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What Not To Sell At A Yard Sale – 15 Items That Are Worthless Or Inappropriate

Yard sale sign stuck to a mail box

A yard sale can be a great way to eliminate all your old junk and make a profit. While people seem to sell just about everything, there are a few items you should avoid. Keep reading while we list several worthless or inappropriate items you should leave out of your sale to help you and your customers have a better experience and, most importantly, avoid trouble with the law.

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The 15 Items Not To Sell At A Yard Sale

1. Overpriced Items

An overpriced item is one of the most worthless items you can sell at your yard sale. People stop to find a bargain, so don’t expect to get top dollar for any of your items. If you feel any of your products are valuable, we recommend selling them using a different method, like eBay or Craigslist, where you may be able to fetch higher prices.

community garage or yard sale
Image By: Jumpstory

2. Expensive Items

Expensive items include a washer and dryer, sofa, refrigerator, or anything you might spend more than $100–$200 to purchase. Most people aren’t driving around with that kind of money to spend at a yard sale, and they will need to find a way to get it home. We recommend selling these items in another way, as you might your valuable items.

3. Dollar Store Items

Popular dollar-store items, like notebooks, pens, headphones, and other inexpensive items, are unlikely to sell since customers can get them new for roughly the same price.

4. Used Undergarments

While most clothing is likely to sell if it’s in reasonably good shape and looks nice, undergarments are the exception. Underwear, bras, lingerie, and socks are unlikely to sell even if they are still in their original packages.

yard or garage sale
Image By: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

5. Intimate Items

Intimate items, like condoms and tampons, are also not likely to sell, and they might also distract customers from the rest of your items resulting in fewer sales overall.

6. Food Storage Containers

Food storage containers often don’t sell well because customers will worry if they are clean, and they can purchase them cheaply at a local dollar store. Other items that touch food, like utensils, might not sell well unless they are fancy.

7. Anything Potentially Offensive

If you have clothing or other items with potentially offensive topics concerning race, politics, hate, and more, it’s better to leave them out of your yard sale. These items are more likely to cause an argument with you or another customer than they are to sell.

man going through clothes hanging from a rack at a yard sale
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

8. Poor Quality Items

Sewing machines that don’t work or a bicycle that is missing parts is unlikely to sell, and it can hurt your reputation to try to pawn off broken items. If you think someone might be willing to repair something you have, we recommend labeling it as broken so the customer knows what they are buying.

9. Antiques

Selling antiques at your yardsale isn’t a good idea because you are unlikely to get a good price for them, and you may regret the decision later. Instead, antiques can fetch a lot of money if you sell them to a collector at an antique shop or similar venue.

10. Old Shoes

Most people don’t like to wear other people’s shoes, even if they are in good shape. Old shoes can pass on foot fungus and can be out of style, so they usually don’t sell well at yard sales.

old pair of white canvas shoes
Image Credit: Nqobile Vundla, Unsplash

11. Promotional Items

Most people know that promotional items, like clothing, mugs, and more, are free, so customers are unlikely to spend money on them.

12. Faded Plastic Toys

Old and faded plastic toys are unlikely to sell at your yard sale, even if they are still popular.

13. Outdated Books

Old books about science and technology are unlikely to sell at your yard sale. For instance, any books explaining how to use Windows 98 are unlikely to be of use to anyone.

Stacks of old books
Image Credit: Carles Rabada, Unsplash

14. Old Storage Media

Old storage media, like VHS tapes, cassette tapes, 8-track tapes, and floppy disks, are unlikely to appeal to customers at your yard sale. One possible exception is albums which some people still collect.

15. Weapons or Ammunition

We recommend doing research before selling weapons or ammunition at your yard sale. While it is legal in many states, it may not be legal in your area, so it is better to be safe than sorry. You may also need to ensure you are not selling to a restricted buyer. In most cases, selling weapons is more suitable for a qualified dealer.

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When setting up your next yard sale, avoiding the items on this list can help you get more sales. Avoiding potentially offensive products, like used undergarments and intimate items, is essential since they can cause customers to leave or start a fight with you or another customer. Many of the other items on this list will only take up space and make it more difficult for a customer to find something they are willing to purchase.

Featured Image Credit: Suzanne Tucker, Shutterstock


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