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How To Make Your Garage Sale A Success

World's Largest Yard Sale
Eric Meier/TSM

For the past few months, I’ve been going through boxes and boxes of stuff to sell at my first garage sale.  It took too many hours to count getting all the stuff organized, price and carted over to my friend’s house for the big sale.  Yes, my first garage sale.  Was it worth it?  

The answer is yes, it was definitely worth it.  Not only did I get rid of a ton of stuff, I also made over two thousand dollars.  Not bad for one day’s work!  Since this was my first garage sale, I asked anyone I knew who’d had one for their garage sale do’s and don’ts.  This really helped and I did everything they recommended.  Here are some of their best successful garage sale tips:

1.  Have your merchandise organized.  Keep all the baby stuff together, the books together, shoes, etc.  This is what took me the most time to do but it was worth it.  When someone asked if I had teddy bear stuff, I could point the table in the back and tell them it was all on that one table.

2.  Make sure everything is priced.  Don’t make people search for a price or have to ask for prices.  I used really colorful stickers so if I had to put a sticker on the bottom of something, it would not be hard to see.

3.  Be willing to negotiate on price but you don’t have to give the stuff away.  If you don’t want to go lower than a certain price, say so.  I had one lady offer my a buck on a Pooh figurine that was priced at 4 dollars.  I told her I’d sell if for $1.50 and she left in a huff.  Shortly after that, someone else bought it for two bucks.

4.  Advertise your sale.  Post it on Craigslist.  Take out an ad in the newspaper.  Make signs for your street and in front of the house.  I did all of the above and it worked.  Balloons on signs are also a good idea.  Again, the point is to make it easy for potential customers to find you.

5.  Don’t try to do it alone.  What happens if you have to go to the bathroom or it gets really busy?  I had three people helping me and there were times all of us were busy helping someone.

6.  Clean your merchandise.  Wash the clothes.  Dust of the glasses and collectibles.  The better it looks, the more likely someone is to buy it.

7.  Use boxes and bags for people to put stuff in to take it home.  I had so many, I have enough for my next garage sale.

8.  Just like a store has change, you should too.  I had plenty of coins and lots of 5 and 10 dollar bills.  So many people would give me a twenty for something that cost 2 dollars.  I was prepared and it wasn’t an issue.

Even though my first garage sale was a success, I learned a few things for the next one.

 

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