How to Throw a Successful Garage Sale
Throwing a yard sale is one of the most American ways to get rid of your old junk, but it takes a lot of effort and isn’t always successful. Here are eight tips to throw a successful garage sale.
1. Start Planning
Getting your ducks in a row is the first step to throwing a successful garage sale. Figure out what items you want to sell and make sure a yard sale is going to be worth your effort. If you only have a few items, you might be better off taking them to a pawn shop or selling them online.
Ask your friends and neighbors if they would like to participate. The more families, the more products, the larger crowds and the more money you will all make. Working together also means you will have other people to help you with the planning and execution of your yard sale.
If you’re throwing a large, multi-family yard sale, it might be worth it to find another location than your house. You can look at your local churches or schools, or alongside major roads.
3. Get Ready
Besides all of the items you’re trying to sell, you still need some additional equipment, like tables, bins and boxes, clothing racks, price tags, etc. You may want to setup a cashier’s table to check people out efficiently. You will also need small bills and coins to make change. Start saving those grocery bags to make shopping easier for your guests.
Think about how to organize all of your items for an easy shopping experience. Invest in some blank cards to label different sections of your garage sale.
There is a really neat company called Square that processes credit card transactions through an iPhone, iPad or Android phone. They will even mail you a free credit card reader for your phone, or you can manually enter credit card information. This is becoming more of a necessity these days with less people carrying cash.
The few days leading up to your garage sale is the time to price every item. If you’re throwing a multi-family yard sale, get together and find out the best way to price everyone’s things. Depending on your area and the type of item, your price may be $0.25 or $100. You can browse local thrift stores for similar items and see how much they’re charging.
Most people who frequent yard sales like to haggle, so keep that in mind when setting your prices. If you set your price a couple dollars over what you want, you can come down in price with a haggler.
Of course you will want to advertise your garage sale to get the biggest crowd. Start with signs around the neighborhood and along major roads. The best signs are easy to read with a clear point. You don’t need a bright pink sign with glitter lettering; a white sign with bold, black wording will do the trick.
You can also advertise for free on Craigslist or on garage sale websites like Yard Sale Treasure Map.
If you are hosting a multi-family yard sale, make sure to include that info on the ad so people will know. It’s also a good idea to include large ticket items and directions to the sale.
6. Setup Early
You want to set up everything early, before everyone arrives. Start at least an hour before your advertised opening. Try to do as much as you can the night before, like organizing items into bins. Hopefully you’ve already set your prices and just need to put everything on your lawn or in your garage.
Once your garage sale starts, make sure you have enough people to work the sale. You want to be sure you can handle a large crowd and keep things from disappearing. Having enough people will also give you time for a break, which you will probably need halfway through.
Now that your yard sale is over and you’ve made some extra money while unloading your old stuff, it’s time for cleanup. Break down tables, donate leftover items to charity and remember to take down any signs around the neighborhood.