How To Attract The Best Customers To Your Moving Sale

Featured image CC 2.0, by USAG Humphreys, via Flickr

The best way to save money on your move is to move less stuff. Sure, you can donate a lot of your items, and take some money off your taxes, but why not try to get a little dough for your discarded treasures? One of the best ways to do that is to have a yard sale, or moving sale. Here are some steps you can follow to insure that you’ll get the most for your time and energy.

Hold It at the Right Time

In California, we’re lucky. We can hold outdoor yard sales pretty much year around, but you might run into some risk of rain. We’ll get into that in a minute. To ensure that your yard sale gets the best traffic, hold it on a weekend. You can start it on Friday, if you’d like. The best stuff tends to go first. If your yard sale is rained out, you could move it inside, but then you’ll have wet shoes tromping through your house. Rescheduling might be a pain, but it’s better than not having one at all. To avoid potential rescheduling interfering with your move, plan your yard sale at least a month prior. In the summer, you can probably get away with planning closer to the moving date, simply because the odds of a rain delay are almost nil, at least in California.

How to Decide What to Sell

If you no longer want something, it’s natural to think no one else would want it either. You’d be surprised. Of course, you’ve heard the adage that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If that doesn’t convince you, know that Americans spend millions every year on second hand goods. Just because you think your old charging cords or college t-shirts are junk, doesn’t mean your neighbor will.

Before the sale, go through each and every room with a box. Pull out everything you don’t need and don’t want…everything. If clothing is torn or stained, you might want to recycle those as rags. People do buy old CDs, DVDs, and even albums, and cassette tapes, but usually only if in good condition.

Arrange for Permits

Contact your local municipality to see if you need permits.


You can still advertise in your local newspaper, for a nominal fee, and believe it or not, a lot of people will see your ad. Most people, though, choose to advertise through posters around the area and online advertising. You can advertise through Facebook and of course, you know about Craigslist. You may not have heard of these sites, but regular yard sale shoppers have:

How to Price Items

For pricing, it’s best to do some homework. Attend a few yard sales prior to yours to see what people are charging for similar items. Don’t price high. Americans are not notorious for our negotiating skills, and it’s not an expected custom among many. People love “junk” boxes. Charge a flat price for a box of goods, or a per item price for each thing in a box.

How to Collect Money

You can choose to go all cash, and you should always have change available for cash payers, but you’ll sell a lot more if you also accept credit cards. Apps like Square allow you to simply swipe and  that’s it. They’ll send you a free reader, so you’ll want to sign up well in advance. You should also know that there’s a small feel for credit card transactions.

What to do With What Doesn’t Sell

If you don’t sell your items, take them to a thrift store. You won’t get cash from them, but you will get a tax deduction.