A Yard Sale with clothes spilling out of large buckets

Transform a Yard Sale Habit into a Profitable Side Hustle

Everyone has a few more ‘primitive’ activities we love whether or not they make sense. Eating sugar is one of them, as is gardening, rock climbing, hunting, and most sports.

It doesn’t matter why we want to do them, we just do.

Oddly enough, antiquing, browsing flea markets and hunting for yard sale bargains is another one of these atavisms or primitive urges.

Even though everything we need can be found through the same kind of savvy shopping done online, it’s satisfying to physically comb through the junk and treasures that people can’t be bothered to take pictures of and post on eBay, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t.

The Yard Sale Hobby

If you crave a great yard sale, flea market, or swap meet deal, this is just your many skilled bargain-hunting ancestors rearing their heads and driving you to do things they did for generations.

It’s not unusual to long to comb through old clocks, stopped watches, and potentially priceless jewelry trying to sort the useless knickknacks from the true valuables. When you find something great, beautiful, or useful, you get it for the lowest possible price and feel that something has been one.

While most people with the yard sale hobby struggle to find enough places to put and things to do with their prizes, the modern e-commerce culture gives you the perfect answer.

Put your trained eye to work making money online from your real-world treasure hunting.

Cleaning Up Your Yard Sale Treasures

The first step to turning your yard sale prizes into profits is to clean them up.

Ideally, you want to restore each item to as close as ‘new’ quality as possible while emphasizing the age and personality in each piece.

While you won’t be able to sell them as new, many people look for antiques and unique items through public eCommerce sites like eBay and Gumdrop.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Towel
  • Soft cotton cloth
  • Q-Tips
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Oil for polishing

Start by wiping most of the dust or grime away with the towel, possibly with the help of some cleaning solution. Then use a combination of the soft cloth and the q-tips to get the dust out of the corners and small grooves.

If the item is either wood or metal, finish by using the oil to polish it to a bright shine. You may need special procedures for metals that have rusted or tarnished over time.

Take Pictures from All Sides

No matter what your favorite selling platform is, you’ll want clean, clear images from as many angles as possible.

Shoot the item on a white sheet or a set of draped white paper and make sure your illumination lights all visible surfaces clearly and pleasantly before taking a flash-free picture.

Turn the item and repeat the process until you have at least the top, bottom, front, back, left, and right sides.

If you can, remove the background entirely for a professional looking set of item images.

Describe the Item in an Honest and Complimentary Manner

There are two important aspects to your description when selling online. The first is honesty, as you’re building your online seller reputation. You want every buyer to know exactly what they’re getting and to be happy with it.

The second key to a great item description is positivity. Your scavenged treasures exude history, glow with elegance, and add a touch of class to any room.

With an artistic turn of phrase you can tell the complete truth and sell your items hard at the same time.

Sit Back and Wait for Money

Because you’re already doing something you love and have an eye for valuable items, once you list them, your eBay store becomes a source of passive income and a receptacle for all your best treasure finds.

You get to celebrate each yard sale discovery by making a new listing and when the right buyer eventually comes along, you get paid and have the final duty of shipping your treasures to their new appreciative owners.

Yard sales, garage sales, and flea markets are a great place to find hidden and undervalued treasures. If you delight in yard sale archaeology, why not use that eye for value to your own benefit? Fund future ‘digs’ with the proceeds from your finds today or even start building a savings account for longer-term goals.

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