I used to throw or give all the things we didn’t want anymore, but last year we moved and I decided to have several garage sales, 6 to be exact and it was a great way to make some extra cash.
So I call myself a garage sale expert. I learned some very helpful tips for a successful garage sale and the best part kids can help and they’ll love it!
1 Plan Ahead
Don’t expect to start planning the garage sale the day of or even the day before, give yourself enough time to plan things like:
- Clean the garage, rooms, closets, backyard and start putting all the things you’re selling in one spot.
- Have your kids go through their room and playroom and place in one corner things don’t want anymore.
- Place an Ad on your local newspaper and Craigslist. Less is more when it comes to effective advertising and use bold markers with your address, the date and time of the sale and an arrow pointing in the right direction.
- Make signs to place around your neighborhood the night before or very early the morning of the garage sale.
2. Prices & Tags
Pricing your items is extremely important and it might take some time, but after all you’re doing the yard sale to make money, here are some tips:
- Start With the One-Third Rule
The general rule of thumb when pricing items for a garage sale is to use one-third of their full price. For example if you paid $100 for a blender, the price would be around $30. This rule might not work for absolutely everything, but it’s a good starting point.
- Do Some Research
Depending on where you live is how you price garage items, so before pricing, go around other garage sales in your community to get a better idea off how other sellers are pricing , also what items sell and which ones don’t.
- Go Slightly High When Pricing
Garage sales all about buying things for less, so expect lots of negotiation from buyers, that’s why you should price some items slightly high, like a couple of dollars more than what you really want for it, this way the buyer gets a “bargain” and you don’t feel like you just gave away your favorite chair or even book.
- Clear Pricing
Something I learned is how easy buyers at garage sales get discourage, specially when they have to ask for prices on every single item. Pricing doesn’t take a lot of time or money, kids can even help. Get a marker and a pack of stickers from the dollar store and start labeling.
- Create Lots
For a group of identical items, such as books, frames, coffee cups, toys, make a bigger sign that states how much each or two x $3 etc..Garage sale buyers like to get little more for their dollar and you can get rid of all those mugs you got at conferences.
- Get Ready To Lower The Price
Where I live, garage sales usually start at 6:00am and they start winding down by 10:30am so after 10:30am I lower the prices and advertise them on Facebook. Ask yourself, should I keep this Christmas dish I never for $2 or get nothing at all?
3. Presentation matters
Make it as easy as possible for potential buyers to rummage through your stuff.
- Arrange items by category; kitchen items, frames, books, toys, clothes etc..
- Instead of throwing books into a box, line them up on a box for easy browsing.
- Barrow a clothing rack or make your own. I made one with a stick and used to boxes to hold it. Organize clothes by categories; woman, man, kids, shoes, etc..
- Use hangers to arrange jewelry.
- Fold T-shirts, sweatshirts and other items you don’t have space to hang, but DON’T throw it in a box, No one wants to dig through piles of clothing, and you don’t want to be the one stuck folding and refolding them.
- Lure customers by placing HOT ITEMS in-front of your driveway or someplace visible.
Garage sale buyers are looking for deals – if they can’t find them on first glance, they may go elsewhere.
Kids also love garage sales, I told my boys to organize their stuff and when customers with kids arrive at the garage sale, to play with the toys to lure the kids. I allowed them to negotiate the price and they also made some money. They loved it!
4. The Minute Rule
There are several types of garage sales buyers, the ones who arrive early are expert buyers and they’ll negotiate to the lowest price, some already know what they want. The other type of customers are just looking for good deals, it doesn’t matter what type of customer you’re dealing with, you usually have less than one minute to make the sale, that’s why is important to:
- For bigger items like furniture, make large price signs.
- Put (half used) batteries in remote controlled car so shoppers can test it out.
- Make sure you have an electric outlet available so customers can try plugging electronics to test them.
- Print ads of some of your items which shoes original price and place them by the item.
5. Fast Checkout
The day before your garage sale, make sure you have enough change, I usually have:
- Twenty $1 bills
- Ten $5 bills
- Five $10 bills
- Some quarters.
I arrange the money from big to small and place it on a fanny pack, that way I always have cash with me when I’m walking around the garage sale. Also make sure you have bags, I used all shopping bags and got a pack of plastic bags at the $1 store.
Follow these rules and I assure you and your kids will have a successful garage sale. Remember as the day goes by, don’t be afraid to lower prices or offer everything half off, sometimes is better to get $5 for that lamp in your garage than nothing.
Happy Garage Sale!