Garanimals Blog

April 16th, 2012 at 7:09 am

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Spring means a big thing where I live – garage sales. I’m don’t frequent them very much to shop, but I do hold one every few years. I love to clear out all my stuff and get some money back in return. I am currently preparing for a sale to get rid of all my boys clothes since birth (about 20 totes worth), along with baby things, numerous toys for inside and outside and household goods that have been kicking around.

I usually make around $1000 when I hold one of my sales, so I wanted to share some of my tips.

Cleaning makes a difference: Dusting off old items or even giving a good cleaning to really dirty items makes a difference in value. Items covered in dirt and dust are likely to be overlooked, but if you clean them they not only catch the buyers eye, but also increase the value you can sell it for.

Price Everything: People are usually put off by having to ask how much a certain item costs. The way I usually price is by using masking tape. I write the price on the tag and stock it in a prominent place on the item. I have heard that yellow electrical tape works well also, so I may try that because it will catch people’s eyes better. Be careful when you stick it to the item, especially with book for things with other stickers. It may remove what is under it.

It’s all in the display:  When you lay out your tables make sure to put your items that you want to sell the most (dependent on value or interest) in a place of importance. Put it in front or make it a little higher. These key places can be replaced as items start to be purchased. I am constantly moving items around if I don’t notice people looking at them. Also, be careful of what you place on the floor. People perceive things on the floor as not being very important and in turn not worth much.

Advertise: A key to a good garage sale is a good turnout. The best way is by advertising. Make sure to include your address, the date and times of the sale and also the groups of some of the items you are selling. As far as forms of advertising some of the things I do are:

  • Signs taped to street signs and staked in yards. Make sure the print is very large and bold so people can read it.
  • Local Newspaper
  • Craigslist Ads
  • Facebook
  • Email to friends and family
  • Garage Sale Finder

Stock up on change: I usually like to have about $75 in change. Typically I have about 30-one dollar bills, a roll of quarters ($10), and 7-five dollar bills. I also make a rule that I don’t typically except checks.

Make money in other ways to supplement the sale: Last year I did a combined sale with a friend. The kids sold lemonade and cupcakes. They actually made a good deal of money that way. At my rummage I think the boys will be selling water and drink sticks along with some sort of treat.

Most of all – Have Fun! Don’t get discouraged by people wanting to make deals either. They are out for the best deal they can find.


Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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