USAA-Member_Community Is a Yard Sale Worth The Hassle?


The spring and summer seasons are a great time to start clearing out the excess clutter in our homes. Feeling as if we are getting a fresh start, clearing out the things that we no longer use or need. With the same thought of getting rid of the old we ponder selling our stuff and making a bit of money at the same time. Sounds like a good plan, right?


I am a fan of yard sales, even though we have had our fair share of total unsuccessful ones. I enjoy the community, overall excitement of knowing someone else will be taking home something of mine and turning it into their treasure, and of course; de-cluttering is always a plus.


Another great reason to have a yard sale is that it can sure be a great way to make some extra cash to tuck away into savings, however with yard sales, comes a few hassles. Before packing up those boxes and marking them for sale, consider these three things:


Think of the time involved. Having a yard sale is more than just putting some things on tables the day of the sale. Think about how many items you have to sell and the earning potential for each item. If you don’t have high priced items, will it be worth it? Will you need to price out your items individually? How much time will you spend putting up signs to your sale? Ensure you value the time it takes to clean, set-up, sell, and then clean up again afterwards. Because let’s face it, not everything sells.


The cost of having a yard sale. Make a list of the total costs involved, the last thing you want is to come out not making a profit.



  • Ad in the paper advertising the sale
  • Cost of supplies for sale stickers, tape, bulletin board for signs, etc.
  • Do you have to take off work to host the sale?
  • What about childcare costs?
  • City permit for the sale
  • If you’re throwing a community sale, how much for the table?

In the end, if your costs aren’t too high, you may make a profit. Also, consider throwing the sale on Saturday and Sunday. This will help if something doesn’t sell the first day and the weekend is always the best time to get people out and buying.


What if you have a yard sale and don’t make much of a profit? Nothing is more deflating than putting in all the time and effort to walk away with not much of a profit. A great way to try and sell what hasn’t sold is to either sell it at a consignment shop, place it for sale in the newspaper, or a Facebook yard sale group. If you don’t want the hassle of selling and just want to get rid of whatever is left, consider making a donation.

Overall, many can agree that in the case of yard sales it always comes down to the luck of the draw. If you’re motivated to take that chance, do it! I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I have turned down a yard sale to only see a great turnout later on. Lesson learned.


Have you ever had a successful yard sale? What tips can you share with us?


Related Posts:

Get Ready to Save During Spring Cleaning

Declutter, Donate, and Do It Today!


About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, freelance writer, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.

1 Comment
New Member

Over the years, I've been involved with too many yard sales.  Too much work for too little money.  My philosophy now is, I've gotten my money's worth out of whatever items I would sell, so I donate my unneeded and unused goods to a charity and take the tax deduction.  My time is worth more than the pittance I'd make from selling it.  Unless, of course, you've got, like, a household of decent furniture that you need to get rid of.  But, anything less than a couple of hundred dollars just isn't worth my time or energy.