Whether you are hosting a sale or going out searching for a good deal, yard sales seem simple enough. Here are ten tips to make the most out of the yard sale season this summer in the Tri-Cities.

Tips For Buyers

Yard Sale Tri-Cities
Bright colors and balloons help drivers know to be ready for instructions as they get closer. Photo credit: Carrie Damstedt
  1. Plan

Before leaving in the morning, plan a route or map out different sales you want to hit. Look through the many places that sales are advertised (see below) to help you find ones that might have the type of items you are seeking.

  1. Shop early

Shopping early gives you the first pick of a sale’s items. The longer a sale goes, the more picked over things get.

  1. Shop late

Deals are a part of yard selling, but many sellers start dropping prices just to get rid of their stuff as time goes by. Half price is better than no sale. Plus, whatever they don’t sell has to be hauled away.

  1. Negotiate

Although not for everyone, haggling over prices can save a few bucks. This article gives several simple tips on how to successfully negotiate at garage sales.

Tips For Sellers

Yard Sale Tri-Cities
Displaying the best, most likely to sell items will help buyers find clothes more easily. Photo credit: Brian LaMarche

5. Make sure the price is right

If you’re unsure what to price an item, the 50-30-10 rule can help. New items should be marked down to 50% of their original price, slightly used items should go for 30%, and used items are recommended to be sold at 10%. It’s essential to price as much as possible because many people won’t ask what something costs.

A helpful hint for multi-family sales — use different colored price stickers to divide up profits easily. Knowing how you will be dividing earnings at the end of the day is an important discussion to have.
Are you still looking for more about pricing? This article is a good guide.

  1. Advertise

Advertising is a great way to get more people to your sale. The internet can potentially bring people from different neighborhoods to yours. Wherever you do advertise, use photos when possible. There are some great places and ways to advertise for your sale.

  • Put up signs on the streets. This is the easiest way to find sales and to let drivers know a sale is nearby. It’s best to display your information using big, bold lettering. Bright colors and arrows help too. Remember, drivers only have a few seconds to see your sign, and if the information is too small or unclear, they might not get to your sale. Addresses and times are important information, but clearly placed arrows are much more effective in helping drivers find their way.
  • Craigslist has a section for “garage sales” under “for sale.” It tends to be a pretty good place to find sales in your area.
  • Facebook has many groups where you can find yard sales. Three public groups are Yard Sales Tri Cities!, Tri Cities Swappers, and Facebook’s Marketplace. There are also many more private groups as well.
  • The Giant Nickel is a little outdated compared to Facebook, but this is another great resource if you’re looking for all the sales.
  1. Check the weather

    Yard Sale Tri-Cities
    Keeping your signs simple can be the most effective way to lead drivers to your sale. Photo credit: Carrie Damstedt

Nothing shuts down a yard sale like rain. Plan for bad weather with a pop-up tent or garage or just try your luck another time.

  1. Prime item placement

Being organized with your item’s display and placement helps buyers. It may seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes having less is more when it comes to yard sales. Clothes specifically are daunting when placed in boxes or massive piles. A lot of people won’t take the time to look through everything. Instead, display the most appealing items. Hanging clothes, if possible, is a great way to help your clothes sell. No clothing racks? This article gives three homemade options to try. With some effort in organizing clothes and other items, there is a much higher chance people will look and buy.

  1. Get the kids involved

Having a small kid-run stand at your sale is an enjoyable learning experience for them. Whenever I see a kid’s stand at a yard sale, I make it a point to participate in their budding business. Sell treats, drinks, rocks, or their own toys. Whatever is offered, they’ll have fun and make a little bit of money. This article gives many helpful ideas and tips for having a kid’s stand in your sale.

  1. Offer grocery bags

This tip is simply an extra step, but people appreciate it. Save up your grocery store bags for a few weeks before your sale and use them for buyers to carry items home in.

Where To Take Your Leftovers

Yard Sale Tri-Cities
Organizing and pricing your items is very helpful for buyers. Photo credit: Carrie Damstedt

Several locally run thrift stores generously give back to the community. Consider taking your yard sale leftovers to one of these.

  • Community Thrift is a community-driven thrift store that pours proceeds back into local nonprofits and community projects.
  • New Beginnings Thrift Store financially supports the efforts of You Medical and Domestic Violence Services.
  • Repeat Boutique Thrift Store resells donations in support of services provided to patients and families receiving hospice care.
  • Veterans Warehouse Thrift Store is a new store in Kennewick that focuses on giving back to the community and the veterans living there. Contact them for donation information at 509.491.1695.
  • Seattle Children’s Bargain Boutique brings in money for the Seattle Children’s Hospital, helping their families with medical bills. They have a donation guide to look through before donating.
  • Sails Outlet is 100% volunteer-run, ensuring all profits go directly to Safe Harbor Support Center. This center provides services to help children and families establish and remain in a safe and stable environment.

    Yard Sale Tri-Cities
    Make clothing racks to help display clothes. Photo credit: Maria Torres

Keep an eye out for community sales and other hosted events, like rummage sales or the Junk in the Trunk Yard Sale and Saturday Art Market. This sale takes place on the first Saturday of the month through August. Individuals can enter a vehicle for $20 a space and sell their stuff without having to bother with hosting a whole event at their homes. Space is limited each month, so register soon.

Are you still looking for more tips to help with an upcoming yard sale? This article and this article give a lot of really great information. Have fun selling and bargain hunting!

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