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10 Tips to Make Sure Your Yard Sale's Worth It

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If spring cleaning is on your list of to-dos, a yard sale or garage sale should be too. Sure, it's a lot of work, but all the lugging of boxes and bags can be worth it if you know how to turn a profit. We checked in with experts to find the best ways to turn an average yard sale into a real money-maker.

1. Have as much stuff to sell as possible.

Keep your purpose in mind as you clean out your closets, attics, basements and drawers: You want to clear clutter and make money, says Janelle Gallatin, sale event expert for, a site devoted to rummage sales, auctions and flea markets in Wisconsin.

"If you need the money, you've got to let go of things you like. Look at clothing you haven't worn in a year or books you never read," she says. "Let go of any emotional attachment you may have to these items."

Some of the best sellers typically include children's clothing, toys, books, antiques, appliances and furniture, Gallatin says.

2. Make sure the price is right.

While you want to make sure you turn a profit, your customers are all looking for a deal. People aren't going to a garage sale to pay retail, Gallatin says.

No matter how hard you worked setting up the perfect yard sale or how much emotional attachment you may have with an item, it's still only worth what people will pay.

"Just because you saw something listed on eBay for $100 doesn't mean people will pay that at a garage sale," she says. "Especially if the item is something you were going to donate anyway, price it to sell -- you don't want to take it back home."

3. Advertise like crazy.

The most common way to advertise these days is online. Most people turn to Craiglist, Facebook and other community message boards, Gallatin says. In all cases, it's important to have good pictures of what you're selling so that people are enticed to stop by.

"It's always a good idea to have pictures of your bigger-ticket items," she says. "Just make sure that the pictures don't reflect your clutter-filled garage -- they need to look good."

Other places to advertise include a traditional newspaper, any community newsletters in your area and service stations. The traditional yard sign also works well, Gallatin says -- just make sure you take your signs down after the sale to avoid creating "litter on a stick."

4. Make sure your items are clean and look good.

When items have been packed away for several years or stored in a musty basement, they lose a bit of their luster, says Austin Allgaier, founder of garage sale listing website

Your items need to be freshly washed and pressed or steamed when possible -- nobody wants to buy dirty clothing, he says.

When your items are clean, customers are more likely to linger longer at your sale, says Chris Heiska, founder of

"You don't want to stay and browse if you see things in dirty boxes or things are in disarray," she says. You can ask a bit more money for things when they are nice and clean."

For example, a dress might bring $5 if it's hanging up and is clean and pressed. If it's dirty and folded in a box, you'll be lucky to get $1, Heiska says.

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