Chapter 4

Garage sale tips

How to Have a Yard Sale When You Live in an Apartment

When you live in an apartment building, you've got to get pretty creative when it comes to hosting a yard sale. Lack of space is your biggest issue, but the good news is that there are several ways you can still have a yard sale...even without a yard of your own. Below you will find 5 ways to host a yard sale while living in an apartment.

1. Parking Lot

If you are lucky enough to have a parking lot in the complex, you can try to clear out a few spots and set up some tables with your wares. You may want to check with your neighbors ahead of time, renters HATE it when their parking spots are taken!

2. Find a Busy Street

It's not uncommon to see yard sales on busy street corners or on the sidewalk. Lots of city dwellers have found that having a yard sale on the street is a GREAT way to take advantage of foot traffic.

3. Borrow a Friend's Yard

If you've got a friend who owns a home, ask them to borrow their driveway or yard. This can be a great way to get more space to sell your goods, especially if they live in a high traffic area. The only downfall to this option is that you'll have to transport all of your stuff to their house.

4. Organize a Community Yard Sale

Do you know what's better than a single yard sale? A community yard sale! Yard sale shoppers love a community yard sale because it means they don't have to travel too far to hit up other sales. Ask a few neighbors or put up some flyers in your building to see if anyone else is interested in having a yard sale with you.

5. Join a Community Yard Sale

Many communities and towns around the country host annual city-wide yard sales. This can be a great opportunity to get rid of some stuff! Usually these sales are hosted in a single location, like a popular football field or convention center. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to see if your city hosts an annual yard sale. (Here's a list of some of the largest city-wide yard sales)

How to Advertise a Yard Sale Held at an Apartment Complex

There are two cardinal rules of advertising a yard sale: great signage and internet promotion.

There are a few best practices when it comes to advertising:

Yard Sale Signage:

  • Use white or neon foam board with a black sharpie marker
  • Signs should be at least 11x17, but bigger is better
  • Your sign should be legible from at least 15 feet away
  • Post arrow signs at every turn and intersection
  • Use a variety of sign posts and staple your posters to nearby telephone poles List Your Yard

List Your Sale Online:

Bonus Tip: If your apartment complex has a Facebook page or group, be sure to let your neighbors know about the yard sale!

5 Must-Have Yard Sale Mobile Apps

While yard sales may be as old as time, mobile apps are new to the scene and in just a few short years, have completely changed the way we approach yard sales. From pricing apps to yard sale discovery apps, there are lots of apps to consider for your yard saleing needs. Below you will find 5 mobile apps that every yard saler should download:

1. BookScouter - (FREE)

The Bookscouter mobile app allows you to scan the ISBN barcode of textbooks and find out what they are worth in seconds! This can be especially lucrative because textbooks are generally priced between $1-$5 at yard sales, and they can be worth hundreds of dollars! If you find yourself at a yard sale that has a lot of textbooks, quickly open the Bookscouter mobile app, scan the ISBN to see what it's worth on up to 45 sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Abe’s Books and many more.

Download for iOS Download for Android

2. Gsalr App - (FREE)

The Gsalr mobile app displays all local yard sales on a handy map right on your mobile phone! Regardless of where you are in the country, you can open the app, allow it to find your location and the app will display nearby yard sales, give you directions to the sale and allow you to favorite the best sales. The best part about this app is that it also gives you the date and time of a sale along with a quick description & photos of the items for sale.

Download for iOS Download for Android

3. Ebay - (FREE)

The Ebay mobile app is for the die hard yard salers who want to know if they are getting a good deal! Ever find something that looks expensive or has unique markings, but you have no idea what it is or what it's worth? Use the Ebay mobile app to search for the item and see its value within seconds. You can also use the app to search for an item in both the current and closed listings to see if you are getting a fair price.

Download for iOS Download for Android

4. Google Pay (FREE)

(FREE) Google Pay allows you to send money to anyone with just an email address. Now, not all yard sale sellers will be this savvy, but more and more are using things like Google Pay. This can be a great way to pay for a yard sale purchase if you don’t have enough cash or ran out of cash at the last yard sale.

Download for iOS Download for Android

5. Apple Pay - (FREE)

If you use an Apple iPhone, you can set up Apple Pay and accept payments from buyers. One nice thing about Apple Pay is that is already installed on iOS by default. You only have to set it up with your bank information. Check out the Apple Pay website for more information.

5 Unique Ways to Increase Yard Sale Profits

Whether you are holding your first yard sale or are a seasoned pro, the main goal of having a yard sale is to make money! What if I told you that there were a few things that you could do to increase profits even more? You'd be listening, right? We'll take a look at the 5 money making secrets we're letting out of the bag:

1. Sell Water!

YES, this is one of the most underutilized ways to increase profits at a yard sale, especially if it’s a hot summer day! I always set up my kids with a cooler of bottled water at the entrance of the yard sale. No one can resist cute kids selling bottled water for $1. Last time we did this, we made an extra $37 dollars in bottled water and considering they cost me only $.10 per bottle at Costco, this was a big money maker!

2. Price Everything!

As a buyer, there is nothing worse than going to a yard sale and none of the items have a price tag! No one wants to have to continue to ask the seller, "how much is this" or "how much is that"? This leads to frustration and can turn off timid buyers. By clearly marking all of your items, you will allow the buyer to make a better informed buying decision.

3. Put Your Most Expensive Items Up Front

The goal of your yard sale is to sell as much of your stuff as you can, but it’s also to make some good money while you are at it. Take a page out of the retail store's playbook, and merchandise your most expensive items up front, so everyone has to walk by them as they enter your yard sale. If you mingle expensive items amongst the other goods, they may be overlooked or by the time the buyer gets to the expensive items, their arms are already full of lower priced merchandise and they pass on the more expensive pieces.

4. Use Quality Photographs in Your Advertisements

The only way to make money at your yard sale is to have customers...and the only way to have customers is to advertise your yard sale. Luckily, we live in a time where there are dozens of free online yard sale listings sites:,, are just a few to mention. But beyond advertising your sale, you should ALWAYS post pictures of your items. People want to see what you have for sale! This is when you’ll want to take a little extra time and take some really nice pictures of your items. Take a few high quality pics of your best items and use those when promoting your yard sale online.

5. Ask Your Friends to Join You!

This tip is especially effective if you don’t have that much stuff to sell. Hardcore yard salers like to drive by yard sales first to scope up the situation. If they pull up to your yard and you only have a few items for sale, they’ll likely move on. Overcome this by having a few friends and neighbors join in on your yard sale. Not only will you have even more stuff for potential buyers, but you’ll also have more fun by hanging out with your friends all day!

Pro Tip: You can even ask your friends to donate stuff if they aren’t able to participate on the day of the yard sale!