Buying and Selling Antiques| Antique Dealer with 25 years experience reveals insider secrets of buying and selling antiques and collectibles

Selling Antiques at Yard Sales


Before we opened our antique stores, we would get a few antique dealers together and have a once a year yard sale or garage sale as we called them in Texas. This was another way we could raise some cash and get rid of some inventory that we were ready to unload. It was also a fun couple of days to spend with fellow antique dealers. We would have the sale at the house we thought would draw the most traffic.

I have mentioned in some of the other articles on this site how important it is to turn your antique inventory. Having fresh merchandise is a key to being a successful antique dealer. Doing a yard sale once a year is just another way to try to sell some of those things that you just couldn’t sell other places. There are no guarantees when you do a yard sale, especially if you are not realistic in your pricing. It will also take some work to set up a yard sale correctly.

If you don’t do a good job of making signs and then getting them out the morning of the sale, you will not get very many customers. You also need to drive around and check the signs a couple of times during the day. Someone can just take the signs, which happens more than you think, or the wind can blow them over. So make durable signs and make sure they are as secure when you put them out. Be sure to follow city ordinances and get permission before placing them in someone’s yard or property.Selling Antiques at Yard Sales

I would also consider placing a classified ad in the local newspaper. If there are a few of you doing the yard sale, you can divide the expenses and keep them to a minimum. A few communities also have web sites that allow you to post your yard sale online. I am a firm believer in using the internet as much as possible. More and more people rely on it to get their information. If you are an antique dealer and not using the internet, you are doing yourself a disservice. I am a baby boomer and had to teach myself everything about using a computer. But if you feel you just can’t do it, you can hire a high school or college student inexpensively to do it for you. When we had our store, we hired a college student part time for $8 an hour to build our web site ( before I learned how) and do our online things. He said he had rather do that than flip burgers.

Even though it is a yard sale, you need to display your things in a way that it will show them off. Hanging prints or pictures on a wall of the garage looks much better than just stacked up. You will probably also want to include things other than antiques to make it more interesting and not look like antique dealers having a sale. We all have things we need to get rid of out of our closets. Also put like things together. If all of you have books, put them together so customers looking for books will see all of them. You don’t want to overdo it and make it look like an antique store. You want people to think they are getting a good deal, and if you are pricing correctly , they will be.

So consider selling your antiques at yard sales at least once a year. Do it with some other antique dealers and have some fun.

One Response to “Selling Antiques at Yard Sales”

  1. Rose says:

    I try to avoid bringing more “stuff” into my home, but your summer garage sale in the open air would be too hard to resist. I would want some free lemonade in that Texas heat! I always look at craigslist when I go out yard saling. Usually by Wednesday the sales are posted.

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