The neighborhood garage sales are scheduled for Friday & Saturday, April 26 & 27. We will post signs, run ads in the local papers, on Craig’s List, and on the Nextdoor Neighbors website.
Please contact Ginger Eberspacher at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to participate. We need at least 10 families to participate, or we will have to cancel this event.
Tips for a Successful Garage Sale
1. Collect Clutter Year-Round
I mentioned recently that I have an ongoing Garage Sale Stash. When I come upon something we no longer need or use and I don’t know anyone to pass it onto, I stick it in a box under the stairs. Once a box fills up, I start another. And another. Without much effort at all, by the time it’s the month of our annual garage sale, I usually have at least 8-10 boxes of stuff collected.
2. Have a Plan
A successful garage sale does not happen without organization. At least a week before the sale I go through my home from top to bottom and clear out clutter. At least 2-3 days before the sale, I take an afternoon to price everything and organize it. And then the day before the sale, I devote a few hours to final organization.
Do not wait until the last minute to pull off a garage sale. Either it will flop or you’ll run yourself ragged–or both. If you’re in a new location or you’re new to hosting a garage sale, I’d suggest that you start getting organized at least 3-4 weeks in advance.
Getting Organized for a Garage Sale
· How are you going to display items? Do you need to borrow or make a clothes-rack?
· Do you have enough table space? If not, check and see if you can borrow tables from friends or put together some makeshift tables out of plywood and boxes.
· How much cash should you have on hand and how will you keep it in a safe location?
· Do you have enough help?
3. Team Up
One of my best “secrets” for success when it comes to garage sales is that I never do them on my own. I always find friends or family to team up with. Not only does this arrangement mean you have more stuff to sell and more variety in sizes and types of things offered, it also means you have more help. Divvying up the responsibilities between 3 or 4 people makes a garage sale much more manageable. Plus, it just makes it more fun when you’re doing it with friends and family!
4. Clearly Mark Your Prices
It’s easy to want to just stick a big sign on a table saying that everything on that table is a quarter, but, in the long-run, it is much more efficient to go ahead and put price stickers on everything. Instead of having to make up prices on the spot, people will know exactly how much something is. In addition, some people are too shy to ask the price of an item, so you’ll lose a sale if an item isn’t marked.
I’ve found it’s easiest to invest the few dollars it costs to buy pre-priced stickers for most of my items as this makes pricing a snap. I try to have variety in pricing with plenty of $0.25 or less items. I’ve found that when people pick up one thing to buy, they are more likely to pick up other things as well, so have lots of $0.25 items and it might help you sell some of your larger-ticketed items, too!
Since we pretty much always have multiple families involved when we run a garage sale, we just mark initials on all our price tags and then keep a tally sheet in a notebook as things sell. It adds a bit more time when customers are checking out, so it’s good to have at least two people working the money table–one to keep track of the tally sheet and one handle the money and making change.
5. Price Things to Sell
When I go to a garage sale, I expect to pay yard sale prices. Unless something is brand-new with the tags on, I am not going to pay more than a few quarters for it, if that. When I am pricing my own items to sell, I always try to price things at what I feel would be a good bargain if I were buying the item at someone else’s garage sale.
I’d rather price something on the low end and have someone actually buy my item, than to have 25 people pick up the item and put it back down on the table because it is too expensive.
6. Mark Things Down on the Last Day
Things are usually pretty picked over by the last day of the sale. That’s the perfect opportunity to get creative and hand out rock-bottom bargains! We found that running “Fill a Bag for a Buck” is extremely effective. Last week, we got rid of around 25 bags full of stuff in a few hours by doing this.
We’ve also done it where everything was half-price the last day. Or, if we have quite a bit of stuff left and we’re feeling ready to close up shop, we’ll just say that everything is free the last hour.
7. Don’t forget the cookies and lemonade!
What better way to teach your children entrepreneurial skills and let them earn a little money in the process than to have them set up their own little cookie and lemonade stands at the sale?
Baked goods–like homemade cookies and bars sell extremely well at garage sales. In fact, we made around $100 from selling cookies at our recent garage sale!