Garage sales can be so much work that you wonder whether it’s worth the effort. It is! And you don’t have to spend a ton of time preparing for it. Try these smart tips to make your next garage sale easy and profitable.
Getting ready for a garage sale begins long before the day of the sale. It starts while decluttering. In the past when I found something I no longer needed, I threw it in a box. When it was time for the sale, I spent hours unloading boxes, cleaning items, and pricing them.
Now whenever I find something I want to sell, I clean it, attach a price sticker, and put in my yard sale box. It’s ready to be sold, and I don’t have to see the item again until the day of the sale.
I use the pre-priced labels from my local dollar store. These are great time-savers since you don’t have to write the price on each label. And at $1.00 for 100, they are cheap too.
If you can’t find the pre-printed labels, write prices on blank labels. You could even use a different sheet for each price. One sheet with .25 on each label, another with $1.00, etc.
I always keep a large box designated for yard sale items, and I keep the labels in that box. Then anytime I find something I want to go in the yard sale, I make sure the item is clean, stick on a label and drop it in the box. Once the box is full, I close it up and start a new one.
Pricing items for a garage sale can be a challenge. It’s your stuff, and you have an emotional attachment to it. Plus, you know how much you paid for it. It can be difficult to let it go for a low yard sale price, but that is what you must do.
The rule I use for pricing is if the item is “like new” or in very good condition, I price it at 1/3 of its original value. For everything else, 25% to 10% of its original price.
And don’t think that because the item was once a collectible, it’s still a collectible. Beanie Babies are going for as low as 50 cents or less at garage sales these days!
Finally, accept the fact that no matter what you price something at, someone will want to haggle that price with you.
One last note about pricing. If you price your items too high, potential buyers won’t even bother to offer you a lower price. They will move on to the next yard sale.
And remember your ultimate goal is to remove the clutter from your home!
PREPARE FOR YOUR SALE
Choose where you will have your sale. Will it be at your home? Do need to rent space at a flea market?
You need to have enough space for cars to park and your location needs to be easy for shoppers to find.
Don’t have enough items for a garage sale? Ask neighbors and friends if they want to join you.
Multi-family yard sales usually do better than single-family ones. You can also look for community yard sales to take part in.
Choose a date for your sale. I usually schedule my yard sales on Fridays and Saturdays. Fridays are usually my most profitable day.
Plan how you will display your wares. Your yard sale needs to be visually appealing. You want to attract the person just driving by and give them a reason to stop. Place large items out front so they can be easily seen.
Have tables lined up for smaller items.
If you don’t have enough tables, see if you can borrow some from friends or family.
Clothes will display and sell better if they are hanging. Create a hanging display by stringing rope or clothesline between two trees. A pole placed across two ladders also works.
The more you advertise, the better your chances of a great sale. Place a classified ad in the yard sale section of your local newspaper. List the type of items you will be selling (Ex: household, tools, Hummel figurines, toddler clothes, etc.). List the day(s) and date(s) of the sale, time, address, and any other information such as Rain or Shine, No Early Birds, etc.
Other places to advertise are Craigslist, Facebook, and fliers.
And of course, on the day of the sale, have plenty of signs directing people to your sale. You can make your signs or buy them. For my last yard sale, I found eye-catching neon yard sale signs at my local dollar store. Whatever signs you use, make sure they are large enough to see from the road and show people where to go.
THE DAY OF YOUR SALE
Have plenty of change available – Quarters, dimes, and nickels and $1.00, $5.00, and $10.00 bills.
If possible, have one person working as the cashier for your sale. Be sure to have a small hand-held calculator for adding multiple purchases and calculating change.
Enlist extra help. Ask friends or family members to help you with your garage sale. At least two people for smaller sales and four or more for larger sales.
If you have babies and young children, consider getting a babysitter to watch them during the sale. School age and older children will enjoy helping. Plus, it’s a great learning experience for them.
Hopefully, you will sell most of your stuff, but what will you do with items that don’t sell? Donate it to a local charity’s thrift store or take it to the recycling center.
Do not! Take it back into your home. You don’t want to bring back clutter. If somebody else doesn’t think it’s worth buying at your yard sale, it isn’t worth keeping in your home. Let it go!
Do you have a garage sale tip to share? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.