The toy box is overflowing. The closet is bursting with stuff. Opening a cupboard around here should be done at your own risk.
Yeah. It’s time for me to get ready to have another garage sale.
I adore going to garage sales. The thrill of the hunt, the joy in finding a great deal, and the connections you make with other bargain hunters make it such a fun way to shop.
Holding a garage sale? Well, not so much fun. There’s a lot of work to do to get ready, and if you don’t do a good job, you’ll waste a lot of time and not make any money.
So today I have a few tips for you so that you can make sure your garage sale makes you some money.
5 Things You Need for a Successful Garage Sale
You need to have bright, easy to read, easy to follow signs leading to your garage sale. Make sure to take out a newspaper ad that tells your sale’s date and hours, and be sure to highlight popular items you’re selling like kids’ toys and clothing. Share your garage sale details online on Facebook and Craigslist. Having a great location for a sale is wonderful, but if you don’t advertise the hours of your sale and how to get there, it will be a long afternoon of sitting with your stuff.
Stuff people want.
You know the saying – One man’s junk is another man’s treasure? Well, if you have junk, sometimes, it’s just junk. Determine what to sell at your garage sale – kids’ items, furniture, kitchen items, and holiday decor always seem to do well for me – and you will finish the day with less clutter and more money.
People come to garage sales to get a bargain. They want a good deal. You want to get rid of stuff. So price that stuff to sell! Don’t worry about how much money you have sunk into the item. If you’re not using it and it’s just taking up space, give it a fabulous price and get it out of the house for good. A good rule of thumb is to mark things at 10 to 20 % of what you paid for them. So if I have a quality kids toy in great shape that retails for $10, I would put $1 on it as the price. Kids clothes take up a lot of space, so I may let them go for anywhere from 25 cents to $1 an item depending on the size and condition.
Make sure to price everything in a way that is clear to potential buyers, and be willing to negotiate. Sometimes dropping the price a little bit is better than storing the item in your garage for another year.
Think of your garage sale as a retail store. You want to get customers into your sale and you want them to stay long enough to find lots of items to buy. Place big ticket items that always sell (like furniture and bikes) toward the front of your sale to attract customers. Then make sure to lure them in with clearly defined sections (clothing, books, toys, tools, etc). Make it easy for people to find the items they’re looking to buy.
A friendly attitude goes a long way in selling your stuff at a garage sale. Smile and make small talk. Ask if you can help them find something. Tell them about other sales that are in the neighborhood. Win your customers over with a winning attitude and they’ll remember you the next time you host a sale.
These five things will help ensure that you get rid of the clutter in your life and make a little money while you’re doing it. And if all goes well, you might even have fun at your garage sale. Now that’s what I call success!
Garage sales can be good teaching opportunities, too. I remember when I was a kid and we held a garage sale…if I wanted to ‘help,’ my mom sometimes set me up with a pitcher of lemonade and a plate of homemade cookies to sell. Even if people don’t want to buy any of your stuff, they might work up a thirst or hunger whilst driving around on a warm day. :)
Christina @ Northern Cheapskate says
Yes! My boys were a bit young for that last year, but they’re almost ready to start thinking about a little side job of their own at the family garage sale. That’s a great idea!