Organizing A Successful Garage Sale

Garage sales are a testament to the belief that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

They’re also an excellent idea for those looking to make extra cash or simply get rid of junk.

Garage sales sound simple enough; gather things you don’t need, throw them on the lawn, and wait for people to buy it all. But, in reality, successful garage sales are the product of a lot of hard work and planning.

If you’re looking to have a garage sale, check out these great tips and tricks:

Preparation

The first thing to figure out when you think you want to have a garage sale is what the goal is. If you’re looking to make money or just get rid of junk, finding an ultimate purpose will guide you along the road in things like pricing.

It may sound crazy, but make sure you check with the local laws about yard sales and advertising. The last thing you want is to not have a necessary permit, or post a sign somewhere you weren’t supposed to.

Starting early is a great way to make sure the sale goes off without a hitch. If you’re worried about selling something you need, start putting things in a box a few weeks before the sale and if you don’t have to get it out, chances are you will be fine without it.

Make sure that your home can actually accommodate a sale. If you have no room for parking and a one-car garage it might be better to try a joint sale with friends or relatives with a better location.

Advertising

Even if you set up an excellent garage sale, no one is going to come if they don’t know about it.

A newspaper advertisement is an old standby that can really draw a lot of attention. If you’re looking for slightly cheaper advertisements you can check out some websites that offer free posting and searches for yard sales in your area.

You can also post a flier with your address and a few of the bigger items you plan on selling on a community board to entice a crowd.

Signs

Signs can make a huge difference in the number of people who even make it to your house.

Illegible or small print signs won’t do any good pointing people in the right direction. Make sure that signs are simple and legible with a big arrow pointing toward your street.

Pricing

One of the biggest problems at most garage sales involves pricing. If you’re having a garage sale to make money, it’s easy to ask way too much.

However, garage sales are all about bargains. Keep this in mind and always imagine what you would consider a good deal. When setting a price, the general rule of thumb is to price between a quarter and half of what the item would cost new.

That said, don’t be afraid to engage with hagglers. Maybe not when you first open, but at the end of the day or the end of the weekend, getting rid of the junk is more important than arguing over $5.

Quick Tips

  • Be friendly and always say hello.
  • If you have smaller items, have a stockpile of bags and paper to wrap things up.
  • Make sure you have plenty of change. People will pay with $20 bills and you don’t want to run out.
  • Expect early birds. If you say the sale starts at 8 in the morning, serious garage salers will show up at 7 looking for the best deals.
  • Make sure you price items clearly. Avoid answering, “How much does this cost?” every five seconds.
  • Take a lesson from marketers and place some big and interesting items close to the street to entice passersby to walk through.
  • If it is going to be a warm day, have some water or drinks. If a buyer feels comfortable, they will stay longer and purchase more.
  • Always take your signs down when the garage sale is over to avoid confusion