Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tips on How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

A few weeks ago we had our annual Garage Sale and it went pretty well! Hallelujah! If you've ever had a Garage Sale then you are well aware that they are no joke.  However, if you follow a few simple tips and tricks it can definitely help alleviate some of the stress.

Now usually we rent the tables we need for the Garage Sale from MWR/Outdoor Rec but due to the new furlough days the fee to rent tables (that we only needed for 2 days but would have been charged for 4 days) would have cost the same as down right purchasing brand new tables. So that's exactly what we did.  We figure since we usually have one garage sale a year it was probably time to invest in a couple of tables, that way we can use them again and again.  Luckily, we were able to purchase 2 new tables for around $50 (total).  Not too shabby.

So here are a few helpful tips we've learned along the way.



Plan and organize ahead of time.  We have a storage area in our basement where all year long we stash the items we plan to sell at our next garage sale.  The week before our actual sale we bring everything upstairs and sort through all the items.  This is also a great time to start pricing them. Many places (like Lowe's) sell yard sale kits complete with price stickers for uber cheap. Pricing items the week before definitely helps save time, especially the day of.

Have plenty of tables.  If you already own a few fold up tables great! If not find out where you can rent some, borrow from friends, or hit up Craigslist.

Advertise up to a week before.  I placed an ad on Craigslist one week out, 3 days before, then the day before our garage sale.  I'd also recommend adding cross streets to the ad as well as the major items you plan on selling.  There are a plethora of garage sale sites out there that you can advertise on but I like Craigslist because it's free! I'd also recommend making some fliers.  We made a few (our address is whited-out on the photo below for privacy purposes) and posted them on the mailboxes on our street.  Just be sure to remove the fliers once the garage sale is over.



Have plenty of cash on hand to make change.  It never fails, the first buyer we usually get is someone who buys something for $1 but hands us a $20.  Anywhere from $30-$75 in cash is usually plenty.  Just be sure to have lots of ones and fives on hand.  I'd also recommend keeping the cash on you (perhaps in an apron) or in a lock box.

Post bold and easy to read signs.  We placed 2 signs complete with arrows out on the street the night before our garage sale.  But first, be sure to check that you are able to advertise in your area.  I know some places don't allow advertisements, which unfortunately includes signs for yard sales. 

Start setting up the night before.  This step is crucial! We try our best to set up as much as possible the night before.  Of course we still have to get up extra early to place certain items out in the driveway but anything that we plan on keeping in the garage we set up and organize the night before.  It saves us SO much time in the morning and earns me a couple more minutes of sleep.  Yay!


Have plenty of help.  Another crucial step the day of.  My husband and kids are big helpers the day of the event.  Garage sales can get pretty busy, especially early in the morning. Having a few extra hands to help as well as answer any questions people may have is a life saver.

Don't be afraid to let the kids join in.  Our kids always set up a lemonade stand and they have such a blast selling lemonade.  I love that they are out where I can see them and they love that they are earning money.  It's a win-win.

Label items clearly.  A lot of people don't want to ask how much an item is and labeling every single little item can get tedious.  So we like to place clothing items in baskets and then label the basket with the clothing size and price.



It's okay to negotiate.  Even though I think we price the items we plan to sell at a pretty reasonable price we're always prepared to negotiate.  Our main objective during the sale is to get rid of as much as possible.  If we make money from it that's awesome, but we're more concerned about finding that stuff a new home (so it isn't stuck in ours). We made $200 from our last garage sale and considering we weren't selling any large items (like furniture or TVs) I'd say that's pretty good!

Be sure to include 'guy' stuff.  Holy moly! Anytime we sell "guy-oriented' stuff it sells like hot cakes! Actually it's the first stuff we end up completely getting rid of.  Sometimes kids clothes, toys, or home décor items are left behind after the sale but anything my husband has for sale is usually gone within the first 2 hours! So don't underestimate things like old video games, sports paraphernalia, hunting and fishing equipment, etc. People will buy them!

Here's how things were looking after about 60% of our stuff had been sold. 



Donate the rest.  We don't want any of that stuff making it's way back into our basement so whatever doesn't sell we pack it up and donate it to Goodwill.  Sure it's extra work to add on to an already busy day but it feels so good once it's all said and done to come home to a clutter free home.



Well folks, those are some of my best tips for hosting a rockin' garage sale.  What are yours?  Do you have a funny garage sale store?  Feel free to share!

1 comment:

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