10 Ways to Guarantee a Successful Memorial Day Yard Sale

Flickr photo by Larry Page
The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is ripe for yard sale hopping, but if you're going to be one of the sellers, are you ready for the hagglers?

Here are some can't-fail tips for having a successful -- aka cash-heavy -- yard sale.


1. Location, location, location. It may be a cliche, but don't cliches always have a hint of truth? If your home is way off the beaten path, how about going in with friends who have a more heavily trafficked spot? Otherwise, set up a lot of signage.

2. Good signage. Make your sign, then hang it on the wall and step back 20 to 40 feet. That's how far the people in the cars driving by will be -- and if they can't read it, they're not coming. No need to go into all the details on every item, just be clear -- location, arrows pointing the way, and the hours. Check your local zoning laws to ensure your signs won't earn you fines that eat up all your profits.

3. Leave some room for hagglers. Don't overprice yourself out of the game because a $20 t-shirt is going to send your would-be shoppers straight back to their cars. But haggling is expected at yard sales; pricing things too low will destroy your profit.

4. Don't price it too high. See above -- $20 t-shirts. A lot of items priced fairly low is better than a few priced at actual value for getting you cash.

5. Clean it up. No one wants to buy baby toys coated in mashed banana. If touching it makes you want to wash your hands, do not pass go, just go directly to the trash can.

6. Advertise. Many local newspapers run yard sale sections for Memorial Day -- they're inexpensive, and many yard sale devotees use these to map out their route.

7. Go with your strengths. Have a lot of baby stuff to go? Put it out by the road to catch people's eyes. Big pieces of furniture waiting to go? Place it front and center.

8. Keep it organized. The thrill of the hunt is always there, but people get tired of crawling under your tables to get at the boxes you haven't pulled out yet. Make everything easy to access, and you'll sell more.

9. Hide the stuff you really don't want to sell. Nothing turns people off like the words "that's not for sale" over and over. If it's not for sale, it doesn't belong there (save for tables, etc. -- which you can mark with "for display only").

10. Don't be those yard sale people. It's one thing to extend because of a rain day, but please, don't be those people still holding the same old yard sale in July with the stuff from Memorial Day. If it doesn't sell, either throw it out or (if you think it's really that good) donate it.

What are your tips for great yard sales?

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