It’s peak “Garage Sale season” right now! Not only is it the perfect time to go out and hunt down the deals, but it’s also the perfect time to put on your own sale and make a few extra bucks with all of the things you no longer need, want, or use! Here are a few tips on how to have a successful garage sale!
Check to see if there are any restrictions your neighborhood regarding garage sales. Some places require a permit, others have regulations on signs and where you can advertise.
Advertise your Garage Sale on craigslist for free. Your town may even have its own website with free online classifieds, so check those out too. Advertising in your local paper, depending on cost, may be worth it as well. Having a subdivision sale instead of a solo garage sale is a good idea, too, because you can split the advertising costs and more people will be interested in stopping by with more sales to choose from. Whenever I am gearing up for a garage sale, I always ask the neighbors if they have anything they’d like to contribute or if they would like to have their sale on the same day to help with foot traffic.
Place ads up on bulletin boards in local grocery stores, the community center in your town, Laundry-mats, etc. Create an event on Facebook and ask friends and neighbors to spread the word for you.
To make signs, use brightly colored posterboard or thick cardboard and black permanent markers. Avoid making signs too wordy. A simple sign will have “GARAGE SALE” and then the date and address, and perhaps an arrow. Use the same color so potential customers know they’re following your signs. Other signs should have arrows to keep folks on track. If you have sales frequently, consider ordering signs online with wording that would make them easy to reuse.
Drive past your signs to make sure they are easy to read from the road. Take the signs down as soon as your sale is over.
You’ll need plastic grocery bags, scissors, tape, price tags, and change. You may think you have enough change, but you probably don’t! If you’re the first Garage Sale of the morning you will most likely be greeted with lots of $20 bills. So be sure you get even more change than you think you will need. Keep it simple by pricing things at even amounts like $.25, $.50, $1, etc.
Items that sell well
Any clothes, really (organize and display them nicely)
Books (separate children and adult books)
Candles, picture frames, knick knacks, odds and ends
Collectibles (baseball cards, toy sets, etc)
Food items, bottled water, soda (keep them in a cooler) – this would be a great opportunity for the kids to have a lemonade stand!
The week before the sale
Make sure your grass is cut. Figure out where everyone will park. Be sure the signs are all ready to go.
Night before the sale
Hang your signs if they aren’t out already. Make sure you have the change you need, as well as the food, water, and everything you’re going to sell ready to go.
During the sale
If you aren’t interested in dealing with hagglers, make sure you have signs up letting them know that all of your prices are FIRM. But realize this may deter some customers, and you may end up with some things left over at the end of the day that you really don’t want to haul back inside. Personally, I don’t mind moving around on my prices and know the satisfying feeling of scoring a great deal when the seller goes down on the price by even a quarter!
Keep your tables looking nice by filling the empty spots on your tables as things get sold.
Make sure you guard your money. Keep it on you at all times. You can never be too careful.
Don’t accept checks! This is a common scam and will cost you lots of money when/if the check bounces. Better safe than sorry!
When someone hands you money, keep it out until you’re done counting their change, so they can’t say they handed you a $20 when it was really a $10.