How to Have a Successful Garage Sale
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We made a nice chunk of change at our recent garage sale!
In fact, we made almost $2,000!
A garage sale is a great way to fund your moving expenses, make extra cash fast, or save your first $1,000 for your starter emergency fund.
My husband and I are doing Dave Ramsey’s baby steps to get out of debt fast.
We are downsizing to save about $1200/month in rent, and because we are moving to a MUCH smaller space, we have A LOT of stuff to sell!
A garage sale is tons of work, so you want it to be worth all of your effort.
There are several things that you can do to ensure garage sale success, and make top dollar for your used items.
Here are my best garage sale ideas and tips to make the most money!
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Pick the best day.
You can’t control the weather, but there are a few guidelines to follow to make sure you pick a great day for your garage sale.
- Avoid big holiday weekends. There are definitely some hard core people that will still be out, but try to find a weekend when you’re not competing with other large events in your area.
- Aim for the beginning or middle of the month, when people are more likely to get paid. They will be ready to shop with those fresh paychecks!
- Decide if you should have your garage sale for one day, or all weekend long. We had our sale on a Saturday, and then opened it up again the following Saturday and made an extra $200 on “leftover” items.
Also, make sure you check with your city to see if you need a permit.
Minimize Expenses to Maximize Profits.
The goal is to make a lot of money, so you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on supplies.
- Borrow as many tables as possible to display your items.
- Recycle garage sale signs from previous sales that your neighbors may have left behind.
- Grab brightly colored “for sale” stickers and pricing stickers from the Dollar Tree for just $1.
Start pricing and organizing your garage sale items weeks in advance.
We started gathering items and placing them out in the garage almost one month ahead of time.
- One week before the sale, take some time every night to go outside and price your items.
- On the day of your garage sale, get up early! The “early birds” will be there ready and waiting. We thought 6 AM was plenty of time to get outside and set up, but there were people outside ready to sort through out stuff way before we were prepared!
Eliminate garage sale overwhelm by starting early, and tackling a little bit each day.
Remember Presentation is Everything.
Even though people are there to buy used items, they are still spending their hard earned money.
Make your garage sale presentation appealing so your “trash” looks like another man’s “treasure”.
- Set up tables and areas by categories, so if people are shopping for kitchen items they can find everything that you have quickly. This will also increase the amount of items you can sell!
- Use cheap plastic table cloths to give the sale a pulled together look.
- Organize clothing by size, and place on a table or blanket, or hang them up, so that people don’t have to sift through bins and baskets.
- If you have large items like dressers or other furniture, place them by the curb so that you will attract customers driving by.
- Make sure your items are clearly priced. Some shoppers will feel awkward about asking you, and it also prevents you from having to scramble to think of a price on the spot.
Sell Large Items Online.
When people stop by a garage sale, they are looking for a quick, cheap deal!
If your items don’t sell online, you can always put them in your garage sale later, or even keep trying to sell them online after the sale is over.
Take Advantage of Free Online Advertising.
Make sure you post your garage sale to Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and GSalr.
These are the most popular places to advertise garage sales online, and it’s totally free!
We made a post on Wednesday evening, so we could start getting the word out to the early garage sale planners.
A second post was made on Friday night, and we even made a “last call, everything must go” type post on Facebook Marketplace around noon on the day of the sale. This gave us a big afternoon boost in customers after things started to die down.
Pay Attention to Little Details to Increase Sales.
- Have an extension cord plugged in and ready, so buyers can test appliances and electronics to increase their confidence to purchase.
- Place a bin of bottled waters and sell them for 50 cents. It’s not going to be a huge money maker, but every little bit counts!
- If you’re selling fragile items, offer newspaper and plastic bags to wrap up breakables. People will be more likely to buy dishes and glasses if they know they can transport them home safely.
Don’t Let People Walk Away (Be Motivated to Sell!)
It’s easy to get emotionally attached to items that have been in your house for several years!
Let’s face it, you don’t want to drag all of this stuff back in your house.
Be ready to negotiate, and remember that every dollar adds up quickly!
We sold quite a few items for a dollar here, or 50 cents there, and were shocked at how quickly this adds up!
If people appear interested in an item, go over and give them your best (and lowest) price.
I hope these tips are helpful in planning your garage sale. It’s a lot of work, but if you follow these steps, it can be super profitable, and totally worth the effort.
P.S. Put your garage sale profits to work, by learning to stick to a budget, save money, and pay off debt! Grab my free budgeting printables here.