How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

Garage Sales are a great way to get rid of excess stuff and make a little cash. June is a good time for this. Kids are out of school and available to help. They may also want to sell some of their no longer used toys and possessions to make a little spending money.

The key to a successful garage sale is organization.

  • Check with your municipality or Homeowners’ Assoc. to see if you need a permit or approval. No point in paying a fine or being shut down.
  • Organize. Set aside space in the garage for all items you want to sell. If you haven’t used something in more than a year, sell it. Group similar items together by room or function (i.e. kitchen, bedding, clothing, electronics, toys, etc.) Have everything clean and dust-free.
  • Advertise. There are ways to promote your garage for free. Place signs around the neighborhood. Post an ad on Craigslist. Use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Post flyers on the grocery store bulletin.

On the day before the garage sale:

  • Get supplies together. Price tags or stickers should be visible on all items.  Items with same asking price, such as tapes and books can be placed in one container. Be sure to have plenty of small bills and change on hand. An apron or a canvas nail pouch with pockets comes in handy for this. Keep larger bills in a safe place, preferably inside the house.
  • Set up the garage sale merchandise.  Since you’ve already organized everything, this should go pretty smoothly. Be sure to arrange everything so that it allows for a nice flow of traffic. If you need additional tables, a sawhorse with a plywood top and white tablecloth, works well.
  • Open for business. Start early for the garage sales addicts. It’s going to be a long day or two, so have fun with it. It’s a great way to meet some of the neighbors, while at the same time, getting rid of excess stuff.
  • Have a sale. When it comes close to closing time, run a clearance promotion to unload even more merchandise. For example, in the last hour or two of the day, customers can get anything they can fit into a grocery bag for $5.00.
  • Close up shop. Hopefully, you have sold everything, but if not, the Salvation Army can come and pick up the remaining items. They are always in need of donations.

By following these tips and putting in some effort ahead of time, you will increase your chances of having a more successful garage sale and putting more money in your pocket.


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