HI, I am getting ready to have my first garage sale in the middle of next month. Anyone have any tips to make it a success? I have a bunch of reasonably good stuff that I would like to turn into some cash to help fund some camping trips we want to go on this summer.
Thanks in advance, Anne.
Have your sale the first week of the month. That is when Social Security and Pension and Welfare checks are received. Weekends are best. Mark everything . Have someone help you with customers. have plenty of change. One time my first customer had a $20.00 bill. Keep better items close by, there are even shoplifters at garage sales.
Here are a few articles from our archive on this subject:
Gearing Up for Garage Sales
By Fisher Swanson and Susan Sanders-Kinzel
Thinking about going to or having a garage sale? Here's step by step instructions for buying or selling.
Garage or Yard Sale Tips
By Fisher Swanson and Susan Sanders-Kinzel
Spring is the time when we all start thinking about Garage or Yard Sales again. It is a good way to make some extra money and get rid of extra items. Garage Sales can be fun but are time consuming and can be hard work. Good planning can help you have a successful sale.
Selling Used Furniture
By Gary Foreman
We're helping Dad to clean out his home and we need help to price 3 rooms of Danish modern furniture for sale: vintage 1962, excellent condition, dining room table with leaf, 4 chairs and large hutch; 2 bedroom sets (1 double bed, nightstand and mirrored dresser and 1 single bed and mirrored dresser--both with bookcase headboards!). We hate to part with this furniture and want it to go to a good home. Can you suggest how we can find out it's worth? Thanks.
Susan & Larry
Profiting from Usable Clothing
If you don't have time for a garage sale, are there any other ways to profit from usable clothing? This could include online sites for selling or any other good ideas.
Garage Sale Success: Tips for Having a Worry-free and Profitable Sale
By Kim Danger
If you're like most Americans, you have lots of stuff. We are a country of consumers. We buy, buy, buy, and most of it ends up in boxes in our closets and basements. Unfortunately, we don't clear out our house as much as we clutter it up. To avoid the pack-rat syndrome, consider having a garage sale. A garage sale is a great way to get rid of unwanted junk, plus make some money. Here are some tips to help make your sale a success:
My Sis & Brother-in-Law held huge annual garage sales. He's quite a character and would play the theme music to the old tv show, 'Bonanza'. When someone would offer a very low price, he'd just reply that they could come back after the sale, bring a beer, and they'd negotiate. Brightly colored signs put up VERY early, easy to read - simple - arrows (like follow the errows) works. Be sure to take them down right away, and donate anything unsold for tax purposes. Don't panic - It's a day-long task, but it can be lots of fun. Beware of people wanting to use your bathroom - you mignt not notice what they are really doing - just a tidbit of info (say your dog won't allow anyone into your home).
If you have never had a yard sale ... visit other yard sales and get an idea of what things normally sell for. You may be surprised!
So many times, people have a feeling they are going to make a killing, I always price my items based on what I would pay at a yard sale! I generally sell most of my items ... I must be doing something right. Remember there are not too many fools around that are going to pay high prices at a yard sale.
WE have been doing yard sales every year since I was a kid. Several times a year we would all pitch together for one sale (aunts, uncles, cousins) and mark our own items with our initials. That can be a hassle at times, but it is still fun.
Find out if you are required to have a license for a sale in your city. Some come with an ad in the newspaper, signs, etc. Also check with your local newspaper if the city does not offer those free items. If you buy an ad they give you free signs. Our newspaper gives you several signs and a few sheets of price stickers with your ad.
Make signs large enough to read, but not so large it impairs traffic from seeing around them. Make your print large enough that it can be seen or followed from a car following your signs. ALWAYS be sure to take your signs down. In our town they fine you for not taking them down.
Price your items to sell. You will rarely get out of them what you paid. I have watched that new show, "Clean Sweep" and have learned a lot. Antique, vintage, expensive items, etc. can usually be priced by looking up similar items on ebay and go off of that. Maybe even print it off to tape on or near your item so that buyers can see that this item is going for that price on ebay. You can always say, "Hey if I dont sell it here I can put it on ebay".
If you have your sale posted as starting at 8 a.m., you are guaranteed to have "professional yard salers" waiting at 7 to watch you set up. Some will ask to shop. It is up to you, but be prepared.
Have lot's of change, but don't keep it all in your change box. Keep a lot of it inside your door in an inconspicuous place that you can get to easily without having to take your eyes off of your sale.
If you have small toys like the McDonalds toys or toy sets that go together, invest in gallon or sandwich ziplocks. You can get the store brands very cheap. I place items in the bag and seal the bag with clear tape. This prevents them from being opened and lost. Put a price on each bag.
Clothing is the worst to have to price, but if you have prices from 10 cents to $5 they could get mixed up. I have gone to sales where they used color dots to mark the items and then you had to track down their price scale as to which dot went to what price. Some use boxes and mark each box, but it is so hard to go through and find things without dumping it all out and more expensive items can get mixed in with less expensive ones. And this myth that you can stack them on a table and they stay there neatly is a true myth. ha ha You are going to have people like the tazmanian devil come in there and unfold every item and set it aside to look at the next and not put it back. If you are able to use a clothing rack, a closet rod from your closet in your house hung by wire or string, etc. Or if you have a yard with a chain link fence you can hang them there. If you hang the clothes I would reccomend getting wire hangers. People will fight you for yours at your sale. One or two isn't a bid deal, but it adds up if you keep letting them go. You can buy metal hangers at most secondhand stores. They rarely use them any more and will bundle them and sell the bundles for 25 cents or so.
For clothing you can use a quilters gun and cut your own pricetags from posterboard. This prevents stickers from falling off or being switched. You can also use a stapler and staple the tags into the tag on the back of the item if it is a material that could be ruined by stapling it.
If you don't have enough tables, use boxes turned upside down or lay down a plastic tarp, tablecloth or sheet to lay items on. For some it is hard to bend down and look, but for others it is nice they don't have to worry about knocking things over.
If you have items that you no longer want that don't sell at the sale, you can call Salvation Army, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, etc. and they can come pick those up from you. Sometimes you can call them ahead of time and set up a pick-up time for the evening after your sale or the following morning. They do this for free as you are donating to their organization.
If you have sets of items, you may want to find large clear trash bags or tape them together so that they do not get separated or pieces lost. The downside to tape is that the sun melts the sticky stuff onto it.
If you have larger items that others can't see, like furniture, tires, etc. Make a big poster or two and post them near where you sit with your money box or in an area where it is seen well. I have seen sales have an easel or childs chalkboard stand at the end of their driveway right in the center so that you saw it right off the bat. This kept cars from trying to block the driveway as well. Be sure that if you are using furniture like tables or coffee tables or your easel for the sign, to place tape on it saying "NOT FOR SALE".
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