Top Ten Yard Sale No-No’s

Yard sale hosts need to understand the ten basic etiquette principles of this land owner right:

– A card table, no matter how full, does not a yard sale make. If people are taking the time and energy to find your house, garage or fundraiser, please make it worth their effort. This is not a game.

– This is not your opportunity to set up a retail store. Do not spend hours putting price tags on items that we can get cheaper at the local discount department store. This is not your chance to get rich – it’s ours.

– Proper signage is key. Neon is preferable. Cardboard signs, paper that folds in the wind or 8-font magic marker on cardboard are not sufficient. This should not be an accident waiting to happen when we stop to read your sign.

– Use the proper lingo. Yard, garage, moving, tag, estate and multi-family are not interchangeable sale words. Do not lure me to your house for a moving sale if you only have a few hammers and some stationery. This is not an advertising opportunity to mislead your buyer.

– Price tags are not necessary but if you don’t use them, don’t get offended when people ask you ‘how much?’. No buyer wants to offer $5 if $3 is the desired target. This is not professional behavior when you act pissed off; having customers at your venue is supposed to be a positive experience for both parties.

– Lemonade stands are a good sales tactic. However, do not expect your children’s participation to guarantee a sale at your table. This is not a community audition or day care crowd, so show off little Jimmy somewhere else.

– Unless there are instructions posted otherwise, it’s acceptable for potential buyers to touch your stuff. They have a right to figure out what it is they are purchasing and are allowed to validate weight, condition and trademark stamping. This idea of putting everything on your lawn is not an imaginary invisible electric fence.

– If ‘make an offer’ is your signage, than my offer needs to be considered. Most people will offer a fair price for what they buy. If you have heirlooms or true valuables at your yard sale, don’t get emotional on someone’s ass. This idea of you being offended is your fault and was not the buyer’s intent – you opened the door.

– Greet your potential buyers. Your yard sale sign just welcomed them into your property. Do not treat some citizens like the bottom of the barrel or not acknowledge someone because you are tired from all your spring cleaning. This idea of having people approach you is supposed to flip a sale.

– You can post the date and time of your yard sale. However, if you do, expect ‘early birds’. It is a way of nature and the dealers are all trying to beat each other to the punch. They will offer you a fair price and maybe the best of the day. This idea of wanting to start a yard sale at 10 a.m. is ludicrous anyway!


5 thoughts on “Top Ten Yard Sale No-No’s”

    1. Thanks. That was the one comment I’d thought was kind of mean for me too. I love the kids and will never refuse buying lemonade from a young entrepreneur I just hate it when people expect me to get something ‘above and beyond’. Thanks for being a loyal reader I appreciate it. I’m still the rookie on the block!


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