Yard Sales: An Easy Side Hustle

One of my favorite side hustles is having yard sales and buying things at local yard sales to resell.  What I want to do in the rest of this post is share some practical ways to make money with yard sales.

I’ll share tips about how to have your own successful yard sale and also provide tips for buying stuff from yard sales to resell elsewhere.  This is all based on my 15+ years of experience doing this.

Have Your Own Yard Sales

One of the quickest ways to make some cash is to have your own yard sale.  You can search through your home or apartment and find unwanted things that you can sell for cash.  Simply walk through your house and consolidate all of your unwanted items into one area.

Spend a few minutes and research these items online to see what their selling price is.  This will help you with your pricing strategy.  Don’t expect to get retail prices at your yard sale, but be an informed seller.

Another way to make money having your own yard sale is to rent out tables to other people who want to “team up” with you and do a community or family yard sale.  You could charge $5 or $15 per table, and invite several of your friends to participate.

In addition, you can ask friends if they have any unwanted items they are thinking about donating or getting rid of. You could purchase these items from them and resell them at your yard sale.  You could also sell these items on consignment for them.  Or, if you are lucky, they might even give you some of these items for free.

You also have other ways to source inventory, such as:

  • Place a classified ad that you do free hauling or junk removal
  • Visit local auctions, thrift stores and flea markets to find stuff to resell
  • Ask friends and neighbors for unwanted items

If you’re going to have your own yard sale, please follow these suggested tips:

  1. Have good signs so people can find your yard sale easily
  2. Have plenty of parking
  3. Advertise your yard sale ahead of time so people know about it
  4. Consider doing a Friday, Saturday and Sunday yard sale
  5. Start the yard sale early in the morning to cater to dealers
  6. Display your items so they are easy to see
  7. Be flexible with your prices and willing to negotiate
  8. Have plenty of change available
  9. Price your items so there is a little room for negotiation
  10. Have at least one other person there to help you

I encourage you to have your own yard sale and see how you can do.  Who knows, you might rake in a pocket full of cash.

Shop at Local Yard Sales

My wife and I love to shop at local yard sales each weekend looking for treasures we can buy and then resell for a handsome profit. We typically visit 8 to 15-yard sales each weekend, when we go out, and normally find good deals at two or three of those yard sales.

We buy everything and anything we can make a profit with; however, we do like to specialize in vintage clothing, belt buckles, jewelry and paper items.

If you plan on shopping at local yard sales, you need to keep a few things in mind.

First off, you want to get to these yard sales as early as possible.  Ideally, you want to be the first one there, so you can access the best stuff first.  I’ve also found that if you go late in the day you can get some really good deals, since most people don’t want to pack the stuff back up.

Keep in mind that most prices can be negotiated.  Never pay the asking price unless it is already a great deal.  I get the best deals when I make a pile of stuff I am interested in and then make them an offer for the whole pile.  I normally save at least 40% of my purchase price by buying in bulk.

Also, make sure you know what you are buying.  Be informed.  You can research just about any item on your phone, to see the value it sells for online.  Just keep in mind that you want to be discreet when you do this.  If you look up every item at the yard sale on your phone, in front of the person hosting the yard sale, they might not be as flexible on their pricing.

Take your time at each yard sale and be thorough.  Look at each table and under each table, and always ask the hosts if they have anything inside the house that is for sale.  This is how I normally find jewelry and coins to buy.  It might also be in your best interest to tell the owner that at the end of the yard sale, if they simply want to get rid of everything, you will haul it away free of charge, so they don’t need to clean everything up themselves.

Most importantly, plan out your adventure before you leave your house.  The night before, write down all of the yard sales you plan on visiting, and plug them into your GPS so you can work smart and be strategic about each yard sale you visit.

When it comes to selling items you buy at yard sales, make sure you have several different outlets.  Examples include eBay, Craigslist, flea markets, local auctions and your own yard sales.  Determine the best way to sell each item, so you can maximize profits, and do a quick flip.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  I think yard sales are a great side hustle.  Whether you want to have your own yard sales, or simply visit local yard sales to buy stuff to resell, your options are endless.  The secret is to have a plan and hustle.  Opportunity awaits!

About the Author

Chuck Holmes has been buying and selling stuff at yard sales for nearly 15-years.  He is a Power Seller o eBay and he normally sells about 300 to 500 items per month.  He specializes in belt buckles, used clothing, jewelry, and paper items.  You can visit his eBay store here.  Chuck is also a successful author and blogger.

Selling on eBay: The Perfect Side Hustle

Selling on eBay is the perfect side hustle.  I think so anyway.  It’s something anyone can do.  You can do it part-time and it doesn’t require much start-up capital.  There is a short learning curve and it’s quite perhaps the fastest way to make money online that I know of.

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is give you some tips to selling on eBay, so you can start right.  This is based upon my 14+ years of selling on eBay.

Selling on eBay: 7 Simple Steps to Get Started

Step # 1: Educate Yourself

The first step to selling on eBay is simply to educate yourself.  You’re not trying to earn a PhD on day one.  You don’t want information overload either.  Instead, I suggest you make it a point to watch five to ten YouTube videos, or simply spend a few hours on YouTube watching videos about the basics of selling on eBay.  This will answer most of your initial questions and teach you the ropes.  Of course, you’ll learn even more by actually applying what you learn. Once again, you’re just trying to get the basics.  Don’t make the mistake of trying to know every little detail or having analysis by paralysis.

Step # 2: Set Up Your Accounts

The next step to selling on eBay is to set up your eBay and PayPal accounts, assuming you don’t already have them.  Just go to eBay.com and register your account.  The sign-up process is very simple.  In addition, go to PayPal.com and create your account there as well.  PayPal is how you will get paid.  If you need help doing this, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube providing step-by-step instructions.

Step # 3: Get Your Office Equipment

At a minimum, you will want to have a digital scale, a printer, a computer, and a digital camera.  You may also want to invest in some packing supplies, such as packing tape and boxes.  You can get lots of boxes for free from your local Post Office.  They have Flat Rate Priority Mail boxes, which are great for heavier or bulky items.  You can get bubble envelopes, additional boxes, and packing tape right on eBay.  That is what I do.  I also suggest you set up a designated spot in your home to run your little eBay business.

Step # 4: Pick 20 Items from Your Home

The next step is to walk through your house or apartment and find 20 unwanted items.  Look for things you haven’t used in a long time that you aren’t attached to.  Just go through each room and consolidate everything you don’t want into one box.  These first 20 items will give you some experience at taking photos and listing items.  You’re bound to make a few mistakes in the beginning, so it’s best to start with inexpensive items, so if you do make a mistake it’s not a big deal.  By the time you’ve listed and sold 20 items, you should have a great understanding about how eBay works.

Step # 5: Pick a Niche

Once you’ve gone through your first 20 items, the best thing to do is pick a niche you want to focus on.  Ideally, it’s much better to specialize and sell one type of item. On the other hand, you can also be a generalist and sell a little bit of everything, like I do.  If I had to start over on eBay again, I would specialize in one or two things, such as clothing, electronics, watches, belt buckles or jewelry. If you don’t know what to specialize in, consider making a list of potential types of products that interest you and are in demand.  Spend some time viewing the completed listings and look for trends.  Ideally, you want to find a product you can make a fixed percentage on, or at least $10 to $20 profit per item, after all of your selling expenses.

Step # 6: Source Inventory

The next step is to source your inventory.  Depending on your niche, you will have different places to source your inventory.  Rachel and I simply visit local thrift stores, flea markets, auctions and yard sales to find inventory.  On the other hand, if you intend on selling new merchandise, you’ll probably want to find a wholesaler or drop shipper, so you can buy in bulk and get discounts.  If you decide to buy in bulk, start really small and slowly scale your way up.  Finally, be sure to check out the “wholesale lots” on eBay.  Lots of people source their inventory right on eBay and then resell it on eBay.

Step # 7: Start Selling

At this point, you are ready to start selling.  Depending on how much time you’re willing to invest, and how much money you want to make, will determine what you do with your business.  I suggest you determine how much profit you realistically want to make each month and then calculate how many items you will need to sell (on average) to reach that goal.  Once you know that number, add another 25 percent to it to help offset returns and fees.  In addition, remember that you aren’t locked into your chosen niche forever.  You can change it at any time or even add in other niches when you find a good deal.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are some of my best tips for selling on eBay.  The real key to success is just to get started.  Realize ahead of time you will make some mistakes along the way.  Simply learn from each mistake, make the necessary adjustments as needed, and keep pressing on, and there is no doubt in my mind you can build a great little part-time income in no time.  It took me a year or two to really master eBay.  Even if it takes you that long, it’s still a great deal.

About the Author

Chuck Holmes has been selling on eBay for approximately 14 years.  He is a Power Seller and he normally sells about 300 to 500 items per month.  He specializes in belt buckles, used clothing, jewelry, and paper items.  You can visit his eBay store here.  Chuck is also a successful author and blogger.