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10 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Posted: 03/28/12 6:00 AM (Modified: 03/28/12 9:24 AM)


Garage sale season is getting ready to start (and has already started) so if you're thinking about having one this year, check out these tips for making the MOST money! I have garage sales every single year and I love it, in fact, I have family members who make a living at it!

{Top 10 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale}


1.       Stockpile items all year long: Instead of tossing out those shoes and shirts, have a garage sale stash so you’re ready to go when the time comes.
2.       Top to Bottom: The week of the garage sale, go through your entire house from top to bottom. The kids can help with this too. Get rid of all clutter and anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months to a year.
3.       Organize Your Goods: Organize everything into piles such as clothing, shoes, toys, etc. Decide what needs to be thrown away instead of sold. There’s no reason to clutter up a sale with trash, you want to draw people in not turn them away. While deal hunters like myself, don't mind digging through junk for treasure, most shoppers do and if they don't see an item clearly then they won't buy.
4.       Price Reasonably: Remember folks, it’s a garage sale...hello? Garage sale. You’re not a consignment store nor a boutique, it is really important to price your items accordingly and be prepared to negotiate. Plus, be clear with your pricing, people do not like to guess or be stuck in some awkward garage sale moment.
5.       Big Items: People are drawn in by big items like a couch, large kids toys, etc. You have to have something to make people stop when they're driving by to come into your sale.  If you only  have a few items consider waiting  until you’ve gathered more or go in with another family.
6.       Timing and Location: If you live in the boonies, see if you can team up with a friend in town unless your garage sale is seriously worth driving for. In my case, I actually hold my garage sales at my mom's which is a much better location than where I live. Timing is important too, avoid holidays and incredibly hot weather….especially in Oklahoma.
7.       Advertising: Consider craigslist, with free apps like Yard Sale Mapper, people can actually type in their location and be told what garage sales are near them. That information comes from craigslist so be sure to get your sale on there! Also, USE SIGNS and make them clear. People have to be able to read the address and understand the directions. If your sign leads to nowhere then no one will come.
8.       Length: If you decide to hold a 2 day sale, realize your traffic will be highest on the first day. People realize it will be picked over on the second. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea, just realize the crowd will be less. Saturday being the best day for a sale but if you know everyone is holding a Saturday sale then trying for a Friday isn’t a bad idea.
9.       Staff: Don’t do it alone, if you have a lot of stuff, you’ll be running around like a crazy person. Have enough people to staff your garage sale that could lift furniture if needed and can give you a break to rest.
10.   Tear Down: Be sure to remove all garage sale signs when you’re done. Don’t leave them up or people will be searching for your house for weeks...not cool.
Any garage sale can be a success with planning and a few great items. Don’t worry if all you have is a ton of .25 items, those add up too!
Oh, yeah, and if it's going to be a hot day, always have a water boy:

garage sale, water boy, 10 tips for a successful garage sale


Old to new | New to old
Jun 16, 2011 10:45 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

The last 30 minutes of the garage sale I like to have a half off sale. Whatever is left I like to donate to Goodwill and get a tax receipt.

Money Saving Fab Jess

Jun 18, 2011 01:17 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I had a three day yard sale, with mostly odds and ends. The most expensive thing I sold was a $200 bed set. Next to that were a few $20 items. Everything else was dollar here, dollar there, or make an offer. I don't price my items and I love the make an offer line. A lot of times, the offer is MUCH more than you wanted to begin with.

On a THURSDAY, I made $1200! Friday and Saturday I had to compete with every other yard sale going on in the county. Advertise on Craigslist and Yahoo Groups (moms groups, classified groups, etc) and make sure you emphasize that the sale starts on Thursday. Use big captavating words that draw attention when you specify the mass amounts of categories your items fit into. Dealers love anything old and antique, military related, gold, silver, collectible, etc. Don't be specific about the items, keep it general and make them want to get up at 6am to be the first one at your door waiting to help you setup. I make the majority of my money within the first two hours from dealers and resellers fighting eachother for deals. Good luck!

Jun 24, 2011 11:28 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I CAN'T STAND to go to a garage sale that has nothing priced! Sorry, but I hate it. It is a pain to have to compete with others for the attention of the owner and asking about every item's price. I buy WAY LESS if the prices aren't marked than I normally would at a sale where they are marked. Just FYI from an avid garage sale hunter.

P.S. LOVE the water boy!!!! Is he for sale?

Mar 28, 2012 11:31 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I also hate it when nothing is priced!

Mar 29, 2012 09:08 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

If things aren't priced I turn around and walk away to the next one where I'm pretty confident prices will be in full view.

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