What are you going to do with all those boxes full of STUFF that has been neglected for who knows how long? Have you thought about having a garage sale? Do you know how to have a successful garage sale?
If not, no worries because I’m going to walk you through all of my garage sale tips so that you know how to have a successful garage sale yourself!
Garage sales are a quick way to earn extra cash while taking things off your hands you no longer need/want. Sure, it takes some work, but you can do it!
My grandmother used to have garage sales on a regular basis when I was a child. My sister and I loved to help and see the things we no longer wanted to turn into cash!
She knew of a lot of things that would intrigue people to stop and have a look around, but she especially knew how to haggle!
By the time I decluttered my things, I knew a garage sale was the perfect thing to help me get rid of my clutter once and for all!
What was leftover from the garage sale would go to a local charity, but you may be surprised to see how much I managed to sell! [That information is at the bottom of this post.]
Needless to say, I have a good bit of experience decluttering and hosting garage sales!
If you are not quite excited about donating everything and would like to make some extra money on the things you no longer want, this post is definitely your ticket to success!
How to have a successful garage sale
Step 1 // Getting ready for the garage sale
Price as you declutter //
This will save you so much time! You will not touch everything twice, and it gives you less opportunity to bring it back inside your home.
The point of decluttering is to rid your home of the excess, not to second guess your decision to let go of something.
Also, if it is a multi-family garage sale, be sure to initial everything. This will help whoever is keeping up with who has made what.
Organize according to category //
Having things grouped together by category will allow you to see how much you have of certain items. Using this will help you decide what to include in advertising your garage sale.
For example, I had lots of kitchens, clothes, and home decor, so I made sure it was known that I had a lot of pieces in these categories.
This will also help save you time when you set up your garage sale.
Label your boxes //
Sometimes you need to get back into certain boxes to add to it or pull something out if you sell it before the sale. Labeling your boxes will save you a lot of time trying to find the right box.
Plan out the week of the garage sale //
Allow yourself a full week to finalize everything for the garage sale. This plan needs to include scheduling newspaper ads, Facebook ads, etc.; when you are going to start setting up; how you are going to organize everything; and what will happen with what remains.
Get permits – if necessary //
Check with your local city office to see if garage sale permits are needed. You don’t want to get shut down by a crowd shopping your sale.
There’s a lot of work that goes into a successful garage sale, so don’t skip this part!
Step 2 // Advertising your garage sale
Many people who shop at garage sales grab a newspaper, so make sure your garage sale is listed with an address and the type of items in your garage sale. Be brief versus so detailed that you list tiny categories.
Use words like home decor, small appliances, women’s clothes, baby clothes, etc.
Don’t use words like microwave, picture frame, size 7 shoes, etc. Being this detailed means that you could list every single item by the time you’re done, and that isn’t helpful for a newspaper ad.
Post your garage sale everywhere you can online. Post in Facebook Groups and Marketplace using general photos of the setup.
Don’t worry about photographing every single thing you have for sale, because you want people to come to see it in person.
Check your local area for specific websites to post your garage sale.
Lastly, consider posting on Craigslist if it is something your local community is already doing. This is popular in some places and not so much in others.
Make it easy for people to find your garage sale. Place signs at the end of your driveway, the end of your street, and close by busy intersections.
Write big and in bold so that people can read your sign easily when driving by it. They don’t want to get out of their car and walk up to the sign to read it.
Arrows on your signs are very helpful, too! This ensures they are headed in the right direction.
Step 3 // Setting up
Gather Tables and Clothing Racks //
The biggest tip I can share is to make sure you have plenty of tables and clothing racks! People do not want to bend down to look through boxes. [Trust me, I’ve done it both ways!]
Having enough to space things out will make it appear like you have a lot more than you do and will incline people to look thoroughly and for a longer period of time. This will increase the odds of them grabbing up more.
Decide on your layout //
Some people think grouping things by category is best, and while I do not disagree, I do not feel it is a must. What is a must is creating a flow plan.
You want to make sure people have enough room to move around when there are lots of people there. If you place your things too close together, people may bump into each other and get frustrated.
Giving ample space prevents this and keeps people happy at your garage sale.
Bulk boxes //
If you are wanting to make sure you sell as much as possible, bulk pricing things can be a big help! If you have a lot of Tupperware or craft supplies, place them in a box and mark a bulk price on them.
It will ensure all of the things in that group are sold. Yes, you will probably sell it for less than if you separated them, but in the end, you will have more leave than stay.
People like to think they are getting a bargain, and this helps tremendously!
Plenty of change on hand //
People don’t always have $1s and $5s or coins, so make sure you have plenty of change on hand.
I suggest $10 in quarters, at least $20 in one-dollar bills, and $50 in five-dollar bills.
Step 4 // Selling Your Stuff
People come to garage sales to haggle. Yes, I know you already priced your stuff incredibly cheap, but that does not matter. Do not be afraid to haggle back with anyone who makes an offer.
Sometimes they are trying to see how firm you are, or you may have something overpriced. [Happens to us all!]
If you have something you are firm on, do not be afraid to stay firm. Some will agree, and some will put it down, but that is all part of the fun!
Ask for offers //
Being motivated to not take your stuff back inside may create a situation of you asking that person to make you an offer. [I did this, and often times I got more for it than I would have if I had made the offer.]
Do not be afraid to put them on the spot. Remember, they are there to take things off your hands.
Doing this can sell a lot more of your stuff than you think. I was very aggressive with this approach and sold lots more because of it.
Reorganize things throughout the sell //
As things sell, you want to reorganize what is there. Giving things more space or moving it around can help sell it. At first, your tables are probably pretty full, but after a couple of hours, they will not be as full.
If you have things on the floor, move them to a table when there is space for it. If you notice something is not selling very well in an area or how it is displayed, change it.
Go Half-Price //
I only suggest this with a two-day sale. I always go to half-price when I notice the biggest rush of the morning has already been through, so somewhere around late morning or lunchtime is perfect to drop prices.
People get excited about sales on top of sales and are apt to grab more!
Step 5 // Deciding What To Do With What Remains
You can donate it //
Evaluate what is left from the sale. If you feel you can simply donate it, do it immediately after the sale.
Do not take it home or inside your home to do it another day.
Remember, you had this sale for the simple fact of minimizing and decluttering your home. Do not dwell on a decision. Just do it!
You can take it to a consignment shop //
If you do not mind setting up an account and waiting to receive money when your things sell, take it to a consignment shop. This will not be the case for everything, but it is an option for some things.
You can sell it on Facebook or Craigslist //
If you have not already tried these options, it may be time to try them. Only do this option if it is worth the effort to set up times to meet someone. Dollar items are not worth the time… Trust me, I’ve been there and done that!
Store for another garage sale //
I know this seems counterproductive, but I have a point. The first garage sale with my purged items was about a month ago, and by the end of it, there was still a lot left. While I sold a lot, I still had enough for another garage sale.
After weighing the options, I decided to hold a second garage sale last weekend. By the end of the second garage sale, I had about half a carload that did not sell; and I more than doubled my earnings!
You only need to agree to this if the time in between is less than a month.
Step 6 // Final Tips & the End Results!
Final Tips //
A garage sale can be a lot of fun and a lot of work. Remember to not attach yourself to your stuff.
They need to find a new home. Otherwise, they would still be in your home. That does not mean taking a ridiculously low price for your things, either.
Team up with family members to make it a bigger sale and attract a bigger crowd.
End Results! //
I am not going to share my earnings because I want to focus on the amount of stuff rather than the cash earned.
I started out with 3-4 carloads, an extended cab truck, a truck bed, and a trailer full of stuff!
By the end of the first garage sale, I had 1 car load, an extended cab truck, a truck bed, and half a trailer still full of stuff!
By the end of the second garage sale, I only had half a carload left of stuff!!
I was so excited with the results of the second garage sale, and I donated the rest to a local charity as soon as we were finished! It feels so good to have it all gone, too!
Final thoughts about how to have a successful garage sale
Now that you know how to have a successful garage sale, it is time to get the boxes of things you no longer want out of your home and turn them into cash!
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