Living Small

[5 Secrets to] Making Bank at a Yard Sale

We’ve been preparing for a yard sale… um since like we got married… haha! No but seriously, we got a ton of second-hand stuff from my parents when we got our first apartment, and bought more than we needed for years. So finally, we decided we needed to clear the clutter! Spring is here; the rain has stopped! Yay! Drew and I got our boots on and tackled it! We combed through everything; wiped all the dishes and decorations down, and washed the clothes.


Thats the first secret to making bank at a yard sale, ∴spend time on the presentation∴ That also means keeping things off the floor! No one wants to dig through piles of clothes, or buy dishes that are laying on the lawn. We brought our kitchen table out, and even used some plywood on storage boxes. We hung most of our clothes, and laid the baby clothes out nicely on large blankets.

The second secret is to make sure you have change∴ We decided we’d break a $50 and have a jar of coins out. On Friday afternoon I went out to run some errands and by the time I was done it was 6;30pm and I missed the bank!! If something like this happens to you, heres a pro-tip: go to the ATM, then bring the large bills to a restaurant and ask them for a “small break”! I used to bartend, and know that by the end of my shifts I’d want to sell my small bills to other servers/bartenders/the register so I wouldn’t have so many in my wallet! As long as you’re polite about it, and don’t ask when they’re obviously busy, I’m sure most will be happy to help!

The third thing you’ll want to do is be friendly∴ Have you ever walked up to a sale and felt like they were watching you like a hawk? Who can comfortably shop like that? Saying “Hi” and making a little conversation will go a long way. If you’re the shy type, you can always ask people questions about themselves, or if that feels too intrusive go with the ol’ “how’d you find us? Did you guys see our sign out?”

The fourth secret to making bank at a yard sale is to get online∴ This one is huge!! Two weeks before the date of our sale I started posting big ticket items on the online yard sale sites in my area. You can usually make more money from selling things online because people will be specifically looking for the items you’re selling or will have to really want it to go out of their way and pick the item up. At yard sales, people usually look for the cheapest deals on things they don’t necessarily need, which will give you less room to barter.

Last, and certainly not least, have a multi-family sale∴ When people find out there will be more than one household’s worth of stuff at one location, the chances of them finding something they will want go up significantly! We were so lucky that our friends Lydia, Jeremy, and their son Coco set up with us! They didn’t bring any large items over, just to make it easier, but they brought a bunch of clothes, and some smaller big ticket items.


Most of our profits were made on Saturday. I think we really only made about $30 on Sunday. Try to be all set up early in the morning, that’s when most people are out looking for sales. As soon as we decided to take everything down, I puled aside about five items that I felt I could sell easily online, and Drew packed the car with everything else and drove it out to The Salvation Army. It’s been such a weight off our shoulders to have that stuff gone! Drew has converted the shed into a man cave, fully equipped with surround sound speakers! Today we spent about 30 minutes cleaning the house together and the task was so much easier! In that 30 minutes we were able to achieve a level of organization that in the past would have taken a full day! I even had time to vacuum the whole house! In the two days since our yard sale, I’ve already identified a few more items I can get rid of. I think we might be able to host another yard sale at the end of the summer, and re-evaluate then.


Transitioning to a minimalist lifestyle is definitely a long process, and something that should not be taken lightly! I think it’s important to commit to what you’re doing, and decide what your personal guidelines will be; its definitely unique for everyone!


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