10 Power Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Most of us have too much stuff. We buy a house with a 2 car garage, but end up parking outside because we have so many boxes piled up inside. It is good to periodically go in and clean out your excess stuff. It will save you space and earn you a bit of cash. And after you get rid of your stuff you need to work on not acquiring more!

Photo by mikecogh via Flickr

How to Make Money with a Garage Sale

Here are a few tips to help you be more successful in getting rid of your stuff.

1. Advertise aggressively

There is no point in taking time to put price tags on everything, putting out signs, and getting up early if no one shows up. The best way to make sure people show up is to advertise in appropriate places. That means in the newspaper, on Craigslist, and on Facebook. On the night before the sale be sure to put signs out leading to your house. Go where your potential buyers are, and make sure they know about your sale.

Also, make sure your signs don’t look like a 2nd grader. They need to be in large letters and written dark so they can be seen easily.

2. Prepare for early birds

No matter what time you put on your ads for the beginning time of the garage sale, people will show up early. Expect this, and plan ahead. It’s good to have early traffic, but you don’t want all the good items taken before you officially open for business.

3. Price aggressively

You may have paid $80 for those jeans last year, but they are now used jeans. Price them and all of your items fairly — you don’t want to give them away — but not so high as to drive away all of your customers from even considering negotiating with you.

4. Prepare to Negotiate

Speaking of negotiating, you’re going to likely negotiate on every item you try to sell. If you are not comfortable with this, you’ll either practically give away your items for free or be better off not having a garage sale.

5. Offer Bundled Deals

Instead of pricing items individually, consider packaging them together at a slight discount in order to move a larger number of items. You might sell a package of 8 t-shirts for $3 rather than 50 cents per piece. You give up a dollar of revenue but sell more items faster.

6. Partner with Neighbors and Friends

Don’t have enough stuff to justify a big sale on your own? Partner up with people you know to pool your items together. This can make things a bit more complicated when it comes to figuring out the money, so it is best to tag the items with a color that goes to each person.

7. Donate What Doesn’t Sell

Inevitably there will be some items left at the end of the garage sale that haven’t sold. You make get a cheap offer on them, or an offer to simply take them away for you. Consider that option, but also think about how much the items would be worth if you donated them. The tax write-off might be worth more than the offer you’re getting.

8. Clean & Repair Items Before Selling

Present your items in a way that is the most likely to help them sell. If you have an old item, clean it up before selling it. If your furniture has some scuffs consider grabbing some wood oil or stain to cover it up. Make sure everything is dusted and looks as attractive as possible to get someone to buy it.

9. Organize Like Items Together

Don’t put your CDs on one side of the garage and your CD Walkman on the other side. Put items that naturally go together in the same area to increase the odds of selling the items.

10. Write Legibly

Make sure everything is written legibly. That means your price tags must be clear to avoid confusion and upset customers, and clearly marked signs so people can find your garage sale.

About the Author

By , on Aug 15, 2011
Kevin Mulligan
Kevin Mulligan is a debt reduction champion with a passion for teaching people how to budget and stay out of debt. He's building a personal finance freelance writing career and has written for RothIRA.com, Discover Bank, and many others.

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