5 Tips to Make More Money from Your Garage Sale
Getting ready for a garage sale can be a huge undertaking. It actually takes a lot of time and energy preparing and planning. So you don’t want to waste your time putting a great garage sale together, and then not make any money from it. So here are some tips to help you maximize your efforts and make as much money as possible.
Participate in community garage sale days
The absolute best time to have your garage sale is during the days that your community has set aside as designated garage sale days. Typically, communities notify local newspapers of community events, such as garage sale days, so a lot of people will be anticipating the event and are probably planning to attend, so this is your best opportunity to get the most traffic through your garage sale. I know that if I’m going to spend time going to garage sales, I want to be able to make the most of my time and get to as many as possible. Of course, you can have a garage sale any time, but the turnout may not be as good.
If your community doesn’t have garage sale days, then it would also be advantageous to have a your own garage sale while other community events are going on, such as a fair or festival, that may draw a crowd to your community—more cars driving by, more potential for people to stop by your garage sale.
Another option would be to get together with a few of your neighbors and have your own multi-family garage sale days. Several households having garage sales is more appealing to attenders, so this may help draw a bigger crowd as well.
Market your goods
It can be very helpful to give people an idea of what kinds of goods are at your garage sale by putting a sign out highlighting what types of items you have the most of. When I have a garage sale, I put a sign out in my yard with some of the items that I think will be more sought-after, in order to draw more people in. For example, I list some of the major components of my garage sale: baby items, boy clothes (sizes 12 mos – 3T), maternity, household goods.
If your community has annual garage sale days, and you have participated before, you know that garage sale-goers are early risers. The early bird gets the worm, right? In this case, the early bird can swoop up the best deals. If you open up a half-hour or hour before other garage sales, you have the opportunity to get some of the early garage-salers before they stop at other garage sales—giving yourself a better opportunity to make some early sales.
Besides being ready early, make sure that you have plenty of small bills and coins so that you can make change. This one may sound obvious, but I have been to garage sales before that couldn’t give me change for a $10. Guess what, they lost a sale—and you will too if you don’t have enough change to offer people who may want to buy your stuff. I suggest starting out with $50 in: a few $5’s, but mostly $1’s and quarters.
Organize the goods you are selling
Every year that I have a garage sale, I get comments on how organized my garage sale is. When I go to a garage sale, I know that I don’t want to sift through large boxes that have a bunch of clothes or toys just thrown in there. I figure if they didn’t bother to organize it, it must be junk—and not worth my time or money.
I organize tables by category: baby items, baby/toddler/kids clothes by size—separating boy and girl clothes, household, etc. I also have prices clearly marked on each item or by table. I always have some items out of the garage that are bigger items that may help to draw more people in: baby play pens, strollers, grills, etc. For bigger, nicer items that I want to get more money on, I put on hangers and display on racks so they can be seen easily. A little time to organize can go a long way in getting your stuff sold.
This is the part of the garage sale that my kids absolutely love, mainly because they get to keep the money that they make selling refreshments. This is such a great way for the kids to actually do something to earn some money during the summer too. And believe it or not, refreshments are a huge seller at a garage sale—especially if it is hot. We don’t make any of the refreshments, primarily because I wouldn’t personally buy anything that was homemade from a home that I wasn’t familiar with, so we opt to buy individual bags of chips, crackers, and cookies, cans of soda-pop, and bottles of water. We stock up on these items that we get from Sam’s Club, so that we can still sell them for a low price, but can also make a little bit of profit too. It is also a bit of summer math practice for my boys because they collect the money and make change for their customers.