We’ve had our fair share of local yard sales and over the years have accumulated a number of garage sale tips that always guarantee a profitable return at the end of the day. This is the best time of the year to clear out your closets and start selling unwanted useable items. If you’re reading this post, odds are you are ready to start purging goods and making some serious cash.
Between spring cleaning and home improvement projects, surely you have a pile of stuff you can part with to create a garage sale that will earn you some extra cash. Here’s the bonus! As you make money you’ll declutter your home at the same time.
8 Easy Garage Sale Tips To Ensure Major Sales
If you’re thinking about having a local yard sale and want to know how to make it the best one ever, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few garage sale tips and tricks to make sure your afternoon is successful and stress-free.
Get the Entire Family Involved
In order to have a successful yard sale, you need to gather up the family and have them clean out every nook and cranny in the home. From closets to dresser drawers and everywhere else in between, make sure that no spot is left unturned. It’s not really about making sure you have perfect weather on a Saturday morning, or having enough small bills to go around. It’s about support, time, and patience.
It’s very important that the entire family helps out with decluttering, preparing, setting up, and manning the rummage sale. This will ensure the day of the sale runs smoothly and doesn’t fall entirely on YOU.
Kids can work through their toy piles and determine which items they no longer play with anymore. They can also go through their closets and remove sizes that are too small. For little ones, just tell them to look out for pieces that have a number FIVE on them (if they are in a size 6). You catch my drift, right?
Kids can do a lot more than you think. They just need a little guidance. And I promise that you will feel so much joy walking into their rooms once all the chaos is gone. I’m talking Marie Kondo joy!
Worst-case scenario, they bring out too many items and they have to put some clothes back. Not the worst thing to happen. But remember, it’s not only about their closets. Adult clothing sells nicely and is considered valuable items all year long – especially when priced right.
Do the Prep Work Ahead of Time
It might feel like a lot, but if you do a lot of the heavy lifting ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about anything but a welcoming smile and easy math on the big day. There will be nothing accomplished on the day of your garage sale except getting everything out and onto your yard. Period. You won’t have time to look for last-minute items like that dress that you haven’t worn in ages.
If it isn’t ready to roll out – already tagged, cleaned, and sprinkled with pixie dust – it can’t be a part of this season’s garage sale. Be sure to price items during the week prior to your event, purchase and place all the street signs you want, place your ad with the local paper, and tidy up your front yard. None of that can happen on the day of your next garage sale. There will be too many potential buyers in need of attention and rummaging through your baby clothes, looking for a good deal.
How To Price Garage Sale Items
Pre-work is critical for a local yard sale. It’s life-saving. What do I mean when I say this? I mean putting similar items in categories, figuring out how you want to price everything and what tiers you will have, how low you will go before you say no, bulk pricing, having enough change in the house, saving enough plastic bags for sales, whether or not you will give out receipts – it all matters and it’s all a lot of work.
Will books be $1 each? Or are you going to get price stickers and price every book out separately? What kind of deals will you offer if someone comes wanting to buy 5 books? Or a whole bin? Will your family know these answers? Will you wing it? What about early birds? Do they get a deal? Do small items get treated differently than larger ones? I’m talking about prep work! How serious are you about making extra money? Believe me, a profitable garage sale is possible, but it doesn’t come with a price of its own.
Head to the Dollar Store for Supplies
Don’t waste money on any high-end neighborhood sale supplies. The two biggest reasons to have a garage sale is to declutter and make money. This means you’ll want to spend as little as possible on any yard sale preparation and supplies. Otherwise, you’ll just start eating away at your profits before you actually make any!
From garage sale tags to labels to small bins, your local dollar store is the place to go. Garage sale tips don’t have to cost a lot of money and this one is free! Save money as much as you can. You have a better chance at turning a profit if you stay lean. Turn to your Facebook page, Craiglist ad, social media, and word of mouth. Speak to your neighbors about having a multi-family sale. That is a great way to increase your odds of turning a huge profit. Just be prepared to have to lower your prices every now and then because once you introduce competition, a great deal can be found right down the block.
Get the Right Supplies
On top of everything else that I’ve mentioned, you’ll also need extra tables, chairs, plastic grocery bags, and garbage bags on hand to host a successful garage sale. In addition, you’ll want to have a decent supply of newspaper because people will want you to wrap the breakable items they plan on taking home.
What about a cash box? What will you use? Will it have a key? I’ve mentioned this before, but it is really important to have change on hand to break up any large bills. And don’t forget quarters and dollar bills! These weekend events usually bring out deal seekers and it’s a good idea to be prepared. I usually like to have a fanny pack filled with change.
Have you ever thought about getting a card reader? With PayPal and other online cash systems, anyone can take credit cards these days. Be sure to set up your account prior to the big day and look into what equipment you will need to swipe credit cards on location during the big day.
Most of my garage sale tips are optional – like this one – but I am telling you could really make a big difference in your bottom line as most people will buy more if they don’t have to worry about the amount of cash they have with them at the exact moment.
Where To Buy Garage Sale Signs
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You can head online and have one delivered to you, but again, I implore you to check out your local Dollar Store. If you don’t know where to buy a Garage Sale sign, start there. I’ve stumbled across bundles where they were 3 for $1! And that is a major steal if you ask me!
One Price Per Category
During this year’s garage sale season, consider simplicity. Consider one price per category. For example – one price for all books. If you have a bunch of books, set one price for every book and call it a day. Place large signs in front of your bins and move on. As long as everything is in good condition, you shouldn’t get much push back and you will be able to move all your inventory and have a successful sale. Yard sale signs also make it easy for you to move the traffic faster through your sale. It’s the best way to sell everything without having to assign a family member to every station.
One adjustment could be to have adult books at a higher price than children books, but that’s up to you. All shirts should be the same price, all pants could be the same price, etc. etc. This will help alleviate the annoyance of trying to itemize everything in your garage sale.
The true point of a garage sale is to get rid of things in your house and to make a quick buck. Well, make it easy on yourself. All dresses are $5. All shoes are $10. Whatever you think! But try to prevent questions from the masses. The more your shoppers understand the lay of the land, the better it will be for all.
Prepare for Hagglers
Local yard sale hagglers. OH, HAGGLERS! They are actually incredible and I mean that in every sense of the word. People will try to haggle you down from that price tag and get you down to a red, shiny penny.
They will nickel and dime you to death. The key to dealing with hagglers is to know your bottom line and to stick to it. You have to be firm and just accept that some people are going to leave your house upset. That’s ok.
Here’s the flip side. When you start going to garage sales, maybe you will become a haggler. Who knows! It all depends on what side of the coin you are sitting on!
Do not take offense because if you start to get annoyed by this crowd, then you will never want to do a garage sale again and that is not fair for anyone. You never know a person’s situation.
Are they an eBay seller – like I was and just buying things for as cheap as possible so they can resell them for a profit? Or are they on a fixed income and that sale price means more to them than you know?
There’s a thin line. You truly will never know a person’s situation. Handle the day with grace and a huge cup of coffee and just know your main objectives – cleaning out your house and making some extra cash. This is a HUGE garage sale tip!
When you’re starting the plans to have a garage sale, chat with your neighbors to see if they may want to have a community garage sale. If you can get the entire block to have a garage sale at once, this will make it easier to share costs in promoting the garage sale as well as make it easier to combine money and split it later on. One of the best garage sale tips on the list.
BONUS TIP – Register Your Local Yard Sale On A Garage Sale App
Here’s a big secret to add to your garage sale tips. I used to sell on eBay in a major way. It was my literal side hustle for a while and every weekend, I would spend a few hours driving around neighboring towns and hitting up all my local garage sales. How would I know where all the local yard sales were? Through garage sale apps!
You type in your zip code and then get driving directions to everyone who registered their event. Odds are, every time you made it to someone’s house, their neighbors had stuff out too. SO EASY.
Make it easy for people to find you. Most of these apps are free to use. Also, consider Craig’s List which is another great option.
Give it Away
On the last day of your garage sale lower the asking price for every item that’s left. This will be one last-ditch effort to release your clutter!
Anything that doesn’t sell during your garage sale by end of day on the last day of your local yard sale should just get donated to a local charity. Make arrangements for a pickup and call it a day.
You will do a world of good and your basement will thank you! I know what you are thinking. Why would I do that? I could just save all the stuff that didn’t sell for my NEXT yard sale. Girl, who are you fooling. You know you will fill your house up again by next September. We are all a mess.
You’ll have plenty of things ready to roll by next quarter and you KNOW IT. So, honor a charity of your choice and give them everything that didn’t sell. Bless a few families who need it more than you do and then go inside and count all your profits. You had a great day!
Are You Ready?
I hope these garage sale tips and tricks will help you have a successful event and give you a chance to declutter your home while enabling you to earn some extra cash. When are you planning on hosting your next local yard sale?