It takes a lot of effort to organize a garage sale. If you don’t properly organize and conduct the event, there’s a good chance it will go unnoticed, leaving you with a little less cash, a lot less self-respect, and a mountain of unsold inventory to unload.
On the plus side, organizing and carrying out a successful garage sale does not necessitate a marketing degree or an MBA. When you follow the tips below for garage sale success, you’ll gain more and stress less.
How to Maximize Your Garage Sale
Garage sales are simple but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for error. Here are the basics:
1. Clean Out What You Don’t Need
This may seem to be the most annoying garage sale tip, but it must be said! Explore your garage, basement, attic, closets, shelves, and under all of your beds. A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t use or wear it on a regular basis (or if you forget it existed), it usually needs to go. You’ll be able to take stock of what you have and maybe earn some extra space as a result.
2. Get Whatever Supplies You Might Need
Simple pricing stickers and blank labels can be purchased at any dollar store or office supplies store. If you want to be very frugal, just grab a permanent marker and some masking tape and start pricing your items. Get a table and chairs to create a dedicated area for cashing out customers.
3. Sort and Organize Your Things
Organizing a garage sale can be a challenging job, so do the heavy lifting ahead of time. Sort all of your tennis rackets, clothes, and old board games into three general categories: keep, sell, and trash.
4. Set a Date
The mornings of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are usually the best times to host a garage sale. Here’s an insider garage sale tip: do it on the first weekend of the month—many paychecks are issued at the end of the month, so people will have money to spend.
The sooner you begin, the cooler the weather will be. You could also get more people to come because they won’t have to disrupt their day! Also, before you put up signs around the neighborhood, make sure to check the weather forecast. Buyers are turned off by rainy days!
5. Host a Neighborhood Garage Sale
If the thought of people stopping by your front yard bothers you, join forces with another family on your block or check with your neighborhood association to see if a community sale is scheduled.
6. Things That Can Be Bundled
It’s easy to pass up DVDs for $1. However, if you sell them at four for $5, you will undoubtedly attract someone’s eye. Look for ways to strike a deal. If it’s the end of the day and you just need to move your things, offer customers the option of filling up a bag with items for a $5 or $10 flat rate.
7. Make Prices Visible
Use price tags or stickers to make sure your prices are visible. If you don’t have time, group similarly priced goods together with a sign that breaks down the price. Alternatively, use colored stickers and hang a chart that specifies the cost by color, such as green stickers are 50 cents, blue stickers are $1, and so on. Just make sure you don’t confuse your customers.
8. Know How to Haggle
Everyone is looking for a good deal. That is why people get up early on Saturday mornings to buy your scraps! Allow the consumer to negotiate if they want to, but hold to your guns if the price falls too low. You’re not giving away your possessions! At least, not yet.
9. Have Change On Hand
You don’t want to miss a deal because you don’t have any extra George Washingtons’ on hand. Make sure you have enough small bills to give your customers change.
Get the Most Out of Your Garage Sale
Set your expectations now if you’ve never held a garage sale before: It’s going to take a lot of effort. You’ll spend hours organizing your pieces, setting prices, writing ad copy, and picking up supplies between now and your sale day. You’ll spend the whole day on the day of the sale — from early morning until late afternoon — pulling it off. Expect to spend hours more disposing of unsold inventory if you have a lot left.
But don’t give up. A great garage sale would leave you with a less cluttered, better-organized house — as well as a large sum of money to spend or save as you see fit.