Garage sales are a fantastic way to earn a bit of extra cash while getting rid of some unwanted items from your home. Unless you are a garage sale expert, you may be putting a ton of effort in without seeing a whole lot of return. Let’s face it, no one wants to be up at the crack of dawn, haul out all their unwanted personal belongings to make a few bucks only to pack it all back up and ship it off to the local thrift store. Luckily for you, you are talking with a self-declared garage sale veteran that knows a thing or two about making a buck. Follow these 8 tips to make your own garage sale a success!
I added the exclamation point so you truly know how important this is. First of all, make a ton of signs and plaster them all over your neighborhood and the surrounding areas so people can find you easily. Bright colors with arrows and large and clear writing are the best because they are easy to spot and read while your soon-to-be customers are cruising around. If someone already has a sign right where you need to put yours, don’t feel bad about placing your pretty sign right next to theirs. All is fair in love and war all all that. 😉 Another idea is to include the name of your street on the sign so even if they miss a sign they can easily use their maps to find your location.
You should definitely start off with your ideal price, but just keep in mind that stuff at garage sales usually sells for less than what you would get if you sold it to a private buyer. Keep the prices reasonable and you will hopefully walk away with cash in your pocket and most of your items sold. Don’t be afraid to haggle, you will probably get some outrageously lowball offers and you are absolutely free to turn them down. They are probably testing to waters to see if you know how much your stuff is worth, remember they are out for the deal of the century so don’t get too offended. Remember not to price too high otherwise you will be taking that trip to the thrift store after all.
3. Price Big-Ticket Items
If you have a bunch of big ticket items, the ones that will bring in the most cash, it’s a good idea to price them out with a sign or stickers so during a rush you wont have quite as many people all yelling in your direction asking about prices. The dollar store is the best place to find those colorful price stickers for super cheap. If some one is interested in the item they will always approach you with their offer, then let the bartering commence.
4. Start With Petty Cash
Believe it or not people will actually try to by your fifty cent item with a $20 bill minutes after you open, so it’s always best to start off with $20-$30 in small bills, like $1’s and $5’s so you have plenty of change. There is nothing worse than having to miss a sale or drop your price because you don’t have enough change.
Hard core garage salers know to look for the best sales online the day before. If you want to draw a crowd before the day even gets started then consider posting an ad online. Craigslist is always a fantastic option, but there are also garage sale and yard sale sites like this one where you advertise your sale for free.
6. Prepare Before
Preparation is key! Garage sales start early, too early. You want to be set up and ready to go by 7:00 am. Yup, you read that right. The easiest way to make the morning as smooth and as painless as possible is to organize all your items by category the day before. I like to have everything laid out on blankets so I can just drag them into the driveway, but if you don’t have space to do this at least have everything organized so all your have to do is set it out on the morning of. I would also like to state that a coffee and donut run are an absolute essential to properly gearing up for a busy sale.
7. The Bigger The Better
I find when I take time to collect a decent amount of stuff, the more successful my sale is. You’ll see a ton of drive by-ers who scope out your sale before they decide its worth getting out of the car to look around. If the sale is too small a lot of people wont take the time to stop, even though you could have some top notch deals to be had. If you don’t have enough stuff on your own then call up a few girlfriends and see if you can get group sale going on.
8. Don’t Do It Alone
Garage sales are a lot of work, and I honestly think its too much for one person to do by themselves. Sometimes you will have a rush of people with prices inquiries and a whole bunch of other people wanting to buy their items all at the same time. Enlist some family members or friends to help out, if they don’t have items of their own to sell most will probably accept payment in the form of coffee and donuts.