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10 tips for holding a money-making garage sale
It’s garage sale season! What a great way to make a little cash and get rid of clutter. Are you thinking about holding your own sale this year? Here are 10 tips to help make your sale a success.
- Choose a quiet time when nothing huge, like the state far, is happening in your region.
- Avoid holiday weekends since so many folks leave town, or may be having parties or cookouts.
- Check the weather forecast. People may prefer to stay home if it’ll be hot or rainy.
- Do a little research to see whether Thursday, Friday or Saturday is the best day to kick off a garage sale in your area.
- Give yourself enough time to gather and organize things to sell.
People are attracted to community-wide garage sales, so they can shop a lot in a short amount of time. If possible, try to schedule your sale on one of these weekends. You’ll likely get free advertising and more traffic.
Talk to your friends, family and neighbors to see if they’re interested in joining you for a group sale. A lot of items canattract more customers. Plus, you’ll appreciate having their help during the sale.
This step might take a lot of time, but it’s worth the extra effort. As you go through your things, ask yourself:
Does this item sell well at garage sales? Certain things are big sellers, like:
- kids’ clothes, toys and gear
- kitchen tools and appliances
- gaming systems and games
- sports equipment
- power tools
- puzzles and games
- vintage stuff
- Would I make more money selling this item online or at a consignment shop?
If you’re selling clothes or purses, look inside the pockets to make sure they’re empty. You might find a little cash or forgotten valuables.
It’s also a good idea to research laws in your city to see if you need a permit to have a sale.
Setting prices ahead of time gives you a chance to think about what to charge. But it can take a lot of time.
You could try asking customers to suggest a price. And that could end up being higher than what you would have charged.
If you decide to attach prices, price stickers are inexpensive. Check your local dollar or discount store. Another option is masking tape.
Keep in mind that people are looking for great deals and expecting cheap prices. Also, some customers may want to negotiate your prices, so be willing to do that.
Before the big day, think about how you’ll display your sale items. You may need to borrow a few tables. Spreading bed sheets or blankets on the ground can work, too. A portable garment rack is great for selling clothes.
Also, it’s a good idea to categorize your sale items. Display kitchen things in one place, arrange kids’ stuff in another area, group together entertainment items and so on. Make it easy for people to browse and find what they want.
One way to make extra cash is selling packaged snacks, bottled water or soda at your sale. People will be tempted to buy a cool drink on a warm day. And who can resist treats? If your kids are eager to help, running the snack stand is the perfect job for them.
Research websites that list garage sales. You might find great local sites, in addition to national ones. Be sure to advertise one week before your sale.
Your online listing or flyer should note if your sale includes multiple households. Also include:
- type of sale — be sure to mention it’s a multi-family sale if that’s the case
- dates of sale
- time range for each day
- your address
- popular items for sale
Another way to get the word out is by putting up flyers. Coffeeshops and grocery stores may have a bulletin board you can use.
Signs work great, too. Buy or make signs to put on nearby street corners on the day of the sale.
Not everyone will have exact change, so stop by the bank for dollar bills and coins.
Think about where you’ll store money during the sale. Consider wearing a belted waist bag or fanny pack, so your cash is always with you.
If planning a group sale doesn’t work out, ask family members or friends to lend a hand so you’ll have help when things get busy. You’ll probably need to take a break here and there, too. And when it’s quiet, you can “pay” them with snacks and have a good time catching up.
When sale day finally rolls around, give yourself extra time to set up everything before kickoff.
As customers stop by, say hello and don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Ask if they’re looking for anything specific and explain how sale items are arranged. Put out friendly vibes, but don’t talk their ear off.
You could also set aside small trinkets to give away to kids. When people feel comfortable, they’re more likely to hang around and buy something.
On the last day of the sale, think about dropping prices to win more sales.
When your sale finally ends, consider donating what’s left to a local charity. Or maybe you want to save a few things for another sale.
Now’s the best part: counting all your hard-earned cash and deciding how you’ll use it. You could add to your savings account or start an emergency fund. Maybe buy groceries and household supplies. Don’t forget to use a little of it to treat yourself – you’ve earned it.
Finally, give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work.