How to work the room (er, yard) to seal the deal.

By Real Simple
Updated May 12, 2014
Greg Ruffing

1. Be chatty.
As in: “How old is your daughter? Mine is seven.” An open line of communication makes it harder for buyers to lowball you, says Aaron LaPedis, author The Garage Sale Millionaire ($18,

2. Pick up on cues.
“Pay attention to what shoppers are wearing or the types of items they touch. Then suggest relevant pieces they may have missed,” says Chris Heiska, the founder of

3. Share the backstory.
“People who shop secondhand like pieces with a history and want to hear about it,” says Kimy Kennedy, the owner of Peachtree Estate Sales, in Atlanta. So when a browser picks up an item, tell the tale. (“I bought that vase at a flea market in Rome on my honeymoon.”)

4. Give makeover tips.
“If someone is hesitantly eyeing a hutch, suggest a set of new knobs or a coat of yellow paint to freshen it up, for example,” says Mandi Gubler, the founder of

5. Don’t overdo it.
If you think you’re being annoying, you might be right. Back off a bit. Some shoppers prefer to treasure-hunt in peace.

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6. Rearrange lonely leftovers to fill empty spots.
Take down tables and consolidate into a smaller but fuller area.

7. Offer bulk buys.
Add a helmet to a bike or sell two toys for the price of one.

8. Slash prices.
“If you really want to unload it all, two hours before the end of the sale, mark everything half off or $1, says Gubler. Cross out old prices in red, and leave a box of low-cost items by the curb with a big sign that says free to attract passersby.

9. Still have stuff left?
Arrange a post-sale donation pickup by Purple Heart Services or the Salvation Army.