Successful Garage Sale Tips!

Memorial Day Weekend was truly a great time for our sale this year.  I say “this year” like I’ve done them before, but in reality, this was my first attempt at having a garage sale.  I thought many things went well, but there are numerous reflections I’ve made to help the next (if ever) sale go even better.  This particular weekend, the local schools had finished mid week so by Friday, the kids were all home and teachers were finishing things in their classrooms to close up for the summer.  The weather was dry and delightful, and people were ready for garage sale season!  After our two days, Friday and Saturday from 8-4, our garage sale totals were around $1500!  This did include my Sister-in-law’s bags of shoes, clothes, and miscellaneous items as well as my Mother-in-law’s household items, decor, and some clothing bags.

My husband’s and my “stuff” accounted for about 85% of the items since we had just gotten married, we had the “out with the old, in with the new” mentality- meaning we had a lot of old.  Old kitchen items, old bookcases, old shelves, old mirrors, old artwork, old tables and chairs, old headboards, old outdoor furniture, old luggage, old drapery, and TONS of “old” clothing… you get it.  We had things that would appeal to our neighbors and made sure to promote our top items in our marketing strategies.

Here is a list of things we did that I felt were crucial in our successful sale:

  1. ORGANIZE many days/weeks in advance.  I set up and laid out most of the items in my basement.  I categorized by clothing, kitchen, homegoods, decor, shoes, furniture, etc.
  2. PRICE everything beforehand.  It is a pain, I know, but it makes for your life being so much easier the days of the sale.
  3. GET RID of things that are simply those white “designer” t-shirts with pit stains, ya, who cares who made that shirt, it is gross
  4. MAKE a FREE bin in the front of your driveway to lure the customers.  We wound up putting things in here that I felt odd selling, but someone may be able to use them: example- old socks that he just doesn’t wear anymore.  Perfectly fine socks, but it just seems weird to sell used socks.  They were all gone.
  5. MAKE SIGNS in bright colors and big fonts and hang all around the neighborhood to direct to your sale. Make sure to put a large sign, high (perhaps on a ladder) at the front of your driveway so people know they have arrived.
  6. POST your signs and a few pictures of the big ticket items on a local buy/sell site.  I wasn’t excited to put my address out there for the whole group to see, so I told viewers to look for the pink signs in our neighborhood.
  7. HAVE an awesome sister-in-law go “LIVE” on Facebook and Instagram to show people the inventory.  Our friends LOVED it!
  8. Be sure to color code or WRITE DOWN all the totals for each individual from the sale.  There were three of us, so we wrote down the dollar amount for each person after a sale was made.  This is much, much easier when there are two people working the “register”
  9. MAKE sure to have enough change at the beginning of the day to accommodate a large bill given.  I had $100 broken in to 10s, 5s, 1s, and quarters.
  10. CONTINUE to freshen up the clothing table as it gets picked through and rework the bigger items to invite guests to the sale.
  11. GROUP items by their likeness so people can understand where to look for certain items.
  12. MAKE DEALS by the second half of the second day. Since I was going to be dropping the extras at goodwill anyway, I may as well offer that girl who bought one shirt an extra one or two shirts for good measure.
  13. WATCH out for people trying to switch tags. I truly couldn’t believe it happened, but it did.  I kindly shared that this was inaccurately priced, and it must have fallen off.  Price everything and know your prices.

Now, a few things I learned:

  1. Hang a sign at the beginning about negotiating.  I hated how people were trying to make deals in the first couple hours.  I would not (for next time) allow negotiating during our first day on anything under $100.  This would have saved me some serious headaches.  My sign for next time: Please do not try to negotiate on Friday.  If you do not feel my items are worth their price, take the chance and come back tomorrow to offer a different price.  Thanks! May seem harsh, but after what I experienced, I am fine posting this sign 🙂
  2. Make sure to always have 2 people available at the sale.  My help had to leave at the same time, and naturally that’s when the whole city showed up.
  3. Price everything beforehand that is coming from different sellers.  It will make everyone’s life easier so you aren’t asking or having to call someone to get a price.

That seems to be about it for now! Good Luck to you and your junk!

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