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Preparing for a Garage Sale

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A garage sale is a fantastic way to get rid of unused items and make a little extra money. Planning your garage sale well helps ensure it's success. This is a guide about preparing for a garage sale.


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8 found this helpful
August 13, 2007

I have several boxes set up in the garage for our annual garage sale. They are labeled: toys, clothes, housewares, books, and misc. I keep a package of price stickers and a pen handy. Every time I come across something for the garage sale while cleaning, I put the items into the sale boxes and price it right then.

When we are ready for the sale day I simply open the boxes and set things out for display. This has saved me time, energy, and allows me to get everything priced instead of waiting until the last minute. I also have a box for donations. When the garage sale is over, anything that did not sale, goes into the donation box.

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July 28, 20080 found this helpful

Great idea! I am going to use this one for sure. Thanks!

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5 found this helpful
September 1, 2011

Usually Memorial Day and Labor Day are big yard sale days, but I have noticed it depends on your area. Let's be positive and say your area is big on yard sales these days. Labor Day is just around the corner. Saturday will be the day you want to set up and be prepared to make some sales. Sunday and Monday not so much. Start getting ready now.

  1. Put a box in each room. As you run across stuff you think you might want to try and sell, put the item in the box.
  2. Create a yard sale "kit" box: tape, markers pens, card board and poster board (for signs), change (coins and bills), bags (grocery type plastic) and any other knick knack you think might help the sale go smooth.
  3. Pick a place and arrange ahead of time to use it. This is for people who don't have yards or have a yard too far off the beaten path for a successful sale. Ask a friend if you can use their yard or ask permission from a business that may not be open on Saturdays if you can use their parking lot.

    In some areas there are abandoned lots on the side of main roads that have been adopted by people to set up for yard sales on a regular basis. If you plan on going to one of these areas, show up early to get a spot.

  4. Price things while you have time on your hands between now and the sale day. Individually price or plan on a group of things being a dollar (or whatever) each and all placed in a box dedicated to that price.
  5. Find something to sit on and have it handy: lawn chair, sports chair, or stool.
  6. If you are going to do a yard sale with some other people (same family or different), make sure they are aware of the time table. Ask them on different days how they are doing with collecting and pricing stuff. This is a friendly way to remind them and place a passive kick in the pants for some.
  7. If you have big things you want to sell, you can hang a sign up instead of moving the item to be seen. Like if you have a grandfather clock, place a sign out that says "Grandfather Clock for Sale" (or the price). If someone is interested, they will talk to you about it. You can show them the item, or arrange to show it to them at a later time if you are set up away from home.
  8. Be wary of customers who show up in groups that spread out all over the place. Especially if one tries to distract you with a lot of questions about something, but doesn't really seem interested. They may be keeping your attention for others to take things.
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  10. And speaking of taking things, look inside cases and boxes of items people want to buy to make sure they aren't trying to arrange for a freebie or three. If you open a CD case and it has 2 CD's in it, be polite and say, "Oh, that belongs in another case". Or if you open a box and it has several things in it say, "Woops, I forgot to get the rest of this stuff out of the box". You don't offend anyone and you may still get the sale of the original item.
  11. If you are going to another location for your yard sale instead of your home don't forget to pack a lunch, maybe some snacks, and definitely some drinks. This removes the desire to pack up early or leave and get something and come back (even if someone is there to watch your stuff). Your objective is to make money, not spend it.

A yard sale is a lot of work but it can be fun if you plan, prepare, and execute in a timely manner. Good luck :)

By Suntydt from Tazewell, TN

Comment Was this helpful? 5
September 1, 20110 found this helpful

Love your ideas and advice, Suntydt! :-)

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Kelly Ann Butterbaugh3 found this helpful
May 25, 2011

A yard sale with lots of household goods for sale.

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? 3

Every yard sale host hopes for a perfectly sunny, prosperous day. Yet, many end their sales with unsold items and hours spent without meeting sales goals. There are a few strategies that will give sellers the results they expect.


Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
July 14, 2006

Yard Sale Sign

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Whether it's called a yard sale, garage sale, or rummage sale, it's still the same thing - a plethora of good bargains up for grabs to the first customer.



Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
May 12, 2009

I have some clothing I'd like to sell at my yard sale. However, I have no rack, clothesline, or fence to display them on. What can I do or use to display my clothes?

Thanks in advance for the clever advice I'm sure I'll get from all of you!

By Bluesome from Tonawanda, NY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
May 24, 20090 found this helpful

If you do want to buy a rack, they are usually about ten dollars at stores like dollar general, family dollar, or maybe about that at Walmart or Kmart. Just make sure that they are neatly displayed, with the size (perhaps on a sticker, with the sex intended for and price--Girls 4T .50--) that helps. I know I hate looking for sizes on clothes, and sometimes, the sizes on the tags do fade away. or you could bundle by gender, age, pants, shirts. Tarps, tables, etc, are also good ideas.

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May 29, 20090 found this helpful

How about using a Beach umbrella and hanging the hangars from the ribs? You can use an old coat rack. If you have any of the wire type of shelving you can put folded clothing on the shelves and then hang some of the clothing on the corners. Perhaps you have a tall bookshelf that you could use the same way.

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June 5, 20090 found this helpful

I personally think people are more opt to buy if they are displayed nicely hung up some how. They'll sell faster to if they are not wrinkled and clean.

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June 11, 20090 found this helpful

I put eye hooks into the underside of the carport, tied a rope to one hook and put a pipe onto the rope, then tied the other end of the rope to the other eye hook. Your pipe can even be a little longer than the space between the hooks. I had a piece of fence rail as my pipe, but you can use any pipe since the hangers will be what's touching it.

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July 31, 20090 found this helpful

You can go to the family dollar and buy a clothes line and tie it between 2 trees then hang clothes on it. After your yard sale, it's easy to take down, and store till the next time you have a yard sale.

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January 7, 20140 found this helpful

I have the exact same problem. I'm having a yard sale in a few days as well and don't know what to do!

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May 1, 20160 found this helpful

Stretch PVC pipe between 2 ladders

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1 found this helpful
June 8, 2010

I am going to be taking part in a community yard sale that is going to be held in a church parking lot. Should I make my own signs? What can I do to make my booth stand out from the others?

By Karaoke Mama

Answer Was this helpful? 1
June 13, 20100 found this helpful

Make a sign that says: Great prices and deals.

Make a freebie box with a smaller sign near it that says if you buy one item, you get to choose something from the 'freebie' box.

Be sure to replenish it every hour with more freebie items. Also, towards the end of the day, start packing up things you cannot part with away or segregate it from things you are willing to part with cheaply.

Start telling people that they can fill up a bag for x amount of dollars. More people will flock to your table, maybe purchasing the items that you segregated as well, smile.

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June 14, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you! These are great ideas. I am going to use them. You Rock!

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July 5, 20101 found this helpful

Over the last 20 years we've had nearly 60 yard sales including huge benefit charity sales. In my experience in order of importance:

1. Signs (large and legible) any any other available free advertising.

2. Clean items in good repair (a bit of touch up paint or glue can make the sale) well displayed (avoid putting items on the ground or leaving in boxes as many people are not able or willing to stoop down or rummage through boxes). Not enough tables? A box of like items (no breakable or sharp items) is okay placed on a chair.

3. Price every item beforehand (I do not overprice as in our area when an item is fairly priced very few people haggle).

4. Have plenty of change, bags, and newspapers (to wrap breakables).

5. Relax - have fun and enjoy yourself. Welcome/greet each visitor. Play some happy music. Wear a silly hat (mine is a Crown complete with fake jewels and printed with "Her Royal Highness Queen of the Yard Sale" and hubbies is a huge wide brimmed Mariachi straw hat).

Have something to give away to all the kiddos (even just a sticker will bring a smile to a small child). When a customer asks me for info on an item I'm not familiar with I'll cup my hands around my mouth and call out to my husband "attention, attention...associate to electronics" (or hardware/automotive, etc.) We have repeat customers at all our sales and I often see folks when I'm out and about who stop me and tell me they just cant wait, when is the next sale?

Hope you have a great sale, it's hard work but can be profitable and great fun at the same time.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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