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Eight Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

It’s garage sale season (also known as yard sales) and lots of people are earning money for the items in their home that are just taking up space. You know you have those items too so why not have a garage sale this month and not just clear out the clutter, but earn some money.  Depending on the quality of your items, you can earn a decent amount of money in the short time you spend out there.  But you need to prepare ahead of time to have a successful garage sale.

We had a very successful garage sale after we moved into our current home.  Moving is truly the best way to purge and I purged a lot! I donated lots a lot of items as well, which is nice because that’s a tax write off. But things we could sell, we sold.  Then this past winter I prepared for another sale and had my 2nd successful garage sale.

Eight Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Here are some tips on how you too can have a successful garage sale.

Put Items aside through-out the year as you clean, sort and organize

As I cleaned out the girls rooms, sorted through clothes and dug out seasonal items, I also piled things into boxes labeled garage sale. I also did this in my kitchen with item I found I wasn’t using, or replaced with newer items. Then when it was time to have the sale, I didn’t have to spend days sorting through things. Once that sale is over, start the process again for the next one. I plan on having another one right after school starts before it gets too cold.

Price Everything Before The Sale

The first time I had a real successful garage sale, was the time I priced everything before the sale.  I find that I sell more when it’s priced. I usually spend a day before the sale going through boxes and putting price tags on each item. I found some cheap stickers that were already pre-priced at the Dollar Store, but if you store doesn’t have them you can check Target, Walmart and Office supply stores. Having items priced not only helped to sell more, but also helped if I had to walk away from the garage sale and leave someone else in charge. Some items I still negotiated on, but at least we had a starting point.

Hang Signs up to Two Days Before

Pick up a couple of poster boards at the Dollar Store and cut it into 4 sections. The key to a successful garage sale is to have people there.  Without people, you won’t earn money.   Make a lot of signs for your garage sale and post them up to 4 days before your sale at the ends of your street, the local gas station, major cross roads and exit on ramps and off ramps if you live near and exist. You can also print up a few flyers and put it in your local grocery store and post office. Some libraries may also let you hang a flyer. Just ask at the desk if they have a community bulletin board

Makes sure you words are big and easy to read as cars go by. List the day, time and address. Putting arrows to show the direction is also helpful. If you live in the middle of a neighborhood, signs will pull in wandering people who many not drive down every side street looking for sales.

Put a sign in your front yard as well so those driving by your house, know to come back the day of the sale.

Have Plenty of Change On Hand Before You Start

I usually sell things for even dollars or quarters so this is what I have on hand when I start:

  • $2.00 in Quarters
  • $15 in Ones
  • $10 in Fives
  • $10 in Tens

Seasoned garage saler’s will come prepared with small change but those people who spot your sale and stop unexpectedly may not so I am always prepared. I don’t want to turn down a sale because I don’t have change. And make sure you count what you start with so you know what you made!

Start Setting Up About An Hour Before The Posted Start Time

No matter what time you post the sale will start, you will always get early birds. These people are smart when you think about it because they want to find the best items at the best prices. But from a sellers point of view, it’s tough when you are trying to unload everything. If you start about an hour before your start time, you’ll probably be ready for these early birds and have everything on display as they begin to arrive.  Early birds are a huge help in having a successful garage sale because they come prepared to shop!

Ask Friends and Family to Sell Their Unwanted Items at Your Garage sale

When it comes to garage sales, my motto is the more the merrier. Bigger sales draw in more people. More people means you have a better chance at having a successful garage sale!   Since you probably aren’t selling the same thing as your friends and family,  it’s not really competition. Plus everyone prices things differently so having other people at your garage sale selling their items, won’t hurt you. If you do invite others, make sure to note that it’s a Multifamily Garage sale as that always draws in a crowd. From a buying stand point, the more they have to pick from, the better the sale.

Pay to have it Advertised in the Local Paper and Post on Craigslist

It’s not cheap to list a garage sale in your local paper but it’s very helpful. I’ve done it both ways and each time I pay to have it in the paper, I always have a bigger crowd and a more successful garage sale.  If you invite friends and family to also sell at your garage sale, divide the cost of advertising between you all so the cost isn’t as high. Another good reason to have them over! It’s FREE to post on Craigslist and I find the best time to post is the afternoon before the sale.

The space in the newspaper is limited so stick to the address, time and a few hot items that will draw people there. But on Craigslist you can put more details including pictures of items which my get more people to stop by.

Spread Items Out So They Can Be Seen Better

I use tables to spread my items out which allows them to be seen easily and people can browse quickly. Some people just scan over everything if they are looking for something particular. Since I have no way of knowing what people want, I make sure they can see everything I have. If I run out of tables, I turn boxes upside down and use those as tables. A few more things to do to make sure your items are visible are:

  • You can also lay a sheet or blanket on the ground and use that as your table.
  • Hang up clothes so people can see them better. Use a cloths rack if you have one or even a tree! Or if you have a porch, lay them across the railings.
  • Put Hot Ticket items in the front so cars can see them as they are driving by. Items that can’t be picked up (and stolen) are perfect ways to draw people in.
  • If you have a wall around your property, use that to display items

After my garage sale is over, I go through what is left and I usually hold onto a few items for the next sale but I either leave it outside with a sign that says FREE or I donate the items. Either way very little comes back into my home.

I hope these Eight Tips for a Successful Garage Sale help you.  Let me know in the comments if you have other ideas to for a successful Garage Sale or Yard Sale.

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