Here are a few tips that I have used to make having a yard sale successful!
I have learned "painfully so" that it is a great idea to price everything or to have tables set at one price.....and remember people will try to get an even better deal! Baby things go fast! Kitchen items and tools/sporting goods go well too. I make sure if there is anything that has stains on it that it goes in a free box. This last sale I had, I had a couple drive up look around then take the whole free box....even the tote! Be prepared to loose some of the clothes to drive offs etc. I had someone take the paraffin wax system and I only had $2 on it! Oh well it is clutter in my house, and maybe they needed it! Just be prepared and you won't be disappointed when and if something like that happens.
Make sure you keep you keep your house locked, and the money bag inside, keep some change in your pocket but bigger bills inside. I had a friend and have heard too many times where the money has been stolen, don't set yourself up for that to happen to you. You are working hard to make that money, you should profit from it too! I don't let anyone inside to use the bathroom either, there is a gas station not far from our house, I don't need strangers in our house when I am outside doing the sale. Decide ahead of time if you are willing to allow people in your home. Oh and if you are selling appliances/something that plugs in, have an extension cord handy.
Another question someone asked was how much money I start out with. I typically start with $80 in change, especially if I have larger items to sell, (two $10 bill, four $5 bills, 25 $1 bills, 1 roll of quarters, and $5 in nickle and dimes. I sometimes don't bother with the nickles and dimes, but if I have things priced at 10 cents, then I know I need some...BUT, if you have a lot of furniture or higher priced stuff, I think I would definitely start with more money. For instance, if you have a lot of $10 items, most people will probably give you a $20 bill and you will need to make change. Some people will give you the exact amount, so it's mostly in the beginning when you need to be concerned about how much change you have on hand.
I don't think it is too profitable to list in the paper anymore. I list on craigslist and hang a few signs. In the paper it costs about $12 just to list a basic yard sale ad no specifics. Craigslist is free, you can also network on Facebook free too! I also hang up a few signs, just to draw in local traffic on a busy street! You'd be surprised at what a bright colored sign with Sharpie Marker can do to draw in people that love to find treasures!
I may be a little anal, but I take time to separate a table for housewares, tools/manly things, kids toys, and clothes. The clothes is really where I get anal, I separate the boys from the girls and try to keep things summer/winter and according to size together. When I am pricing things I will organize things how I will set it out in tubs. This way on my morning of the sale it takes no time to set up! The night before I put out all the tables, have the tubs ready by the door and my change all ready to go! When pricing items, keep in mind that "a third of what it costs new" is only a guideline. Try to look at your stuff objectively when pricing, and don't be an emotional pricer! If you have a bunch of items that are missing pieces, put it in your FREE box.
Someone asked me how I pick out when I am picking a date for a yard sale, I try to do it around the first weekend of the month, I also try to never do it on a holiday. By doing these few things I have had very successful yard sales. I always want to give the impression that I care about the yard sale and my items. I make sure all the items are cleaned before taking them out. If you have a big jumbled mess - that gives me the impression that you don't care about your things and probably didn't take good care of it when you used it!
Lastly: Enjoy your yard sale! Have a blast and it will be worth it all in the end!
Go make some money!!!!