When you are moving there is always time for a purge! You are going to a new place full of new experiences and opportunities and it is time to ask if all of your belongings are making that transition with you. Whether you use the KonMari method or you simply just start throwing piles together of going vs staying, go through your belongings in advance. Once you establish what you aren’t taking with you, it is time to either donate the rest to a charity or host a garage sale! Donating to a charity such as Goodwill or local shelters is a great way to get rid of things quickly and donate to a good cause, but if you want to go with the garage sale route here are some tips to success!
1. Get used to the idea.
If you’re not too thrilled about the idea of strangers stopping by your front yard (or if you want to split some of the workload), team up with another family on your block or check with your neighborhood association to see if a community sale is coming up.
2. Set a date.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings are usually the best time to hold your garage sale. Here’s an insider garage sale tip: Consider scheduling it on the first weekend of the month—a lot of paychecks go out at the end of the month, so people will have cash to spend.The earlier the start, the cooler the temperature will be. You might even have more people show up because they’ll get their shopping out of the way early! And don’t forget to check the forecast before you hang up signs around the neighborhood. Rainy days keep the buyers away!
3. Stock up on supplies.
You can buy simple pricing stickers and blank labels at the dollar store or any office supply store. Or if you’re wanting to be really budget friendly, just pick up a permanent marker and masking tape and get to pricing your items. You’ll need to have a table and chairs so you can have a designated area to cash people out (and stay comfortable) on garage sale day.And you’re going to need some space to show off all the one-of-a-kind items you’re selling. You can set out tables, blankets, boxes and storage containers or even lay a board over two sturdy boxes. Whatever you do, make sure breakable items are supported on a stable surface.
How to Set Garage Sale Prices
When it comes to pricing, you’ve got to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. What would you pay for that item at a similar garage sale? What would be too much? What would be so cheap you felt like you stole it? Here are some garage sale tips for pricing all that good stuff you just cleaned out of your house:
1. Name your price.
Want to know one of the top garage sale tips to remember when pricing? Don’t be sentimental about your stuff and overprice it in the process. If you need an objective opinion, ask a friend to come over and tell you what they would reasonably pay for the item. And if they wouldn’t pay a dime for it… maybe go ahead and chuck that in the donation bin.But for everything else, you’ll want to do a quick online search to check the current value. Keep it realistic by pricing things a quarter or a third of what they would cost brand new. If you price a sweater you bought for $80 at $50, it’s probably not going to sell. But an $80 sweater (in perfect condition) for $25? Now you’ve got yourself a deal.
2. Make prices visible.
Make sure your prices are in plain view by using price tags or stickers. If you don’t have time, at least group similarly priced items together with a sign that breaks down the cost. Or use colored stickers and hang up a chart that specifies the cost by color. For instance, green stickers are 50 cents, blue stickers are $1, and red stickers are $2.Bigger items call for bigger price tags. Don’t make the buyer search for a tiny sticker on that armoire you’re selling. Make it big, noticeable and attractive to the buyer.
3. Bundle items.
It’s easy to pass up DVDs at $1 a pop. But if you offer them at four for $2, you’re sure to catch someone’s attention. Look around for ways to make a deal. If it’s the end of the day and you really want to move your items, let customers fill up a bag with items for a $5 or $10 flat rate. Remember those grab bags at the store when you were little? That same concept still works as an adult!
4. Don’t hike up your prices and expect to haggle.
Price your items so they’ll sell. Period. Don’t set the starting price high and expect your customers to haggle you down. Many potential buyers will walk away from big prices and never even bother to haggle—and you just lost a potential sale.
How to Advertise Your Garage Sale
Don’t overthink your garage sale marketing too much. (It’s a garage sale after all.) Grab some signs and balloons from the dollar store and draw big arrows letting folks know how to get to your house. Be sure the path is so simple that a first-grader could find it!
If you want to advertise in the local paper, church bulletin or neighborhood Facebook group, go for it. But remember: Keep it simple and don’t stress. If you build it, they will come.
8 Garage Sale Tips for the Big Day
Now that you’ve set a date and priced your stuff, it’s time to sell! Here are some garage sale tips that will make sure you have the best sale you possibly can:
1. Have some change on hand.
You don’t want to lose a sale just because you don’t have some spare George Washingtons floating around (that’s dollar bills, folks). Have enough small bills and coins on hand to make change for your customers.
2. Know how to negotiate/haggle.
Everyone wants a deal (who doesn’t?). That’s why people wake up early on Saturday mornings to buy your castoffs. If the customer wants to negotiate, then let them negotiate, but stick to your guns if the price gets too low. You’re not giving your stuff away! Well—not yet anyway.
3. Make it appealing.
If you really want your stuff to sell, you’ve got to make it look nice. Before you try to sell those things that have been collecting dust, actually clean them off! Fill bicycle tires and basketballs with air. Scrape the mud out of your kid’s old soccer cleats.
If something needs batteries to run, fill it with some half-used batteries (or even new batteries if you want to be nice) so the buyer knows it works. Keep an extension cord handy for buyers to test out appliances that need an outlet. And place a mirror near the clothing and accessories. It might seem silly, but going the extra mile can really be the difference in making a sale and losing one.
4. Position your stuff.
The morning of the sale, get up early and do a little setting up. Make sure whatever you’re selling looks attractive. Put your more interesting items closer to the street so people know you’re selling more than just T-shirts, costume jewelry and old coffee mugs.
For everything else, keep it organized, clearly priced and easy to sort through. Stock your checkout area with plastic grocery bags and newspaper to wrap up fragile items. Those small touches will go a long way!
5. Get your family involved.
If you have a teenager, you know it’s hard to get them excited about most things that happen early on a Saturday morning—let alone a garage sale. So, why not cut them in on the profits? Make a deal with your teen: If they gather up their unwanted items to sell, you’ll let them keep whatever cash they make. Is this just a secret plan to get your teen to clean their room? Absolutely. But they’ll never know.
If you have younger kids, get them involved by letting them man a lemonade stand or bake-sale booth. Who can resist a pint-sized entrepreneur?
6. Be safe.
Okay, this might seem like a strange garage sale tip, but stay with us. Most shoppers are well-meaning people just out looking for a good deal. But the reality is, you’re still letting strangers shop on your front lawn.
It’s a good idea to keep the doors of your house locked during the sale. Don’t let anyone into your house to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Just keep a pitcher of complementary water outside and point them in the direction of the nearest gas station.
Be on guard when it comes to all that cash too. Keep the smaller bills in a cash box or on your body with an apron or fanny pack. If someone makes a purchase with a large bill, it’s best to give it to a family member to take inside for safekeeping.
7. Figure out what to do with unsold items.
If you still have some higher-dollar items left at the end of the day, sell your stuff online! Post something inside your community’s Facebook group, list items on Craigslist or eBay, or share them on apps like Swap, OfferUp and VarageSale. Consider selling clothing on places like Poshmark and thredUP.
Just be sure to always include pictures of your items. People won’t even consider buying your antique floor lamp if your listing doesn’t have a picture. And research similar items before you price yours so you can get an accurate idea of what to ask for.
8. Find a truck.
Everyone has leftover stuff after having a garage sale, which means it’s time to donate. Ask a friend with a truck to help you haul the items to a local thrift store or charity. If you don’t have a friend with a truck, you might even be able to request a pickup on the day of your big sale.
Enjoy Your Garage Sale Profits! These are great for purchasing new items for your new home!