Garage Sale Success in 6 Easy Steps

Jul 24, 2017
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Now that the warm, sunny weather is in full-swing, one of the cardinal signs of summer is the ubiquitous sight of garage sale ads. A potential garage sale is a great opportunity to go through things you’ve kept in storage year-long, so you can clear out your basement, attic, or storage unit, making more room for stuff you want to keep. It gives you the chance to make extra spending cash while paring down your possessions. Heck, you know the old saying: “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure”!

If you’re a newbie to the garage sale scene, this process might seem a bit taxing at first. You’re probably wondering things like where to start, or what you should do to make your event successful. So, to help guide you on the road to garage-sale good fortune, we’ve put together a checklist of 6 essential things you can do to bring off an awesome garage sale!

1. Encourage your friends and family to be involved

If you can get others participate, it not only brings more value to your event, it makes it easier to manage. Here’s why:

  • The more people you can involve, the more items there are to sell
  • You’ll have extra help with flyer distribution and event set-up
  • Someone else is available to cover for you when you need a break
  • Extra sets of eyes can help manage crowd control – kids, pets, potential thieves
  • Friends and family could run co-sales of refreshments and treats at the event throughout the day

2. Prepare ahead

Most things don’t work out well when you leave them to the last minute, so here are some tasks you should do beforehand:

  • Spread the word of your upcoming sale as much as possible
  • Get the signs and fliers up for your garage sale at least one week in advance
  • Pick an alternate rain date and post it up, too, just in case,
  • Finish all your item tagging and organizing the night before

3. Post good signage and advertising

Make sure people know precisely when and where your sale is, and how to get there:

  • Create signs that are highly visible and actually readable from a passing car
  • Take advantage of Craigslist and other free publicity sites
  • Leverage social media a week or two in advance
  • Use good photos and catchy titles in your posts to attract interest

4. Take your merchandising seriously

From your visitor’s perspective, sloppy or haphazard organization can be off-putting. So think of your garage sale as a store:

  • Make sure your items are clean and fully presentable
  • Use tables and shelving to arrange attractive displays (no jumbled piles or boxes)
  • Create accurate item labels and descriptions
  • Hang clothing on hangers and organize it by size
  • Items that you must sell “as-is” should be labelled as such

5. Set appropriate prices

People love a good bargain! When choosing your item pricing, try to be both realistic and customer-friendly:

  • Aim towards selling items for 10% – 50% less than what you paid originally, or depending on current market value
  • Use enticing deals like BOGO or discounts for multiple items
  • Make sure all your items are clearly and accurately tagged with price displayed
  • Use whole dollars for easier sale in case you or your visitors don’t have a lot of small change
  • Start slashing prices near the end of the day to move more items
  • Set up a “free” box for items you just want to get rid of

6. Be mindful of crowd control

You’ll have to keep an eye on things, and you never know how many people will show up. Here’s a few tips to make your garage sale safe for you and your visitors:

  • Carry cash in a money belt so it’s portable (no cash box to watch over)
  • Make sure to keep access to your home restricted to people you know well and trust
  • Keep your phone charged and handy in case you or your visitors need outside assistance
  • Create a sheltered or shady area with plenty of free water available, especially in a heat wave

To add to these pointers, you could always shop the competition. Check out some garage sales near you, and take notes of what you think works and what doesn’t. This way, you’ll get the opportunity to conceptualize how you’d like to plan your own sale.

Now, you’ve got all the basic readiness and know-how to pull off a fantastic garage sale! You’ll be able to eliminate some household clutter, and mingle more with your neighbours – and better yet, have some fun while doing it, too!

Related posts:

How to Hold a DIY Estate Sale

Staging Your Home For Sale