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So…You've Got Stuff to Sell & Want to Have a Rummage Sale

First things first

Do you have enough stuff? Nobody likes a skimpy sale, and if you don’t have enough it may not be worth your time to plan one just yet. Plus, having a variety offers more opportunity for success and can be more alluring to customers. You do need to make sure that you have enough space for the amount of inventory that you have. One of the most important aspects of having a sale is being organized, so you want to ensure that you have ample space to do so. Before you get too far along in the planning process, make sure to let your neighbors know that you will be having a rummage sale and what date it will be occurring. It is a courteous thing to do as traffic and parking will be busy, and maybe your neighbors want to join in on the fun by having a joint sale or a neighborhood sale. The more the merrier.

Spread the Word

If you’re hosting a sale, you’re going to want to make sure that people come to shop. Take advantage of FREE advertising! Post on local Craig’s List and facebook pages. There are several Rummage Sale Sites on facebook now that are specifically for that purpose. There are still folks that do refer to the local newspapers for weekend rummage sales though, so you may want to consider
purchasing an ad to spread the word of when and where your sale will be taking place. It’s very important that you have signage to direct those coming to your sale, and to catch the eye of others to draw them in. Bright-colored poster board works best with legible and bold information. Many people post signs at busy intersections with address, date, and time of sale. Balloons are also a great way to draw attention.

Make it easy for the shopper

Make sure the items you are selling are clean and in working order. If you are selling anything electronic, have an open outlet/extension cord and batteries available so folks can test things out. Keep things tidy and organized; Display like items together (Garden tools
with garden tools, toys with toys, etc.) If you have small toys, kitchen gadgets, or other items that can be grouped together, place them in plastic bags to sell. They can then be marked as $1.oo a bag (or whatever.) If you have several like items, there is no need to price each one individually. For instance, you can box all the books
together and display a sign that says “Paperbacks $.50 each.” If you have clothes in your sale, it is much easier to keep things neat if they can be hung. String a rope, hang them on a dowel, or use a rack. Make sure to sort everything by size, gender, etc. Stickers will inevitably fall off of clothing, so try using a sticky (masking) tape or use a tag with a safety pin. You could even consider supplying a “dressing room” for shoppers to try things on. For instance, an area enclosed with a tarp. If you do so, put up a sign on the tarp so it is visible to all. We wouldn’t want any mishaps.

During the Sale

Greet each customer with a smile and “Hello.” Often people are uncomfortable walking in to your space. A friendly face and good customer service will go a long way to make your sale inviting to customers. If possible have a designated “Hold Area” (with a visible “Hold” sign) so folks can set their items down and keep shopping! This area should be near the “Check-Out” table so you can keep an eye on the items. Let all shoppers know that these items have been set aside for customers that are still shopping.


Remember to take down the signs and balloons you put up around your neighborhood. What will you do with the leftovers? There are charities in our area that will gladly accept your donations and some even come and pick it all up! Call ahead to see what day they are in your neighborhood.

Happy Selling!!!