Yard Sale-ing is not for everybody. That’s a given. When it comes time to declutter and get rid of the mountains of junk you’ve been holding onto, the idea of organizing a yard sale can be overwhelming.
It’s too hot.
I’ll be tired.
I’m sick of looking through this junk.
I don’t know how to put on a yard sale.
I don’t like people.
Tackle this thinking another way. Is there a savings goal you’ve been trying to hit? A dream vacation? Student loans? Paying down the mortgage? Mission trip? Remodeling project? Car repairs? Charity gift? Medical expenses? Christmas? Adoption? Credit card debt? Season tickets? Sports camp? Whatever that Mason jar on the shelf is for – realize this: There’s money to be made in that there pile o’ junk! FREE. MONEY.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons People Hate Holding Yard Sales (in no particular order and totally made up by me) and why I think you should have a yard sale anyways!
1) It just all takes too much time.
Yes, it does. Like anything worthwhile, holding a profitable yard sale will take a little time to prep for and plan, but the payoff in the end will be totally worth it!
2) I really don’t want to store all that extra clutter around my house.
I hear that. It’s hard enough to get through the decluttering and then to have to just repack the boxes of crappity crap back up and stack them in the already crammed closets? Seems completely counterproductive. Your goal was to create space, get some breathing room, and Spark Joy and all that darn yard sale clutter is killing your Marie Kondo magic. How about tackling decluttering projects around a planned yard sale? Set a date for the sale 30 days out and start purging! The boxes of junk won’t be around long if you stick to the plan! Or, keep a box under the stairs or in a closet that you can fill throughout the month and then keep it in a corner of the garage, basement, or tool shed. If the weather is nice you can store the boxes on the patio until you’re ready for the sale.
3) Haggling with people makes me uncomfortable.
Haggling can be very uncomfortable if you’re not used to dealing with strangers or telling them ‘no’. But I think once you understand how to properly haggle, it can be very profitable and totally painless! If you have meticulously priced your items and are set on your prices, then you can just say “Sorry, I’m firm on price right now.” or “I’m firm on prices now, but if it’s still here at the end of the sale, I’ll drop the price even lower.” This will leave you some wiggle room to change your mind later in the sale. If you have priced an item at $5 and somebody offers you $2, you can meet them near the middle and give a counteroffer and ask for $3 or $4. They feel like they got a discount and you are still pocketing close to asking price! Haggling can be a win-win!
4) It’s just easier to donate for the tax write-off.
This is also true. If you have a ton of stuff to get rid of, it can be easier to load up the station wagon and just dump it all at a thrift center or charity. But, you’ve still got to sift through all the junk to see what can be written off, itemize it, determine the condition, place a value, haul it all down there and get a receipt. And, unless you are in a high enough tax bracket, it really doesn’t amount to much of a savings. Having the cold hard cash in your pocket may be more worth your time and effort.
5) Somebody’s gonna rip me off or try to get in my house.
Safety is a valid concern when it comes to having a yard sale. You are basically opening up your home turf to strangers and there is always the chance of running into a scammer trying to run a scam. If you are uneasy about holding a yard sale alone, ask the neighbors or friends to bring their stuff over and join the sale. Get teenage kids (and their friends) to help keep an eye on things and use common sense when it comes to personal safety: lock doors, keep money hidden, watch over high-value sale items, have a charged cell phone handy, and just trust your instincts about people.
6) I don’t have enough stuff to make a yard sale worth it.
If you have decluttered your home and garage thoroughly and are still coming up short with enough junk to sell at a yard sale…I am completely jealous. Consider talking with neighbors and holding a street-wide sale or community sale. Folks are more likely to check out your smaller sale if there are other larger sales close by. Ask friends or neighbors to bring over their junk and join your sale (or ask to join somebody else’s sale). Take one last inventory and see if there isn’t anything large you might have overlooked that could be added to the sale: an old lawnmower, extra furniture, bicycles, outdoor toys, etc.
7) I don’t like making easy money.
This is a tough one, but stick with me here. Okay, say you have a mountain of crap that you no longer want piling up in your house. You don’t want the hassle of hauling three carloads of junk to a thrift store, ’cause let’s be honest, it’s all gonna sit in the trunk for four months before you finally remember to drop it off somewhere. And, let’s say you have a garage, yard, or driveway big enough to dump it and spread it all out. Did you know you can put up a few signs in the neighborhood alerting people to this amazing pile of junk and they will come by your house and pay you good money to take it away? I know! My mind is completely blown by this too!
8) We don’t have enough traffic. Nobody will show up.
If you don’t live in a high traffic area (out in the country, on a dead-end street, on the outskirts of town, too far off the main road or thoroughfare, etc.) you may need to get a little creative to get the traffic flowing your direction. Figure out where to place signs strategically to get folks headed your way, check for community sales you can piggy back on, and advertise, advertise, advertise! List your sale online, tell your friends to tell their friends, put up flyers at church, work, or at the kids’ schools and really get the word out about how awesome your crap is!
9) Sales are not allowed where we live.
Yes, that is a total bummer. There are some neighborhoods that are governed by an HOA (Home Owners Association) that does not allow for any kind of yard sales or may allow for just one community-wide sale per year (on a date of their choosing). Some people live in a gated community (apartments, condos, mobile homes, houseboat, etc.) that just does not have the “yard” space for an outdoor sale. But, where there’s a will, there’s sure to be a way! If there is no HOA ordinance, can you talk with the property management about allowing for a community sale in the parking lot or near the community’s ‘club house’ building? Can you set up your sale indoors (or in the garage) and invite friends over to shop before you donate it all? Hold a play date or a Mom’s Night In? You could even have a ‘Swap Meet’ Girl’s Night where everybody brings some stuff to sell or swap – make it a themed swap with only kitchen items, clothing and accessories, holiday decor, or books. All the leftovers would be donated the next day. How about asking a friend if you can use their yard or join in on somebody else’s sale. Or, you could sell your junk on Facebook!
10) I can sell my stuff online or at a consignment sale and make more money.
Yes, while there is money to be made by selling your junk online, at an annual consignment sale, or a resale shop this avenue of ‘yard selling’ can be time consuming, it can limit the types of sellable items, and cut into your profits. If you choose to sell your unwanted stuff online (on Facebook, Craigslist, or ebay) you will have to sort through all the clutter and determine what would be a worthwhile bargain for an online shopper and worth your time in photographing it, listing it, pricing it, arranging for pickup, or figuring shipping fees. Boxes of LP’s, random glassware, drawers of mismatched kitchen utensils, and typical yard sale bric-a-brac will be challenging to market. It can also be difficult to photograph and price every single piece of clothing, book, DVD, etc. Consignment shops can be very particular about what types of items they’ll buy and the payout will be extremely low – even for brand new items!
Now that every lame Yard Sale excuse in the book has been squashed, it’s time to get ready to plan your next (or maybe your first!) AWESOME Yard Sale!