Organizing a successful garage sale isn’t that hard — you just have to think it all through. And we want to help, so we’ve prepared a list of 6 things that will increase your chances of making your garage sale a smashing hit.
Go through this list before organizing your next — or that’s first — garage sale:
In order to have a successful garage sale, people have to know it’s in town (neighborhood). You will have to inform your neighbors about it and ask them to help you spread the word.
Also, you can try Craigslist, and buying ads in local newspapers and on Facebook. You want targeted ads that appear only to your local community, cause chances are — not many folks will travel long distances just to visit your garage sale.
Set a budget for advertising, and stick to it. Remember that you want to earn something at the end of the garage sale, so don’t go crazy buying ads left and right. And besides, you may also need some cash to buy the signs point out to your garage sale and various piles you have prepared.
Before putting signs around your place, you should ask your neighbors about it. Not many people love seeing them, but if you’re polite, you’ll get away with it. Just don’t forget to take them down after the sale.
Your neighbors could also help you out in setting up the sale. You’ll want to borrow as many items as possible to cut costs — including, but not limited to, folding tables and clothing racks. Or you can call your friends and family for these.
Even before asking for the tables and racks, collect all the items you want to offer and stack them in a few piles. Depending on the amount of stuff you want to sell, you’ll want to leave anywhere between one and three days to prepare properly. Thinking that you can accomplish this on a Friday night won’t get you anywhere. Or, if that’s possible, chances are you don’t need a garage sale.
Remember that you will also have to come up with pricing for each of the items offered on your garage sales. Which leads us to the next point…
Also read: 12 Most Popular Garage Sale Items
When it comes to pricing, garage sale experts suggest two things:
- Whenever possible put a pile of similar items on one table, and if possible offer them all for the same price. Put a sign that explains that all items on that table are available for, say, $5. This is especially handy for a clothing pile, and is much easier than putting a price on every individual item.
- Speaking of individual items, you may want to put a slightly higher price tag on them, and let the people bargain for a better price. This is a win-win: they will feel better for getting a great deal, and you’ll get a decent price.
Related to the second note, be prepared to negotiate over pricing.
We have already mentioned you should leave enough time to prepare for the garage sale. You can’t be too careful there.
Timing your garage sale also matters. As you can imagine, you’ll want to organize it either on Saturday or Sunday, during just a few hours. Our suggestion is either between 7 and 11 am, or 8 and 12 am.
You will sell many of the items during the first half an hour when experienced garage sale buyers come to pick up the best stuff. Expect a slowdown afterwards.
When the time comes, ask people to leave. Nothing wrong with that — you are in your own house after all, with other things waiting for your attention. Be polite and everyone will comply.
5. During the Sale
It is a must to be polite to everyone. No one wants to buy stuff from a jerk, right? So don’t act like one, even if you’re not in the mood. Control yourself.
Related to that, if you have a dog, make sure he/she doesn’t leave his dog house. Perhaps your dog has never bitten a single human being, but no one knows that. And no one wants to find out.
Also, to maximize profits, consider selling other goods such as coffee and baked goods. Just make sure they are affordable, otherwise people could get angry. Or you could offer them for free to anyone who spends at least $10. That could be an easy way to upsell stuff, and unsurprisingly, we’ve seen it working like a charm.
Finally, make sure you have a plenty of change. Visit a local bank a day before, and/or put all of the coins and $1 bills in a cashbox to have it ready for the day.
6. After the Sale
It is not over when all buyers leave. Chances are, you won’t sell everything, and will have to list them on Craigslist at a discount price or even offer the goods for free. Alternatively, you may decide to donate the unsold items to a local charity.
Also, after the sale, you should return the table and clothing desks, and remove all the signs you have placed around your house. Thank everyone who helped you out, and eventually ask them if they need any of the items left after the garage sale. If they need something, see if you can give it to them for free.
At the end, you’ll have to face the decision what to do with the money earned from the garage sales. Can you put it into your savings account? Or you may want to reward yourself for the job well done with, say, a nice dinner? It’s your call.
We’re done with our list. Do you think we’ve missed something? And if so, are you willing to share your advice? Feel free to add your two cents in the comments form below. Thanks. 😉
And if you need more tips how to organize a successful garage sale check out the Garage Sale Toolkit, which will help you plan, promote and profit from your next garage sale.