How to have a yard sale and make a million bucks $700.
I am amazed at how successful our yard sale was. I expected a couple hundred dollars, spending money for our travels, a buffer to help us out.
I’ve analyzed what we did and I hope it can be duplicated so you can have a great yard sale too!
How to have a successful yard sale:
I realized I’m moving in two months. In two months! Like, out of the country. To a foreign country. With houses much smaller than I’m used to having.
I walked from room to room in despair, disgusted at myself that I accumulate so much STUFF – nine years of marriage, almost four in this particular house, four kids, two cats.
We don’t need this much STUFF.
Stuff ≠ happiness.
I made lists.
I love making lists! Made a list for items to put in storage. Another list for items to sell or donate. Finally, I felt like I was accomplishing something.
I set a date for the sale.
I put it on my calendar which syncs with my husband’s and all our devices. He took leave from work on the Thursday before and Friday, the first sale day. It’s on like Donkey Kong.
I placed an ad in our local paper online for free! I also listed our two big items that we had to sell in separate free classified ads – the 40 gallon aquarium and my big L-shaped desk with hutch. (The aquarium – with 9 fish and live plants – sold for $50 to a man who raises angelfish for a living – several days before our yard sale!) Our son was so happy his fish would have friends.
I organized clothes and homeschool materials. I started stacking items for sale in our laundry room. I could barely do laundry for a month. I added to the list. I did a little more each day.
I purged, organized, compartmentalized, rearranged – and suddenly, I have three empty rooms. Seriously. In our basement, I have three empty rooms, like, completely empty. It’s crazy.
I cried a little when I clear off several bookshelves.
My husband helped me go through the cellar (there are spiders in there!) and he cleaned out his military gear and donated most of that to Liz’s Civil Air Patrol squadron.
The day before our sale!
We borrowed tables from church. I stacked everything in the garage. My husband carried out the bigger items. The huge desk stayed put. And we prayed.
The first morning of the sale!
Friday. My husband set up the tables and the kids helped set everything out. People arrived before sunrise. We didn’t even have time to put price stickers on anything. We agreed that we just want to get rid of everything as quickly as possible so we set the prices super low. My husband has the Square Register app on his phone so we could take cash or cards.
My eldest daughter was is in charge of the cash register (she used their toy cash register that has a real working calculator.) I taught her to keep all the bills turned the same way and in their slots. I explained that it’s important to out the customer’s money on the table before getting change. Never immediately put a customer’s money in the register. Never leave the register unattended.
One lady asked my husband how much something was and he responded that it was $5. She exclaimed: “No! It’s worth at least $10!” and made him take a ten dollar bill. Another customer made him repeat himself three times that our recliner really was only $20. It was in fine condition, nothing wrong with it. She was overjoyed.
The first day we made about $400 and sold much of the “good stuff.”
People were impressed with the Square Register app and one older man joked that no one could haggle with us if we took credit cards!
We sold the big desk with hutch to a young man with a new startup home business for only $50.
It only drizzled a tiny bit so we still had lots of customers.
Several men asked to buy items right off our garage shelves. I sold two snow shovels that were hanging on the wall. We still have several, so we’re good.
Several families with vanloads of kids came and almost destroyed my setup! I had to straighten my tables several times.
Some people are strange. A couple ladies got irritated with me when I tried to tell them that a curriculum was a set and they should take it all together instead of just one piece. But if they don’t want the teacher manual or manipulatives, I shouldn’t argue!
In the afternoon, we decided to close up because the weather turned cold and rainy, so it was perfect timing. We shut our garage doors to clean up.
We made $700 in two days.
Y’all. Seriously. After I cleaned up from the sale, I took away two vanloads – one to donate to the thrift store and one to trade in at the consignment shop. Also, I donated two bags of winter items to our church for the annual rummage sale.