I have been spending this entire week getting ready for my Garage sale. It is garage sale season around here. Starting Thursday evening you see the signs start go show up. My drive to work is what I call the garage sale sign corridor. It is so easy to get distracted on your way to work. I sometimes don’t put cash in my wallet so I can resist the temptation to make a quick turn and ask forgiveness of my boss when I am late to work. There are 1000 ways to have a garage sale but I thought I would share how I prepare.
#1 I only do garage sales with friends.
Some of my friends like to do them alone, and I respect that philosophy. I have done one garage sale by myself and I like it better with friends. I find a friend, and we pick a weekend. I am giddy that I get to spend a day outside with my best friend. Who cares if I sell stuff!
#2 Advertise Well and have great sign directions.
I Bomb Craigslist….in a respectable non-annoying way. My town doesn’t have a large newspaper and have not seen a great amount of success from the paper. Post good pictures and give a good list. The more broad your list, the more crowd you will have. The larger the signs the better so people can see them. Make all your signs identical and have more than enough so people are not guessing.
#3 List large items separately on Craigslist
This has been a big item hit for me. I am selling furniture at this garage sale. (still deciding about this one…thanks for your feedback on twitter, fb, and comments). When I post an item, I state that it is first come first serve but it will be available at my garage sale, and I give the garage sale location. I don’t know why, but I feel more safe this way. My friends and my husband are there and it’s already outside of my house. I sold a bed one year and I had a family show up at 7am to be the first to get the bed
#4 Use strategic, yet truthful wording
The friend that I am doing this sale with titles her garage sale the same thing every year. People now recognize it. If they apply, use words like “Multi Family” or “Moving Sale”. Don’t lie if they don’t apply.
#5 Know what sells and put it in the back
Sounds crazy, but I know baby stuff and antiques sell in my town. I put it in the back so people have to pass by everything else to get to what they want. Garage sale with friends with baby stuff, antiques or Christmas Decor. That stuff sells like hotcakes and people will travel long distances to get a baby onsie for 10 cents. Are you laughing? I am serious.
#6 – All Prices are Low and Negotiable
People come to garage sales to get deals…to find treasure. If you want to get a higher price for an item (like a piece of furniture) then post it on Craigslist or Ebay. Honestly, I view garage sales as paying people to move my stuff. They help me….so I will help them.
#7 – Have lots of change to begin with.
#8 Have your own money-box in a two family sale
If someone buys two things, one of mine and one of my friend for $1 a piece and gives me $5, then I give the change to the person out of my box. I immediately put $1.00 in my friends box. If there are multiple items I have paper to help us keep track and then immediately put what is owed to my friend in her box. Both of you having lots of change helps.
#9 – For multi family sales I use these Garage Sale Sheets.
You can click on them, save as a jpeg and then print 8.5 X11 paper. The goal is to print many of the first sheet and cut them up. When someone checks out you can write the price and the family name down. This requires everyone to have a distinct label. Mine is always blue painters tape with an “F” and the price. You total the sheet and have the person pay. If you are slammed you put this in a box and come back to it. If not, you log the sale on the sheet below and put a pen slash on the paper so you know you have entered it. Another easy way is to just put the price label on the paper. If everyone has a distinct one, you will know how to separate it.
I did a massive sale with 8 families and these were a life saver.
#10 – I don’t Label everything
Honestly, I sell more when people don’t have to look at the prices. I put all my clothes on one table with a sign that says “T-shirts 25 cents, Jeans $1″…. I do label furniture and specific, non-grouped items.
#11 I always have a free box
Toys for kids, paint, magazines…you can always get something free at my garage sale.
#12 Have lots of bags ready
Wal-mart, Target, and Grocery bags are depleted in my house after a garage sale.
#13 At the end of the sale, start combining things
All you can fit in a bag for $3 is usually a hit. I literally do this during the last hour or two. If something is at my garage sale then its next destination is the donation box at Goodwill. I would rather not have to take it there
so 25 cents in my pocket is better than the $1 in gas I will pay to take it there.
#14 – Set an Entire Garage Sale Price.
This is my dream solo garage sale. It confirms that I really don’t like to do them without friends. This would be very hard to do if you are doing this with a friend and I will not do it this weekend. If you are by yourself post on Craigslist what your garage sale price will be if someone where to buy everything. This number will obviously always go down as you sell stuff. This has never happened to me, but I think it would be awesome. If I said everything in my garage sale could sell for $250 and someone bought it immediately. Think about it…money in the pocket, no hassle, and they come and get your stuff. Its like Storage Wars!
#15 Schedule a Donation Truck to come pick up your leftovers.
There is a ministry in town that will come and get your leftovers. Yes please and thank you.
There please feel free to add any other great tips in the comment box. Hope this helps!
Have a great day!