11 tips to have a successful yard sale, recycle and go green

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Holding a successful yard sale isn't hard. These tips will help you get started.

Most of us will hold a yard sale at some point in our lives. Every item you sell stays out of a landfill. A yard sale is a good way to go green, recycle unwanted items and make money at the same time.

A yard sale is a one day small business and should be treated as such. The best sales aren’t hard to pull together but they are a lot of work. A little research goes a long way toward achieving your goals. Planning and forethought makes all the difference and can be done by anyone. Here are a few tips to get you started.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #1

Picking your items

Look around your house and gather what you have to sell. Pick items that are clean and in good working order. If it’s dirty clean it. If it’s trash throw it out. Nothing turns people off faster than seeing broken or chipped odds and ends for sale. For a group yard sale cookies, cold bottles of water or sodas or other munchies may be a good idea.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #2

Set a goal and price your items accordingly

Determine how much you want to raise and make a plan for getting there. If your goal is $200 you won’t reach it by having a lot of .50 cent items. Think about what items you need to add or change to help you reach your target.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #3


Your home is the easiest but does it have enough traffic? Is there a church or store on a main highway that would allow you to use their lot for a morning? Think about all angles when planning a venue. Generally, the more traffic you have the more money you’ll make.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #4

Advertise it well

Well done neighborhood signs attract traffic. Newspaper ads also help. If you are not having your sale at home consider the internet. Post it to your blog, Craigslist, Facebook account and send a message on Twitter. Adding photos to your items may help. Keep internet safety in mind when posting anything online. Don’t post anywhere that you don’t consider to be safe.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #5

Choose a day, date and time carefully

Pick a date close to when most people get paid in your area. The first weekend of the month is often better than the last weekend. Pick the time to have your sale carefully. In some areas beginning at 7am is the way to go. In other areas starting at lunchtime may be better. Looking in the newspaper to see when other yard sales begin will help you decide.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #6

Be flexible

Just because everyone else has a yard sale on Friday or Saturday doesn’t mean you should. In some areas, Monday or Tuesday sales can increase profits because of low competition. Advertising may take extra effort.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #7

Price everything.

Yes, everything. Creating a color coded chart can speed up the process. Tag items by color. Then create a well posted chart. For example, yellow stickers can mean $1, green stickers could be $3 etc. It’s quicker to tag items and easier to reduce prices as the sale winds down.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #8

Cash handling

Choosing even numbers will help you avoid giving digging for change. Whole dollar amounts work best. If that won’t work use .50 pricing. You’ll usually need several dollars worth of $5 and $1 bills and a few $10 bills. Securing funds in a fanny pack or apron or having a centralized cashier are other options.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #9

Recycle. Reduce. Reuse.

Use old newspaper to wrap small items. Slightly larger items can be wrapped in pieces of worn sheets or towels. Reuse plastic or paper grocery sacks instead of buying new ones. Place large items into used cardboard boxes. Recycling as much as you can will help save the environment.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #10

Plan to have leftover items

Local charities often operate thrift shops and will be glad to take your clean items. Many recycle clothing and shoes. Hard plastic children’s toys, clean clothes and craft supplies may be taken to local shelters. Call in advance to arrange for pick-up or find out about drop off times.

How to hold a successful yard sale, recycle and go green tip #11


You won’t feel like cooking after a yard sale. Try cold cuts for sandwiches or prepare something ahead of time that you can reheat. If you make enough you can treat yourself to a pizza. After all the hard work you put in you deserve a treat.



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Teresa Schultz
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Gayle Crabtree

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