The tips include everything you need to know from preparing for your sale to closing it down. You'll find out how to set yourself up for success from the beginning by taking the time to clean, organize, and price your items.
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Clean and Organize Everything
It's a lot easier to throw everything out you want to sell in a messy jumble in your garage or driveway, but that doesn't make for a good experience for your shoppers.
Take the time to clean dirty items simply by wiping items with a wet cloth. It is especially important with kids items because people are looking for items that are clean for their kids. It can also add some extra shine to home decor items and furniture.
Spending some time on organizing is worthwhile too. Kids clothes, household decor, books, and other like items should be kept together. It makes it much easier for customers to find like items they want to buy.
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Price It Right and Make It Clear
Pricing is important at a garage sale. You want to make money, but you first need to make sales. If you price too high, the item won't sell, and if you price too low, it may not be worth your time having a garage sale.
You may want to visit some other yard sales in your area to see how people in your area price different items. It can be a great way to make sure your prices are right on target.
Also, don't skip pricing. It is a shortcut you may be tempted to take, but you'll find that customers won't want to ask about pricing and may walk away from an item that's not priced.
It's also a good idea to end all of your prices in 5's or 10's to make giving back change easier.
When you do mark a price, make sure that your writing is clear and that you are specific when dealing with matching or like items.
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Sell Specialty Items Online
If you have some special items that people may be seeking out, you should try listing them individually online before your garage sale. It can include brand name items, furniture, and vehicles. Any item that you know people are especially seeking out will most likely sell better online.
Try to do this a few weeks before you garage sale so anything that doesn't sell online, you can include in your sale.
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Pick a Good Location
One of the most important garage sale tips is to pick a good location for your sale. A good location is easy to find, has plenty of parking, and has enough space for all the stuff you want to sell to be displayed.
If you live on a very busy street, out in the country, or somewhere without any street parking, consider having your garage sale at a relative's or friend's house that is better suited for having a yard sale.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Make the Sale Easy to Navigate
Just like when you're designing any type of space, a garage sale needs to have a good flow. Make sure that there are one or two clear paths for people to take and that they won't get "stuck" in any corners when other people are looking.
There needs to be enough room for people to walk past each other and a way that people can look at the same items without getting in each other's way.
After you've set up your sale, walk around and see how easy it will be for people to browse even when it's crowded.
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Use Tables When You Can
Having your items up on tables will greatly increase your sales. Items are easier to see, inspect, and have the price read when they're up on table level.
Put your most expensive items up on a table (unless they are too big) as well as breakables and decor items. If you to put items on the ground, try to put them in boxes that are easy to look through.
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Ask Your Neighbors to Join In
Do you know what attracts more people to a garage sale? If it's more than one garage sale. A neighborhood garage sale is where people on the same block have garage sales at the same time. It will attract many more customers than a single sale.
If you can't have a neighborhood sale, consider a multi-family sale where one neighbor and you have a joint sale in one or both of your yards.
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Start Your Sale on Friday
The real garage sale fanatics know that Friday is the best time to go to yard sales. They will be out early looking for the newest finds, hoping to snag up those great deals before anyone else.
If you can, have your garage sale start on Friday morning and run until Friday afternoon. Open up on Saturday too for a new crowd and plan on closing in the afternoon or when the number of people stopping slows down.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Those who are serious about going to garage sales will plan out what sales they want to go to before they jump in the car. They find out about these sales in advance by finding them being advertised online.
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Direct People With Signs
If your city allows, advertise your garage sale with signs that direct people from busy intersections to your garage sale. It will encourage people driving by to stop and also help people who are looking for your garage sale to find it successfully.
It's important to make sure that your signs and large and easy to read. Include an arrow and your address if you can.
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Open on Time
There will be people ready to go to your garage sale before you even open. Often referred to as "early birds," they will be happy waiting for your official opening time but not so happy if you open late.
These are serious shoppers who are ready to spend money on your items. Not opening on time can mean missing out on a lot of extra cash.
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Be Open to Bargaining
People who garage sale love a good bargain, and they may just try to get you to budge on your prices.
Be open to bargaining but have in mind a number that you'd like to stay above, especially for larger items. Don't feel pressured to accept any offer, it's your choice to give a discount, and it's not something you have to do. In certain cases though, it might make the difference between selling and not selling an item.
When it gets later in the day on Saturday, and it's looking like you won't sell much of the items you have left, this is a great time to consider accepting offers.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Offer Bags and Change
You should have some change available so you can give someone change back if they have a bigger bill. How much change you want to have hand depends on what types of items you are selling. Smaller items will require more change, but if you have big ticket items, you may not need as much.
A good place to start is by getting 5 $10 bills, 10 $5 bills, 20 $1 bills, and a roll each of quarters, dimes, and nickles.
You may also want to consider taking credit cards. Credit card processors like Square are inexpensive and perfect for the individual. You'll simply connect it to your phone and use it to swipe credit cards.
Spend the month or so before your garage sale saving plastic grocery store bags. Your shoppers will appreciate having one, and they may even buy more items since they have an easy way to carry them back the car.
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Be Prepared for Bad Weather
You checked the forecast and picked a garage sale date based on sunny days ahead. We all know that forecasts aren't always accurate and you may encounter some rain, wind, or even snow.
If you know bad weather is coming in the days leading up to your sale, it's a good idea to cancel now. Take down your online ad and plan for another weekend.
Bad weather can also come out of nowhere, and if you're in an uncovered area, you'll need to make some plans. Move into a garage if you have access to one or have some tarps on hand to cover up your items. The goal is to prepare enough that you can get through a small rain shower without canceling your whole yard sale.
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Lower Your Prices Near the End
When it comes time for Saturday afternoon, and the crowds are beginning to slow, it's time to lower your prices.
You can choose to do this by crossing out prices and rewriting them, putting a sign up that says "1/2 Off," or just telling people who stop by that you are open to offers.
If you plan to donate your items after the sale, this is a great way to make a little bit of extra money before you get rid of what's left.