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3 Expert Tips For Making Up to $1,000 at Your Next Yard Sale


Netting up to $1,000 is easy with our experts’ insider secrets proven to help you move stuff faster and boost your bottom line. Try these three tips to have a successful yard sale!

To Lure Buyers: Use Keywords

Using words like “estate” or “moving” signals items of high value, and so do other crowd-enticing phrases. For name-brand items like clothing and electronics use “designer” or “luxury” in your ad. Selling stuff like old movies, books, or toys? Call them “rare collectibles” to lend them extra allure, advises Ava Seavey, founder of “And describe older items as ‘vintage’ to instantly make any wear-and-tear seem more valuable.”

Also smart: Time your ad right. “Post it the Monday or Tuesday before the sale,” suggests yard sale expert Gladys K. Connelly. Most people won’t have weekend plans yet, so it’ll give them something to look forward to. “Then post again the night before the sale to remind everyone.”

To Sell More: Stage With Savvy

Drivers are inclined to stop when they see red, so use pops of crimson, with, say, red balloons tied to your mailbox. The “red effect” works so well, “displaying items on a surface covered by brightly colored sheets or tablecloths lets you automatically charge up to 10 percent more,” says Seavey. Another trick employed by yard sale pros is the “giveaway box,” a bin filled with trinkets or small toys — folks will always stop for a freebie and stick around to peruse the rest of your sale.

Also smart: For higher-end items like electronics, include the “retail” price alongside your price. When people realize just how big a deal they’re getting, they’re more likely to buy.

To Close the Sale: Tell a Tale

Everyone loves a good story — and you can sell your stuff faster with a fun one. “This is especially true for pricier items, like furniture or jewelry,” says Seavey. Just grab a few note cards and jot down an anecdote related to each item. For example, on an old record player, you might write, “Well-practiced at playing Earth, Wind, and Fire!” Or for a pair of earrings: “Once worn to the Governor’s Ball!” Stories highlight an item’s history, enticing buyers to open their wallets.

Also smart: Create a sense of urgency by placing signs on higher-value items that say, “Going on eBay at 5 pm!” If folks know that you’re poised to sell stuff online, they’ll be more inclined to snap it up.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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