Garage Sale Survival Tips

Deborah Shelton

Here are garage sale tips shared by the ThriftyFun community.

September 14, 20040 found this helpful

Great advice!

I'm having my very first garage sale this weekend, and I'm planning on trying a few of these tips.

Thanks a lot!

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November 26, 20040 found this helpful

thanks for the tips


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March 17, 20060 found this helpful

Remember there are garage sale prices. I have been to garage sales where I wondered if the people really wanted to SELL their stuff, because everything was priced ridiculously high. (And it didn't move, of course.) People go to garage sales for deals. Also, I don't like to price things, because it give you more lee way to haggle. This is especially good at the end of the day when you just want to get RID of everything. (Also a good time to snap up bargains, if you are on the buyer side. I had a woman tell me to take away an oak cabinet for free, because she just didn't want to deal with it after the sale!) I don't know about nickel and dime pricing things - because around here if you do you can sell a lot of little stuff...

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June 9, 20090 found this helpful

I do price things for a quarter, and sometimes a dime. When I had kids, I used to let them buy stuff, and the quarter items were just the thing. They often wanted to get something at every sale, and so cute mugs, little toys, small ornaments priced at 25 cents were just in their price range. You can then offer them at group deals of 5 for $1 (or 6 or 7), and then people will spend more, and take more!- because they are getting a deal.

The "whole box for $2 " is good too, especially near the end of the sale, but do be ready to sell just one thing out of the box, if that is what people want. I have often NOT bought a small item because I felt that I was going to be forced to carry off a whole box of stuff that I didn't want.

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June 9, 20090 found this helpful

Can I just add something that I don't think people really think about. I'm an avid yard/garage saler. I am out there every weekend looking for bargains and have been inside many garages, porches, basements...etc. One thing that puts me right off a sale is a stinky garage/basement or stinky clothing. I don't think people who are having the sale take notice to the odors around them and their things.

I entered a garage a few weekends ago and had to quickly exit as the entire garage smelled of dog urine. It was strong and uncomfortable to be in. I noticed others entering and leaving quickly too. So I wasn't the only one. This wasn't the first time. I've been in musty moldy basement sales too. It's very off putting and I often will not purchase anything from these sales for fear the smell may be absorbed into the items.

Clothing is often stored in boxes and trash bags leaving them smell strange too. I once got $10.00 worth of infant clothing home only to have to throw it all away due to a strange smell that wouldn't wash out, obviously from the container they were stored in.

So if your planning a sale, take notice of any foul smells your garage may have. Sniff your stored clothing too, don't just check for stains, check for odors as well.

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June 13, 20090 found this helpful

RUDE PEOPLE: Several years back we were moving to a much smaller home & had to sell everything we owned so we had 3 HUGE garage sales to do this. We lived in a middle to upper-middle class neighborhood & what surprised me the most were the totally rude people. Be careful not to get bullied by people like these. For example, I was selling a ruby-type glass tumbler & this gal asked me if I had another one, so I said I'd go & have a look. Well, unbeknownst to me she followed me into my house & into the kitchen & started going through my cupboards! I had the hardest time getting her to leave because she all of a sudden pretended to not speak very good English.

Another rude behavior was people getting mad & angry about prices (I'm an avid garage-saler & thrift-shopper so I know how to price...very low!). Some of my finer pieces of furniture were marked at $20 - $30 & even though they were marked people would get downright angry that I wouldn't sell them for five dollars. Just keep a happy attitude & realize that most people are super-friendly & wonderful. Just keep smiling!

Lastly, mark things up a tiny bit. People expect to haggle. If you want $1 for something then ask $1.50, if you want $20 for something then ask $25. If you want a dime for something then ask for a quarter (I disagree with #4, people love to buy things for a quarter!). Also have a box marked "FREE" for some of the things you just want to get rid off. You may add to it towards the end of the sale.

If you run an ad in your local paper or on Craig's List make sure you post "No sales before 9:AM (or whatever) or you'll have the early birds knocking on your door before you're ready. Usually these early birds are people who make their livings re-selling good deals they find.

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July 23, 20090 found this helpful

Also try grouping like priced things on one table and putting a sign that says "All books $1" instead of marking each one, will help reduce your energy.

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