If you’re not computer savvy, want to get rid of unwanted items in one fell swoop and earn some cash, host a yard sale before moving out of your house. Although the trend nowadays is to sell things online, it’s a longer sales process and good, old-fashioned yard sales can yield decent profits. All you really need is a free weekend day, a few helpful fellow salespeople, and a place to host it.  Here’s how to host a successful yard sale before the moving company arrives.


After decluttering and deciding what you would like to sell, contact your municipality and/or homeowner’s association to get acquainted with their yard sale policies, so you’re not shut down or fined before earning money.  Ask neighbors and friends if they’d like to join in or create a community-wide sale to draw bigger crowds.  When you’re scheduling a yard sale date keep in mind that holiday weekends are not ideal and that actually Fridays and Saturdays are the best days for a yard sale.  No matter what limits you make understand that interested parties will ignore scheduled times and show up whenever.

Advertising and Arranging

Advertise your yard sale around town and online to garner the most traffic and strategically place colorful, bold signs to promote it.  Borrow tables from neighbors and local friends to display your wares.  Mark each item with large, legible price tags including free items you’re giving away, and don’t forget to keep anything you don’t want to sell and personal items away from salable stuff.  A place like items together, says This Old House, and arrange them in an artful yet neat and orderly fashion.  Yard Sale Queen proposes placing same-size kids’ clothing and small toys together in plastic bags and including a sign stating, “All Sales Final,” to eliminate returns. Money-Saving Mom suggests having drinks available for sale or even permitting your children to erect a lemonade stand for the occasion.  At the end of the day, she continues, gimmicks like offering whatever can be filled in a bag for a dollar is a good way to get rid of odds and ends.

Pricing and Negotiating

When you’re establishing prices for various items, realize that what you paid for it is not necessarily what it’s worth in yard sale parlance.  Real Simple suggests rounding off prices to the nearest 5 cents.  Different formulas for calculating prices vary, but This Old House goes by the rule of 50-30-10 which values almost new items as 50% off of the retail price; gently used as 30% off, and 10% off used items.  Remember, though, that yard sales tend to attract particular buyers who will want to negotiate a satisfactory price with you.  Most importantly, keep the money you earn secured in a safe place or on your person, so no one walks off with your hard-earned cash.


It’s tempting to spend what you made after a fruitful yard sale, but consider your intent when you decided to host one – to make some money and rid yourself of possessions at the same time.  Did that involve blowing a bunch of money you may need for your upcoming move?  When the sale is complete, gather the remaining items and donate or trash them.   Now you can schedule your move with the moving company, but first, enjoy the extra space you have and count the money you made!