clear any tripping hazards. One important step in this process is to put away anything you do not wish to sell. Take these items out of the yard or garage if possible, but you can also cover them with a sheet. This will save you time and aggravation on the day of your sale.
  • Advertise – Use your local resources to advertise your yard sale. Post it online, tell your friends, put up fliers, and don’t forget to advertise with The Prowers Journal.  When you’re ready to advertise your yard sale, use the form below.


  • Use signs – Signs can help you advertise as well as direct traffic to your yard sale. Make sure your signs are easy to read, even from the road.
  • Display counts – Display items for sale in a way that makes it easy for people to browse through them and immediately see what is available. Take items out of boxes and display them on tables, within easy reach. Prominently display big ticket and interesting items. Consider putting larger items near the street to help draw in customers that are driving by.
  • Offer refreshments – Don’t let the weather drive away your customers! Help your customers beat the heat by offering water, soda or popsicles for a small price. When the weather turns cooler, you might consider offering coffee or hot chocolate.
  • Use the buddy system – Have a friend or family member help you during the yard sale. Having someone to help you makes the sale run more smoothly, allowing for bathroom or drink breaks throughout the day without leaving the sale unattended.
  • Be ready to bargain – Mark a price on each item but be flexible with bargaining; after all, the point of your yard sale is to get the items sold. However, you might consider the time of day before greatly lowering your prices. For example, if a customer wants to bargain early in the day, you might say that you believe the price is fair but that you might be willing to bargain later in the day if the item doesn’t sell.
  • Go with the flow – It is highly unlikely that everything will go smoothly during your yard sale, especially if this is your first sale. Try to remain flexible and adjust to different issues as they arise.

When your yard sale is over you can either store your leftover items for another yard sale or donate them.  You should have a cleaner home, less clutter, and some extra cash.

Hopefully these tips will help you host a successful and hassle-free yard sale.  Check back each week to find more yard sale tips and tricks.

Here are several articles for more in-depth information the subjects they cover.

Yard Sale Tips & Tricks 1 – Pricing Your Items
Yard Sale Tips & Tricks 2 – Making Your Signs Count
Yard Sale Tips & Tricks 3 – All About Advertising
Yard Sale Tips & Tricks 4 – Miscellaneous Prep Tips
Yard Sale Tips & Tricks 5 – Displaying Clothing


Filed Under: Consumer IssuesMedia Release


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