Yard Sale Strategies

Did you ever wonder some of the best ways to have a yard sale? Don’t worry you’re not the only one. Whether you’re selling to get rid of some old things or you’re looking to turn a handsome profit you’ll want a yard sale strategy that will help move your items for you! I’m going to go through a few strategies that I’ve learned through having yard sales of my own and attending some even bigger yard sales.



There’s a lot of negotiation done at yard sales or garage sales. But did you ever stop to questions whether your shop visitors enjoy the negotiations? The truth is people have become accustomed to paying whatever the tag says at larger stores so, why make your yard sale any different? I would prefer to set a solid pricing strategy and price each item individually. But I’ll tell you about that a little later.

For now, if you’re persistent on negotiating let’s talk negotiation tactics!

Tactic 1: If you’re negotiating don’t be the first to give a price! The reason for the price you put out there is something you're committed to without having any idea of what the customer is actually willing to pay. So if you say $5 they’ll either accept or bargain you down from there. And who knows they may have been willing to pay $6. If they give you a price first you can either accept or bargain up from there. However, the ball is in the court of the person who didn’t speak their price first!


Tactic 2: Don’t just discuss dollars -- Discuss each other! Sometimes people buy things because it makes them feel good and they can imagine what it’s like to own it. People will often pay a premium for things that make them feel good. If you know why your items are making them feel good you can help them paint a clearer picture of what it’s like to actually own the item. By feeding their imagination you can up the price without discussing the price.


Tactic 3: Think before you act! That’s right this is one of the simplest strategies you can use depending on why the buyer is choosing to purchase this item from you. If it’s a delegate buyer they will want to see that you’re having somewhat of a hard time parting with your item. So, even if you’re not you can put on a show for them so they don’t feel like they got it so easily.

Tactic 4: Know your bottom. That means no matter what there is a price that you won’t go below. This is mostly for people who are buying wholesale items to sell at their yard sale or garage sale. You have costs and you need to know how much each item costs you this way you never go below that cost.

Your Shop

When you’re setting up your shop you want to make sure your items are easily visible. Don’t have items hidden under other items (unless they're all the same). Higher visibility of the items you’re selling means increased likelihood of someone purchasing something at your yard sale.

There’s also the layout that you want to put considerable thought power behind. Now, I’m not sure if every IKEA is like this but the one near me, here in Brooklyn, is set up in such an entangling way! Once you’re in, there’s no way you’re leaving until you walk through the entire store. By setting up their space they’re giving their products the chance to be seen and increasing purchasing likelihood.

You can even look at stores like Target and Wal - Mart, who have huge locations that are designed to keep people in the store longer. Sometimes, this even means confusion! It’s crazy I know! But hey if it works, it works.

Here’s another great tip for your shop! People like to pick things up and if they decide not to buy them they put them down on the closest place, which is usually anywhere. So, it’ll be really helpful if you have the kids or friends helping you out. They can make sure to put things back in place. This is really useful when you’re super busy!



Pricing is a huge factor at any yard sale. Pricing too high could mean little to no sales and pricing too low could mean you’re leaving money on the table. So, where is that sweet spot?

When you’re buying wholesale goods, you know your costs per item. So, you can get an understanding of how much works. You can simply mark up the cost per item by 50%.


Like this:


1.50 per pair of socks

50% mark up

$1.50 * 1.5 = $2.25

Or you can do 100% (or just double it) if the deal you got is a steal!

$1.50 * 2 = $3.00

That’s still a great price for your customer and you’re doubling your money!

So here’s my personal take on pricing. At yard sales, I always expect to run into hagglers. Not complaining, it’s part of the game. So, I markup my items at either 50%,  70%, or 100% depending on how much the end price is. Since I know I’m well over my costs I am ready to deal with hagglers. I know my floor price so, I can still make a profit and be happy. So if I marked an item up at 100% I can happily take off 20% for them.

There’s a neat way to keep track of this too. When you putt price stickers on your items you can color code it!


Use this image as a reference:  

Yard Sale Strategies

The different color price stickers will let you know at a glance how much haggling you can do on each item. So, for the Blue one I know I can take off $2.50 and still make $2.50 on the sale. I can also tell that this item cost me $5.00.

You can use this color code strategy differently on what works best for you. Just decide when you need different colors to tell you and use them accordingly. If you have friends or kids helping you out you can explain this to them too. This way you're always on peak performance!

That’s all of my yard sale tips! Let me know if you’d like me to explain anything in more depth or if you know some great yard sale tips that you think I should add! Best of luck!