Join our community of Solution Seekers!

Garage Sale Planning Guide

Yard Sale Dos and Don’ts

You’ve got 30 seconds to grab someone’s attention before she presses the gas and speeds off, says Aaron LaPedis, the author of The Garage Sale Millionaire. Here, his display dos and don’ts.

Yard sale display table and chairsGreg Ruffing

Do position weighty furniture closest to the curb or sidewalk. It’s customer catnip!

Don’t dilute the impact of your best merchandise.
Place the most striking pieces on opposite ends of a table (with descriptive labels, like wedgwood bowl) and the mediocre stuff in the middle.

Do group some items by color (blue glasses with blue leather gloves on a blue tray). Set up others by “department”: kitchen, toys, entertainment.

Don’t leave clothes in a pile. Hang them on a rack or a clothesline, separated into women’s, men’s, and kids’ sections. Pin jewelry to a corkboard.

Do “stage” a big piece, like a sideboard, with accessories for sale (lamps, frames). It helps buyers fall in love with your stuff.

Don’t stack merchandise in cardboard boxes or, worse, on a tarp. “Some people can’t or won’t bend down,” warns Chris Heiska, the founder of

Do set the mood. A little warmth goes a long way. “When the atmosphere is upbeat, people browse longer and are more likely to buy,” says Kimy Kennedy, the owner of Peachtree Estate Sales, in Atlanta. So greet shoppers cheerfully, and play pleasant background music: something with broad appeal, like Sinatra, mellow rock, or classical. Free lemonade is nice, too.

Read More About:Organizing

Related Content

Handing over money

3 Ways to Protect Yourself When Loaning Money

Whether it’s for an overdue bill or to fund a new business, a relative will ask for financial help at some point. Follow these tips for a smoother lending process.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments

Quick Tip

Mythic Paint

Home stores and paint shops will often sell, for a fraction of the regular price, cans of paint that customers returned because the color was not quite right for them. Get more tips.