How can you have an epic garage sale? If you’re wondering how you can have the best garage sale ever, we’ve got you covered!
With so much shopping competition these days, including secondhand options, you’ll have to really stand out to have success hosting a garage sale. This just means you need to put in a little prep work in advance, so don’t scrap the idea altogether! With a little organization and creativity, you can make a pretty good profit for half a day’s work while clearing out your garage. Here’s how to have an epic garage sale.
Make your sale easy to find.
Put balloons on your mailbox and brightly colored signs near the street. Depending on the ordinances in your city, you could even tie balloons or brightly colored posters directly to the street sign posts in your neighborhood. Just remember to remove them when the sale is over. You could also post signs leading up to your sale so shoppers know they’re in the right place. Use arrows and big, easy-to-read words.
Get serious (and creative) with your advertising.
When posting those signs, make sure they’re eye-catching. Print out funny pictures or photos of celebrities! You’ll attract traffic that wasn’t even planning to check out garage sales that day. Advertise a giveaway AND a yard sale (but then be sure to actually have an item on hand to give away). Don’t forget to take photos of your displays and share the details of your sale on social media.
Advertise your sale online.
List your garage sale on websites and apps like GarageSaleFinder, Gsalr, and Craigslist. You can also post on social media sites like Nextdoor and Facebook Marketplace, or buy an ad in your local newspaper for the oldies out there. Your town likely has a buy/sell/trade Facebook group, especially for mom-to-mom sales (kids’ stuff). Some people actually go hunting for garage sales on weekends, like treasure hunters! Be sure to include key details like the address, date, and time, a list of some of the items you’ll have for sale, and whether or not you accept credit cards. Shoppers love convenience, so if you take credit cards, make sure you let them know!
The day of the sale, get there early to set up.
Tables, chairs, and extension cords are a must. If you don’t have enough tables, put items in boxes or on the ground. Clothes can be hung on a clothesline or from hangers on a makeshift rack. Be sure to test any electronics you’re selling to make sure they work properly and that you have the right cords for them. Customers will move on quickly if they can’t test something before buying it.
Make change ahead of time.
This will save you a lot of headaches come sale day. Go through your cupboards and dig out all the spare change you can find. You should also hit up the bank for $100 in small bills and coins. This will help you make change for customers without having to constantly stop and count out bills.
Add extra touches.
You (and your shoppers) will get thirsty and hungry throughout the day, so be sure to have plenty of water and easy snacks on hand. This doesn’t mean you need to go all out and stock a full kitchen, but some drinks and quick snacks will help everyone make it through the day.
When it’s cold, having hot cocoa or coffee for sale for 25 cents a cup is a cute touch that often goes over well. Bottled water or soda for sale in a cooler in the summer also works well. This is a great time to add a bake sale table, particularly if you have a child looking to earn some dough. When your child is selling something for a fundraiser (like Girl Scout cookies or chocolate bars), make sure she has a space set up to sell her stuff, too. It’s hard to say no when a shopper has cash on hand and a pile of goodies in plain view.
Think like a boutique.
Make shopping easy for your customers by hanging clothes and sorting them by category and size (kids, menswear, and misses should be separated). Rent, borrow, or build clothing racks, or use a clothes line. Display costume jewelry properly (instead of dumping it into a shoebox in a tangled mess). Use containers to keep similar items together. Everything should be easy to see and clearly labeled. Don’t make your customers dig. Often, cars will drive by and judge the sale on appearance alone. If your driveway looks like a retail store, it will be more appealing. Also, for this reason, put popular, large, big-ticket items toward the end of the driveway.
Price your items to sell.
This is a garage sale, not an antique auction. Shoppers are looking for bargains and are likely to haggle if you’re asking near full price. Everything you put out for sale should be something you are willing to let go for a steal. It’s one less thing you have to haul to the thrift store, and you’re not completely giving it away. Every little bit adds up. Items that are still sitting out for sale in the last two hours of your sale should be reduced to rock bottom prices. I’m talking 25 cents. Let the customers take this stuff off your hands.
Be prepared for hagglers.
Shoppers will try to lowball you, particularly in the last few hours of the sale. They think they can get a better deal because you’re trying to get rid of everything. Have a game plan for how you’ll handle hagglers. You can give them a set price or tell them that your prices are firm. If someone wants to haggle, start by offering a small discount (5-10%) and see if that satisfies them. If not, move on. Don’t waste your time bargaining over something that isn’t worth your time or effort.
Know when to call it quits.
You don’t want to be stuck lugging everything back into your garage, so don’t be afraid to pack up early if you need to. If you have a lot of leftovers, consider donating them to a local charity or thrift store. A yard sale is a great way to declutter and make some extra cash, but it’s not worth hanging onto stuff that you’re never going to use.
This is supposed to be a fun event, so try not to stress too much. Things will probably go wrong, but that’s all part of the experience. Embrace the chaos and enjoy spending some time outside with your community.
By following these tips, you can have a successful garage sale that will clear out some clutter and put a little extra cash in your pocket. Just remember to have fun with it!