Things NOT to Sell at a Yard Sale

Things  NOT to Sell at a Yard SaleI’ve been to hundreds of yard sales over the years and have held more than 20 yard sales, too — and realize that there are just some things nobody wants to buy! Check the list below for things NOT to sell at a yard sale:

1) Used underpants. Ick. Saw a bunch of women’s undies once at someone’s sale and the comment my garage sale friend made (which I can’t repeat here) is burned into my brain. (I have seen bras sell, though.)

2) Used sex toys. Yes, I saw one once…and it made me took a good long look at the seller.

3) Used lingerie. You see a lot of this — and the idea of buying it is just gross.

4) Although regular clothes do sell, they’re usually not the hot items you’d think they’d be. And it’s particularly insulting when you’re the seller and nobody wants to buy your favorite outfits!

My all-time worst “garage sale insult” was when a little old lady, accompanied by her grandson, took a look at all my treasures for sale and announced right in front of me in a loud voice, “This is all just a bunch of junk!” In the future, my friend and I would just look at each other at a bad yard sale, raise an eyebrow and murmur, “BOJ!”

6) Partially used make-up, hair products and other personal hygiene items. One word. Cooties.

7) Things that are priced WAY above the normal ten to thirty cents on the dollar, based on their retail value. The idea is for buyers to get a bargain, sellers to get rid of unwanted things — and for everybody to be happy. There’s a certain karma in it.

You also don’t want potential buyers to walk away empty-handed, rolling their eyes and saying to each other, “Boy, this must’ve been their first yard sale!” And meanwhile, you have to donate everything to Goodwill, where the same people can buy it later at a more reasonable price.

What things do you believe don’t work well at yard sales?

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Thrift Store Treasures #2: Bare Trap Sandals — Love Them!

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37 Responses to Things NOT to Sell at a Yard Sale

  1. Mike Huiwitz says:

    Used underpants. Eww. That should go without saying.
    Mike Huiwitz recently posted…The Revelation EffectMy Profile

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  11. Emily S says:

    Oh man! I totally have to disagree on the clothes thing! That’s the reason I GO to garage sales…for the clothes! ?

    • blogqueendiane says:

      I go to yard sales for clothes, too — but when I have my own sales, I find they don’t sell well. And from everything I’ve read and the fact that clothes at other people’s yard sales don’t sell well, either, I have to draw that conclusion. But I guess that’s more goodies for us to buy, huh?

  12. Colleen says:

    I would also have to disagree with the clothes thing (with the exception of course being used underwear, ew). At my yard sales, clothes and tools are the main sellers. Another big seller? My partially used makeup – it sells like crazy. Many women simply don’t care about the potential “cooties”, and also I’m very hygienic with my makeup products. Things like partially full bottles of shampoo, conditioner & moisturizer sell like hot-cakes. People would rather try the item for $1 at a yard sale than invest $20 at the store for something they may not like.

    At my sales, I place the BOJ into one big pile, with a big “free” sign above it. People usually pick it over pretty well…and it’s a good draw to get people to stop and look.

  13. Crystal says:

    I agree about the used undergarments! That is one thing I will never understand wanting to sell at a yard sale! I have a thing about buying used shoes. I only buy used shoes if I know the person. I know that probably sounds crazy but it’s just a “thing” I have I guess! 🙂 Books always sell well for me at yard sales. Clothes are kind of hit and miss. I have found that people seem more likely to buy the clothes if they are piled on a table and they have to dig for them, than if they are hung up on a wrack!
    Crystal recently posted…Make Extra Money with Amazon Mechanical TurkMy Profile

    • blogqueendiane says:

      Like your point with the shoes, I’m more likely to buy anything that touches your skin at a yard sale from a person who looks neat and clean! Maybe it’s the thrill of the hunt for digging through clothes in a pile that people like?

  14. laura Bradley says:

    Clearly mark mostly baby items if so …I hate parking, walking up to a sale and have it so baby clothes, equipment and baby furniture/ toys…which I have no desire for at this time. Just clearly mark it people! Also, I don’t mind like new shoes… ie…. Rarely if ever used.. But no shoes/ boots that have clearly walked miles on your feet. I don’t mind underware, bras, negligees, robes, etc if the tags are still on it only! I dislike people selling makeup… Yuck.,, perfume.. Especially sitting in the hot sun because if it’s too old the smell changes to something awful. I hate it when they have beautiful things out to induce you and they say it’s not for sale!!! Ugh… I just ran up the driveway looking like a fool for that item!!!! Also, when anything that they think us an antique… No matter the condition gets a high sticker price.. Like their a high end antique store… Ugh I want garage sale bargains people!!!

  15. Jennifer says:

    I am actually planning my next yard sale as I type. I will be a better price marker and will weed through my items before stocking my next yard sale. Thank you. Btw, I found this post via Pinterest. 🙂
    Jennifer recently posted…NamesMy Profile

  16. As long as the price is right, I love to look at some of these items…. clothing $1.00/piece, books $0.50 each, used haircare products $1.00 each, used makeup $0.25 each. If you’re ready to sell it at a garage sale, you basically need to give it away. Lingering emotional attachment to the items cause them to be priced too high and that’s when the sellers’ feelings can get hurt if they don’t get buyers!

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  18. Naomie Moore, Castaic, CA says:

    My brother and I were the kucky people to liquidate our parents stuff as we couldn’t keep everything, nor did we want to. My parents also had 3 previous relatives stuff in their possession at the time. It was an epic chore to try and sell all the things from your family without feeling a bit strange about it. And funny part was the oddball items sold first. Some of the furniture that we had help pricing, people were rather rude. We decided to give to Habitat For Humanity rather than sell for pennies to obnoxious fortune seekers. Yes, we all want bargains, and I expect to have a certain amount of negotiating, as I do the same, but there is a point where it becomes insulting. That’s where I draw the line, both as a buyer and a seller. I never want to be insulting nor be insulted.

    • blogqueendiane says:

      I see your point! I once tried to donated my couch to Habitat for Humanity, though, and they refused to take it! And I thought it was in fine condition… so even they can be picky!

  19. Erika says:

    My two garage sale pet peeves are when things aren’t priced and when eBay printouts are next to items with high prices. If you want eBay prices, sell on eBay and get your butt out of bed to price your items! Went to a sale with nothing marked and 7 people selling stuff, had to track down 3 different people to pay! Grrrrr..

    • blogqueendiane says:

      I’ve never seen people put eBay printouts next to items! Agree with you completely about not pricing — that makes me want to leave. (It’s not that hard to put a bunch of stuff in a box and mark the box $.25 or whatever for everything in it, if nothing else. )

  20. Lori says:

    My clothes go like hotcakes too. Usually my biggest seller. But some are new with tags. And the stuff with stains I just put in a free box. Jeans, shorts and tops in good condition usually go quick at a dollar each.

    • blogqueendiane says:

      New clothes with tags are always a great hit! I do sell some clothes at yard sales, but only a small portion of them — even when they’re priced very low. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the tips!

  22. I have done really well selling half used toiletries at garage sales. I know I look for them at garage sales because some sell really well on eBay (such as discontinued scents of Bath and Body Works, etc.) There are a number of nail polishes that can bring good money on eBay as well as perfumes. Worth is in the eye of the customer. 🙂

    Our Goodwill prices are so high that pretty much any price a seller put on an item would be a bargain. (However church thrift shops are priced reasonable.) I’ve seen clothes at Goodwill cost as much if not more than buying them at Walmart. Would you believe I paid $7 for a used nightgown for my mother at Goodwill? It was in kind of sorry shape, but I couldn’t find what she wanted at Dollar General or Walmart. She was in the hospital a lot at that time, and wanted a certain style of nightwear. I don’t regret making the purchase, but I sure wish it had been about half of that price. LOL

    • blogqueendiane says:

      Hi – thanks for writing and commenting. Never thought about buying unopened, discontinued scents and nail polishes at yard sales and reselling them on Ebay. Sounds like a good idea!

      Our Goodwill prices have gone up recently but some people here (I figure they’ve never had yard sales before or haven’t gone to them) put ridiculously high prices on clothes — it’s like they don’t get the idea that they’re supposed to be a bargain for the buyer. 🙂

      Most of the fun of yard sales and Goodwill shopping is the not knowing what you’re going to find — and finding a treasure!

  23. Kimberly Ball says:

    My thought on yard sales is that you are needing to down size and get rid of things. People who are having them to make money are the problem!! Getting half of what you are asking for is better than just hauling it to thrift stores where you get zilch!! Common sense……

    • blogqueendiane says:

      Good point. When people price things too high, I always say to myself, “This must be their first yard sale.” Oftentimes, I see the same item later in the local thrift store because they didn’t sell it… Thanks for commenting!

  24. Kelly says:

    Pet peeves:

    I agree with the previous comment about having the Ebay printouts. With Ebay, as a buyer you’re paying for the convenience of not driving from house to house, as well as paying the seller’s shipping and Ebay/Paypal fees. Don’t expect to get Ebay prices at a yard sale; you’re wasting your time.

    I also personally dislike it when people try to sell their multilevel marketing stuff at their sale. Again, I’m a yard saler and therefore looking for a bargain. And all MLM products are the opposite of a bargain, lol.

    When stuff isn’t priced… Ugh. It’s a crapshoot. Do they want 25 cents or $5 for that sweater? You might take it for $1 or less, but then it becomes awkward if you ask the price and it’s nowhere near what you’re willing to give. Also, it’s a hassle asking “How much?” for every little thing. Most of the time I don’t even bother with these sales unless there’s something I’m REALLY interested in.

    Sales where a bunch of dirty stuff is just thrown in a pile in a box on the ground.

    People trying to sell horribly stained clothes or clothes with big holes; rusted cookware with the nonstick coating peeling off; items damaged beyond repair. THROW IT AWAY.

    • blogqueendiane says:

      The “having to ask the price of everything” problem you mentioned drives me crazy, too. It wouldn’t be that much work to at least bunch things that are the same price together. Thanks foro stopping by and commenting!

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