Garage Sale Success!

Last year's sale was a bust. What about this year? If you follow me on twitter you already know the answer. It was a bigger success then I could have imagined! After last year's flop I did a lot of analyzing to figure out what went wrong and how to correct it.

Here are my secrets to a successful and stress free garage sale:

  • It's one thing to make money at a garage sale it's another thing all together to actually feel stress free while prepping and hosting a sale. My biggest secret to less stress is to price things before you put them in the sell box. When I take stuff to our basement to put in our garage sale boxes I price them and then add them to a box of similar items. It means no last minute pricing and sorting for me!
  • Everyone asks me "How do you know what to price things?". My answer is also a question "How much would you be willing to spend on the item if you bought it at a garage sale?" I charge what I would want to pay. I also check out garage sales that have similar items and see what they are pricing them for as well. I never ask too much since I do want it to sell, however I never undercut my profits. If in doubt go for the higher price you can always lower it.
  • When planning your sale try to get others on your street or neighborhood to have it at the same time. This year I held my sale the same weekend that there was a large estate sale a couple blocks away. This brought in a lot more people then I normally have which meant more sales for me.
  • I've held garage sales with other families (Multi-family) and I've done it alone. My personally experience has lead me to believe that it is much easier and less stressful to do it alone. There is just a lot less work if you only have to deal with you and your own items.
  • To make a sale worth your time and cost of an ad you need to make sure that you have enough items. If you don't just wait another year or take a good hard look around your house to see what else you could sell.
  • Good marketing is key to making money. If people don't show up, they will not buy. My marketing strategy includes a three day ad in the local paper, listing on Craigslist with daily updates on what's left, tons of great signs leading people from the two closest large roads all the way back to our house (8 signs in total), and last but not least I send out a mass email to all my local friends and family telling them about the sale and asking them to forward it on to anyone who might be interested in my items.
  • Be the best sales person you can be! Have a smile on all day even if you are tired. Greet people as they walk up and ask them if they are looking for any specific items or if they have questions to feel free to ask.
  • Like a good scout you also need to be prepared. I have pre-made meals ready to go so I don't get to worn down. I also take a large water bottle outside with me first thing so I always stay hydrated. It's also important to have lots of change ($60 in 5's, 1's, and quarters), lots of sacks and newspaper for breakables, sunscreen, and a friend on speed dial encase you need anything.
  • Last but by far not least, I highly suggest that you ship the kids off to the grandparent's or a friends during the sale. Not having my two little angels under my feet and begging for attention and food made the whole experience much more pleasant.
This year I started out with four large tables full and five larger inexpensive baby items on the ground. After the two days of sales I netted over $450 after taking out all of my starting costs. the most expensive item sold was $40 and the majority of the items sold for $0.50. I also spent my Friday afternoon reading in the sunshine without interruption while things were quieter. That my friends was priceless.

What are your garage sale success secrets?

Photo from Sassy Signs.com


Aryn said...

We just had a garage sale that was not one to be labeled as "successful". :( Poor traffic, poor sales, and people were really trying to steal stuff from us. It was crazy! I learned quite a few tips and will hopefully have a much more successful yard sale again in a few months!


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