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Yard Sale Etiquette

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 5 7


yard sales

Few people have written about yard sale etiquette because most people think that it doesn't exist. There are unwritten rules that people ignore but some are more of social graces than garage sale laws. Some of these are common sense and some you learn just from experience.

You know the saying about the early bird gets the worm. Well in yard sales most people don't appreciate people who show up at 7am when the yard sale starts at 8am. This is rude and actually makes the customer look on the greedy side. Some people actually put in their ads in the paper now "No early birds". There have been some who will actually knock on their doors the night before to see if they can get a preview of the goods. This is not good etiquette.

It is not appropriate to look up the phone number of the person having the yard sale and call them to ask questions about their items for sale. This is an invasion of privacy and believe it or not there are some who think this is acceptable.

It is not good etiquette first thing in the morning to haggle on a price at a yard sale. Now if this price is exceptionally high, you can ask the person if they can do any better without suggesting a price. Later in the day, it is ok to ask if they would take a certain price but first thing in the morning is not a good idea.

Yard sale Etiquette

If you are going to suggest an insulting price for an item, you will only upset the person who you give the request to and you won't get the item. It is better to ask if you can do any better on the item. This puts the ball in their court and makes it non-threatening and will help it be less insulting of a situation. Believe me, this will only benefit you as the buyer if you stay on the good side of the seller.

Bringing your pets on someone's property for a sale is a no-no. Your pet could bite a child or another person or cause a mess on someone's property. It is not acceptable to just bring your pet to a yard sale.

Since parking can be an issue at some sales, some people think it's appropriate to park on the seller's lawn. This is not a good policy. Lawns are not for parking. Even if you have to walk a distance, be respectful and park on the road or in a drive way where you are not blocking anyone.




Apr 29, 2010 8:32am
This article should be included as a disclaimer for every newspaper throughout the land so people get a clue! I once had some people park in front of my house at 4 a.m.! No kidding! And, the advice about insulting offers...priceless.
Apr 29, 2010 10:14pm
Great points! Etiquette also has to go the other way. I wish the sellers would put their dogs in the house (or at least on a leash if they must be outside), tell their kids to stop following me around and asking me to buy things, and to not speak disparagingly of yard salers who are shopping at their home.
Jun 4, 2010 11:41am
What a relief someone finally put this in writing. I totally agree with all points.
Jun 7, 2010 5:51pm
Great tips. I agree with mommymommymommy, dogs running about and jumping on people. UGH!
Jun 12, 2010 4:20pm
Wow! I had no idea people did half of this stuff at yard sales. Thanks for enlightening me!
Jun 26, 2010 6:16pm
Thank you for sharing such rudeness that most of the readers who need this wisdom are not reading.
Jun 10, 2011 10:04pm
Great advice indeed!
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