How to yard sale

Published 4:41 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Your trash is no longer simply someone else’s treasure. Now, last season’s jeans and the movies you’ve watched 1,000 times can produce a double–fold benefit when you open your garage for a

summer sale.

“I’m a firm believer in yard sales. I tell people all the time they are a great way to find good deals or make a little extra money for your family,” said Extension Agent Ruth Brock.

Brock encourages people to go into yard sales with an educated mind. She said not everything is a good deal, but a clever shopper can find those that are worth the effort.

Roxanne Hardin owns Peddlers of the Past in Saginaw with her sister Tanya Yeager. Hardin said they didn’t have room to accommodate all the people wishing to sell things in their consignment shop, so they began Peddlers Trade Days.

“People are selling just about everything they’ve got,” Hardin said.

The business owners charge $15 to set up on Saturdays and $25 to set up on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons. They said people sell everything from fruits and veggies to sunglasses.

Below are tips if you do plan to make a go of the traditional summer yard sale:


Early bird –– Getting up with the sun gets you the pick of the better items. Many yard sales open up as early as 6 a.m., so have your alarm clock set.

Haggle down –– Don’t be afraid to give your best offer. Many sellers price items higher than the lowest amount they are willing to take for those old books. You never know, you might get lucky.

Dig deep –– These aren’t department stores. Be willing to dig into baskets of clothes and boxes of DVDs to discover the best finds.

Be educated –– Items are purchased “as is.” Remember to ask questions about whether or not electronics work and if all the connecting wires are included.

Late bloomer –– Arriving late in the game may leave you wanting more to choose from, but can often turn up reduced prices.


Location, location –– Pick a place people can easily find from a main road and make sure the area is well shaded so people don’t get too hot to want to walk around and shop.

Get the word out –– Place colorful and clearly written signs drawing attention to your sale. Take advantage of all your advertising opportunities to maximize your crowd.

Little extras –– Entice customers to shop longer with beverages or snacks. Try lemonade in the summer and coffee or cocoa on cooler mornings.

Quick cleanup –– Many charities offer to pick up leftover items in good condition. Call the Salvation Army or Oak Mountain Missions in advance to find out their pickup policy.

Perfect timing –– Host your sale near the first of the month, before most people have spent all their money.