how to Plan a Garage Sale: A Comprehensive Guide to a Successful Sale
Do you have a bunch of unused items and clutter that you're eager to clear out, but you're not sure where to start? Or perhaps you're on the hunt for a fun, potentially lucrative side hustle? A garage sale can be a great way to accomplish both of these goals. In this guide, we'll provide you with everything you need to know about how to plan a garage sale that could help you rake in serious cash—even as much as $2000!
Planning Your Garage Sale
Your garage sale success depends heavily on the planning and organizing stage. Start preparing early—gather and organize your items well in advance of the sale date. A substantial collection of merchandise is key to attracting buyers and boosting your potential earnings.
- Start gathering and organizing your items well in advance of your sale. You'll need plenty of merchandise if you want to make big bucks.
- Begin saving paper and plastic store bags together with boxes for the shoppers to carry the goods home in.
- The more the merrier. Tell all your neighbors about your sale and invite them to join you in having one on the same date. Collectively you'll draw more traffic, and can split advertising costs.
- Choose the date for your garage sale very carefully. Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings usually see the highest turnout, depending on the part of the country you're in. Avoid long holiday weekends, as a lot of families head out of town.
Garage Sale Pricing Guide
Pricing is a pivotal part of how to plan a garage sale. Start by putting prices on everything. Customers appreciate clarity, and having clearly marked prices can prevent confusion and facilitate sales.
- Put prices on everything.
- Price in the largest increments possible ($.25 for example). It makes giving change and adding things up in your head much easier. Nobody wants to mess with pennies, nickles and dimes.
- Don't mark things too high. Remember, your goal is to get rid of stuff. However, in-demand items like furniture, quality name-brand children's clothing and gear can be priced a bit higher.
Garage Sale Advertising
No matter how well-organized or well-priced your items are, your garage sale won't be successful if people don't know about it. Advertise on free platforms such as gsalr.com, garagesalefinder.com, Craigslist, and social media sites like Facebook. Include photos and as many details as possible to draw in potential buyers.
- Advertise in any and all free sources such as gsalr.com, garagesalefinder.com and craigslist. Take advantage of social media sites like Facebook to advertise your garage sale and items listed. Include photos and as many details as possible.
- Make signs… and lots of them! Use brightly colored signs like neon poster board. Go for miles around putting them on the corners. Place the signs at your neighborhood entrance and beyond. Instead of listing your address, draw arrows pointing in the direction of your sale. Tie colorful balloons to your signs to attract attention.
- Advertising various product categories in your ad will entice more shoppers. Always list big-ticket items like furniture and electronics. List clothing sizes and brands, toys, tools and antiques if you have them.
- Advertise in either your local paper or a city paper that reaches several towns around you. Some city newspapers give a free garage sale kit when you advertise with them.
- Be sure to state NO EARLY SALES. Otherwise you may have people ringing your doorbell at 6 a.m.
- Be sure to remove your signs promptly when the sale is done.
Garage Sale Staging and Display
The presentation of your items can greatly impact sales. Ensure all your items are clean and in good repair before your garage sale.
- Make sure all of your items are clean and in good repair.
- Have clothing separated by size and gender. Make signs such as 0-6 months, 2T, etc. so shoppers can easily find what they're looking for.
- Have and electrical outlet and batteries available so customers can test electronics.
- Hang up clothing when possible (get brackets and a rod at a hardware store to create a bar for hangers).
- Don't expect people to rummage through boxes or tubs of clothing. Have everything neatly displayed.
- Don't open up your garage and expect people to realize that all the stuff stored inside is NOT for sale. If the items on shelves inside your garage isn't for sale, tape it off with sheets, tarps, or something else.
- Make your sale look good from the street. Set larger items near on the driveway to your sale to entice buyers. If it's not raining, put as much outside in plain sight as possible. If everything's in the black hole (a.k.a. the garage) those doing the drive-by may not see what they want and keep driving.
- Get the kids to sell bottled water and concessions during your sale.
- Set the mood with music to get people to linger.
Garage Sale Logistics
Being prepared with plenty of change is crucial for garage sale logistics. Keeping the money in a fanny pack rather than a cash box can also help ensure its safety.
- Make sure you're prepared with lots of change. I recommend having $50 in ones, coins, and smaller bills.
- Wear your money in a fanny pack instead of leaving it in a cash box. You don't want to leave a box of money sitting somewhere if you leave your chair.
- Be willing to bargain, but don't make too many deals at the start of your sale. One option is to tell people to come back towards the end of sale and make an offer then if the item is still there. If they can't come back, you can offer to take their phone number and call them if the item is still left at the end of the sale.
- Don't hold items for people. If they want an item they can to pay for it and you'll put a sold sign on it for them to pick-up later, if they want. If they haven't paid for it, it isn't sold.
- Never allow anyone to use your bathroom or go inside your home.
- If possible, recruit extra salespeople so that you can serve multiple customers at once.
- Keep your pets in the house or back yard.
- If it's sunny, apply sunscreen at the start of the day.
- Have a plan for unsold merchandise so you don't have to bring unwanted items back into your home. Some donation charities will even pick up unsold merchandise. Make sure you keep the receipt to claim the donation on your taxes.