Follow these garage sale tips to help you have a successful sale! I will show you how to have a garage sale that makes money with less work.
Garage Sale Tips:
Plan Your Sale:
Keep a list. When you write the advertisements for your sale, it’s always a good idea to mention specific items that you will have for sale, and, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to remember what you have unless you’ve written it down.
Choose a date, and invite others to join you. If your neighborhood hosts a neighborhood garage sale, picking a date may be as simple as writing the date of that sale on the calendar. If there is no community sale in your area, invite neighbors, friends and family members to join you. Multi-family sales draw bigger crowds. Don’t host your sale on a holiday weekend when many people are likely to be out of town or otherwise preoccupied.
Set a goal. Is your primary goal to get rid of stuff or to make money? If you aim to get rid of stuff, keeping your goal in mind will help you let go of items you may think are worth more than the price a buyer is offering. Of all the garage sale tips, I think this tip is the most important!
Prepare Your Items:
Repair and clean items thoroughly. If you want maximum dollar for your items, they need to be clean. Even if it’s high-quality, a highchair with crusty food splattered all over it is going to fetch a much lower price than a clean one. A little glue or a screw holding together a formerly wobbly chair is also going to go along way in attracting a buyer. You can skip these garage sale tips on cleaing your items if you’re short on time, but price your items accordingly.
Hang as many clothes as you can. Dress clothes, coats and costumes should get top priority when it comes to hanging space, but many people would prefer to look through hanging clothes rather than those stacked on tables or sorted into bins, so hang as many items as you can.
Use tape, pins and bags to keep like items together. Use safety pins to keep two- or three-piece sets together and plastic storage bags for bagging up sets of socks, tights or other small clothing items. Use tape or a plastic bag to keep toys with several parts or a set of place mats together.
Price items as you go. Pricing items can seem to take longer than actually hosting the garage sale, so rather than do all the pricing at once, I price items as I collect them throughout the year.
Price everything. Some people like to use a basic price chart such as $0.50 or $1.00 per clothing item, and others prefer to price every item individually. The basic price chart would work especially well if you are hosting a multi-family sale so that there is not a wide variety in pricing on like items. Color-coded prices where shoppers have to match up pink stickers with the advertised price of $0.75 will cause some people to walk away without making a purchase. However, color-coded pricing is better than no prices at all. Many people will leave without buying anything rather than ask the price of an unmarked item. You’ll save time by not pricing your items, but you’ll also lose quite a few potential customers.
Price low. Even if you goal is to make a certain amount of money, you’ll earn more if you price your items to go rather than trying to earn top dollar. Consider listing items on eBay or Craigslist that you are not prepared to sell for cheap. The best way to get an idea of fair garage sale prices is to go to several sales in your area before hosting your own. Another rule of thumb is to price items in good condition at a third of what they cost new, but many items at garage sales sell for far less than that.
List your sale on Craigslist. Writing up a Craigslist ad is a free and an effective way to get the word out. You can post up to four photos with your Craigslist ad as well. We advertise the sale on Craigslist early in the week and then update the ad the day before the sale.
Include all relevant information in your ad. Make sure to list the date and times of the sale and your address. If you have the space in your newspaper ad, consider adding the major cross streets near your sale or complete driving directions. Craigslist doesn’t limit the size of the ad so include as much information as possible to make it easy for customers to find your sale. Also, list as many items as space allows, and be as specific as possible. For example, stating that you’re selling a croquet set and baseball bats rather than “sports equipment” will draw more potential customers. If you are selling clothing, list the gender, sizes and brand names. Make sure to include furniture, baby equipment, toys and large items in your list.
Make attractive signs. Choose a bright color for your sign and draw a large arrow to point the way. Keep the wording simple and large. Our signs always read “Huge Multi-family Sale” and include a large, black arrow and the address written in smaller letters underneath it.
Use flags or balloons to draw attention to your sale. We always place a large sign in the front yard to confirm that we are having a sale and not just cleaning out the garage.
Put larger items closest to the road, and line the driveway with any furniture or colorful baby equipment you have for sale. Some people driving by will stop to look at one particular item that caught their eye and may end up buying more.
Group similar items together. Kitchen utensils should be placed near bowls, plates and table linens. Display all toys in the same area.
People want to know they are buying a functional item, so provide an outlet or extension cord for customers to test electronics or appliances. Keep batteries handy for testing battery-powered toys. If you have the owner’s manual for an item you’re selling, make sure to keep it handy.
Avoid putting small items on the floor or ground. We create extra tables by stacking two towers of Tupperware boxes, placing a plywood board on top of them and covering them with a sheet. We like to take the work out of looking through our items by as many as possible at an easy to reach level. As items are removed throughout the sale, I rearrange to fill in the gaps.
Use these garage sale tips to help you make tons of money! Preparing for a sale takes a lot of time, but the better prepared you are, the more likely a buyer is going to find an item he or she wants, and the more money you are likely to make.
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