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:
- Have good signs so people can find your yard sale easily
- Have plenty of parking
- Advertise your yard sale ahead of time so people know about it
- Consider doing a Friday, Saturday and Sunday yard sale
- Start the yard sale early in the morning to cater to dealers
- Display your items so they are easy to see
- Be flexible with your prices and willing to negotiate
- Have plenty of change available
- Price your items so there is a little room for negotiation
- 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.
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.