How to Make Money with Your Garage Sale
When was the last time you hosted a garage sale? Have you been following along with Marie Kondo and now you need to get rid of all those great things you’ve been holding onto?
A garage sale is a great way to make a little extra cash with your unwanted items but you have to be willing to put a little bit of work into it. We’re sharing some tips from our last sale to help you get the most out of your next garage sale.
Last weekend we hosted the first official Ferguson-Higgins Garage sale! We had accumulated quite the pile of unwanted items from our 4 (or 5) years of college and even more from our year living together.
With a bit of planning we were able to host a successful garage sale and here’s how we did it.
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What Sells at a Garage Sale
- Gently Used Clothing
- Accessories – Scarves, Handbags and Costume Jewelry
- Children’s Items
- Small Appliances
- Exercise Equipment
These are generally popular items at garage sales so they are great items to put out for sale. Be sure to follow our tips below on getting them prepped for the sale.
What Not to Sell at a Garage Sale
- Undergarments or Lingerie
- Half Used Items – personal care products, etc.
- Makeup and Perfume
Children’s shoes and shoes that haven’t been worn may be the exception here but any shoe that’s been worn is going to form to the wearer’s fit and not be as comfortable for a new owner.
Garage Sale Tips
Here are a couple of tips to make your future garage sales great!
Yep – it takes a little bit of effort to prepare for a sale but it makes it a lot smoother the day of. Be sure to price everything, but also be willing to negotiate. Most people expect to haggle a little at a yard sale. Don’t be offended by it, it’s definitely not personal.
We bought price stickers to put on all of our items but you can also easily group like items together. Like saying all T-Shirts are $2.00.
It’s also a great idea to give bulk discounts. You might just round down a bit from the total if someone is buying several items.
If you’re using tables for your displays be sure to mark them “not for sale” to avoid any confusion!
Don’t Forget the Change
We usually try to avoid working with jingly change but you’re likely to need some small bills. Be sure to hit the bank in advance so you don’t find yourself digging through your wallet trying to make change before you’ve even finished your first coffee.
Market Your Sale
We live in a college neighborhood, so it was important to ensure that people from other neighborhoods knew about our sale. We posted on the Facebook Group “Lubbock Online Garage Sale”, yardsale.com, and on Craigslist.
Check out what free listings there are in your town. We’ve seen some places that even have an app for garage sales. This makes it easy for people to map out the sales they want to visit.
Use the Power of the Internet
If you can take photo’s and post items throughout the day on Facebook and Craigslist they may sell online. This means that people were coming to pick up the items they wanted and then shopping the other items we had in the sale. Taking the garage sale online made it easier to market to a much broader audience.
Put Out Signs
Have a few signs to direct people to your house. It helps the ones who are actively looking for your garage sale, but it can also bring in some people who were just driving by and saw the signs.
The key is to get as many eyes on your items as you can.
We officially opened at 7:30 am. However, at 7:15 in the morning we already had customers and made $15 before we were even open!
Be sure to get setup the night before so that you can get a good night’s rest and be ready for the early crowd.
Spending some time pricing items makes it easier to sell them, especially when there’s a crowd of people. No one wants to ask you over and over “how much is this, how much is this?”
Do the best you can to display your items on tabletops and racks. It helps to borrow tables or use a long board on top of a smaller table to get things up off the ground.
As items sell, replace the empty spots with more items. People notice things that are closer to eye level and if they don’t have to bend to pick them up they are more likely to see everything.
Try to greet everyone when they walk up. It makes them more comfortable looking through your items. Some people will be chatty and some won’t but you should smile and say hello.
Being nice to people goes a long way. We had customers that felt inclined to post on Facebook how nice of people we were and recommended that everyone should swing by our garage sale. How cool is that?!
A garage sale can be a great time to meet your neighbors or other folks that live in your town. There are lot’s of people who visit garage sales on a regular basis. But you still need to remember that these are strangers.
Be sure to keep your doors locked to your house. And be sure to keep your money box somewhere that’s not easily accessible.
Have a Plan for the Leftovers
You will have a few things left at the end of the day. Be sure to have a plan in advance of how you’ll deal with them. You can put them out on the curb with a free sign or deliver them to a donation center. Just be sure to include this in your planning.
It’s also a great idea to decide at a certain time that everything is a percentage off. People who want to bargain in the morning might check back later in the day to see if they an get a better deal. Especially if you invite them to check back later.
A garage sale can be a great success if you put a little bit of planning into it.
Here’s a handy pricing checklist that we found : Pricing for a Garage Sale
Overall it was a fun weekend bonding and we made some money for our plane tickets to Shanghai!
Have you hosted a garage sale in the past? Did we miss any tips that you think we should have included? Let us know in the comments below!
Be sure to save it for later!