There is more to hosting a successful garage sale than simply tossing your old stuff on the lawn. To see that your next one is profitable, here’s a simple guide to follow:
Planning your Garage Sale
First, you’ll need a stockpile of stuff. You can collect things relatively quickly by spending a weekend de-cluttering your closets, toy boxes and garage shelves a few weeks prior to the sale. Or you can just keep a box set aside to fill throughout the year with potential garage sale items.
Next, choose when to host your sale. Try to have the sale on a weekend when the weather is mild, such as late Spring or early Autumn, for example. Schedule it early in the day before the weather gets hot or guests get tired.
Finally, advertise by placing a classified ad online a day or two before the sale. Remember to create a descriptive post listing all big-ticket items, so that people searching for specific items that you will be selling will find your ad.
Preparing for your Garage Sale
One Week Before
- Sort everything into piles
- Decide (reasonable) prices
- Label items
- Color-code them if profits are to be split
- Make sure there are enough tables and clothing racks to display everything prominently.
The Night Before
Set up the sale in your garage the night before the sale to help make setup easier the next morning. If this isn’t possible, at least keep items grouped and ready to display to save you some preparation time.
The Day Of
Finally, display signs pointing to your sale. Choose poster board with bright, eye-catching colors and use arrows to point passers-by in the right direction.
Hosting your Garage Sale
Remember the Little Things
Begin by ensuring that you’ve got everything you’ll need, including:
- Plenty of small denominations of money, for change
- A central location for profits
- A comfortable, shady place to wait for the crowd
Be Friendly and Polite
As customers arrive, greet each one with a friendly hello, but give them time to freely look around. Thank them as they leave regardless of whether or not they’ve purchased anything.
Making a Profit
You may also find that some people want to haggle down prices, but don’t feel pressured to do so right away. Giving guests time to ponder the price of a sale will often earn you more money than it would have if you’d taken that first offer.
As the sale winds down and you find yourself with a heap of unsold goodies, start offering “sale” prices. Offering everything for half price or “fill a bag for a dollar.” Donate unsold items or try to sell them online.