Family Life




Use This Yard Sale Checklist to Have a Perfect Yard Sale

Use This Yard Sale Checklist to Have a Perfect Yard Sale

Having a yard sale? You're in just the right spot! We've got a thorough checklist here for you to help you have the perfect sale. Let's get into it.

Key Points

  • Try to pick a date when traffic is higher for your sale. Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July are great options.
  • Put ads up in your local paper, on social media, and on yard sale advertising sites.
  • Don't put your items out until the day of the sale. Leaving items out overnight is an invitation for theft.

Yard Sale Checklist

Two to three weeks prior to the sale

  • Collect items to be sold.
  • Check your area's rules.
  • Choose a date to have your sale. Determine whether your sale will be over multiple days, or on just one. Figure out what hours your sale will be, and whether you'll accept early birds. Aim for dates when there will be a lot of traffic, such as Memorial Day weekend or the Fourth of July.
  • Compose your newspaper or social media ad.
  • Call the newspaper and place the ad, or post your ad on social media. Consider putting an ad on https://yardsales.com/, as this is generally a place yard sale fans tend to look.

One week prior to the sale

  • Make sure items for sale are clean and in good repair. Items with minor wear and tear are fine to sell, but avoid selling anything that's broken or in poor condition. Consider offering these items for free instead.
  • Go to the bank to get change for the sale. Consider setting up a Venmo or CashApp in case someone doesn't have enough cash on them.
  • Price the items and organize them into groups of like items. Remember to price items fairly; people at yard sales are looking for deals. Don't rip yourself off, but remember that even like-new items should be discounted from their original cost.
  • Make the signs to be posted for the sale.

The day prior to the sale

  • Place tables in your sales area. Make sure they're spaced far enough apart for multiple people to walk between them at once, without bumping into each other.
  • Organize any change in a change box.
  • Gather a calculator, pen, paper, bags, and newspaper for wrapping fragile items.
  • Plug in an extension cord to test electrical items. Consider keeping the extension cord handy on the day of the sale in case anyone wants proof that an item works.
  • Post your sale signs in high traffic, visible areas.

The day of the sale

  • Set out small snacks and soft drinks for your workers.
  • Put the items to be sold on the tables in an organized fashion. It's best to do this day-of, since this will prevent theft. If your sale is over multiple days, bring unsold items inside at the end of each day's sale. Keep electrical items out of direct sunlight.
  • Determine if you're open to negotiation. If not, write up a quick sign stating that prices are firm.
  • Open the sale for business. Keep an eye on the sale to watch for theft. Don't be afraid to confront suspicious people, but be respectful and tact about it at first. Don't directly accuse someone of theft unless you're absolutely sure they intend to steal whatever they grabbed. Be prepared for aggressive pushback if you accuse someone of theft.

After the sale is over

  • Deliver unsold items to charity or arrange for their pick-up.
  • Remove your sale signs. Make sure you take down any signs that you posted around town, as many towns and cities have laws to punish people who leave sale signs up far past the date of their sale.
  • Consider whether you want to have another sale. How did this sale go? Did you sell everything you wanted to sell, or is a lot left over? It might be worth having another sale later in the year if you have a lot left over to sell.
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