1. Have change, and lots of it.
Go to the bank a few days before your sale get some change. I suggest $50 in small and medium bills along with several dollars of change. Inevitably your first buyer will need to break a twenty-dollar bill for a two-dollar purchase. Many yard sale regulars will come with small bills, but you never know. Have a plan for what you will do if you cannot make change along with a rule for the highest bill you will take. I suggest never accepting anything other than cash at your sale unless you’re equipped to take card.
2. Group like items together.
For my sale I had one table with all the “girly” stuff, another with home decor, one for nerdy toys, and another for misc home goods. This way buyers could gravitate to tables that had the types of items they were interested in and not become overwhelmed by number and variety of the items. Feel free to mention tables to buyers who you think may enjoy their contents. They may have overlooked them.
4. Make your sale welcoming.
Think about how you feel walking into a well designed and organized store versus how you feel when you enter a messy thrift shop or discount store. Pull items out of boxes and display in an appealing manner. Hang clothing when possible or place on tables. Items off the ground are easier to see for most buyers. Look around your home and garage to find ways to make tables. We used plastic totes and the top of a broken coffee table.
3. Price it out
Place prices on as many items as you can. This will save you time in the future when you have five customers needing help at the same time and can also attract customers that don’t love the item but love the price. While we are talking about prices…
4. Give your prices wiggle room
Finding the perfect yard sale price is hard. You want your prices to be inviting, but you don’t want t give your items away. Also remember that many customers will want to bargain with you for a better deal. I always suggest pricing 25% higher than you think is a good deal for an item so you have wiggle room but the price is also enticing to a non-bargaining shopper. Don’t have a clue how to price your items? Stop by a few sales the weekend before to see what going rates in your area are.
5. Be firm with your price and stipulations.
This may seem to go against my previous tip, but please be firm with your shoppers. I have been to so many sales were a seller has a customer that was low-balling and the seller does not know what to do. Let the buyer offer lower as mentioned about but be firm with your lowest price. I had a set of curtains at my sale that I was asking $10 for. The customer offered $5 and I said $8. Shen then kept trying to get me lower even though I told her it was my lowest price. Stick to your guts and be firm. Yes, you want to make some money, but its not worth it to just give your stuff away. (Yet.)
6. Have a plan for when it’s over
Have a plan for your stuff after the sale. You may make a make a decent amount of money but I am sure you will still have boxes of stuff to deal with. I suggest using this time to call a local charitable organization or thrift shop and having them come pick up whatever it left. If you have the room you may want to save some of the better items for a sale the following year, but if you think it will be over a year before your next sale I suggest you just donate the items. Exceptions to this rule are items for sale over $30. These items can be listed and sold on craigslist, Facebook, Offerup, or Poshmark (clothing).
I hope these tips helped you get an idea of how to set up and run your sale. Good luck!