Yards Sales are a Great Way to Declutter Your Living Space


It’s summertime! Time for beach days, camping vacations, road trips, and yes, yard sales. If you’re an experienced yard-saler, you know what you’re doing. But if it’s been a while since your last major purge of stuff cluttering up your home, where do you even start? We have some suggestions for planning and executing a successful yard sale.


Things to sell


Yard sales are the perfect place to maximize your earnings by getting rid of things you no longer need. Collectors often go to yard sales looking for vintage, retro, and hard-to-find items, so they may be willing to pay a little more if it means getting what they need.


If you’re selling an item that has sentimental value, be aware that people may not be willing to pay more for it. If that’s the case, consider holding onto it until you’re ready to part with it.


We’ve all heard the story of the girl who made a fortune by starting a lemonade stand. If you’re looking to make some extra cash, you might try selling baked goods or barbecued items like hamburgers and hot dogs at your community sale. 


Make sure you have plenty of drinks available for sale as well—water, juice and pop. Consider pre-packaged foods for add-ons, things like chips, granola bars or freezies. And keep it simple and delicious! This is also a great way to get the kids involved with a lemonade stand! 


Just remember to check with your local bylaws when it comes to food and beverage sales—sometimes permits are required, so make sure you’re meeting all the necessary health and safety requirements.


What’s the best time of year for a yard sale?


Yard sales are a great way to make a little extra cash on the weekends. Your best bet is on a Friday or Saturday, when there are more people in town. You’ll reach more customers if you choose those days, but you’ll still have enough time to clean up before Monday rolls around.  


If you can, host your sale on the weekend that students return to school. These folks are always on a budget, so your selection of inexpensive goods will be much appreciated. In Canada, yard sales are popular from May through October—but plan for good weather and an alternate plan if it rains!


How to set one up!


It doesn’t matter where you set up a yard sale—driveway, garage, or lawn—you can call it a yard sale for neutral marketing. Regardless of where you set up, hide anything not for sale. Otherwise, you’ll have to spend time away from legitimate sales directing people away from your keeper items. 

Enlist everything you can to present your merchandise. Use some creativity to display items in a unique way. Things like folding tables, TV trays, crates and even cardboard boxes can be used as display space, just mark if the tables and trays are for sale or not. Step ladders are handy, and if you have a portable garment rack, it’s a logical spot for any clothing on its way out.


Get the word out


To promote your yard sale, take advantage of online marketing opportunities. Look for free Facebook Marketplace, sell and swap or community groups/pages and local Kijiji pages. Do a search for your city and neighborhood to discover other places you can leave ads. It’s also effective to post signs around your neighborhood. 


If you have a lot of books, for example, include that on your sign so people who are looking for books know to come to your sale. Don’t forget to remove all signs when the sale is over! For an even greater turnout, get your neighbors involved by organizing a multi-home sale that’s well-advertised around town. You may end up with a block party at the end of the day!


Keep in mind


Yard sales are a summertime tradition; however, your community may have rules about how and when you can hold one. For example, in Toronto, you don’t need a permit for a yard sale, but you’re limited to two per year. 


A two-day event counts as one sale. Yard sales are also subject to federal laws. Health Canada outlines your responsibilities as a seller as well as a list of items that cannot be sold at garage sales on their Facts for Garage Sale Vendors webpage. Be sure to give it a scan during your planning.


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