How to Have a Garage Sale

I have held several Garage Sales or Carport Sales over the years.  I have also been shopping at these places for several years.

The first thing you need to do is see if you need a permit from your county or city before you can have the sale.

The most important thing for a successful garage sale is publicity.  With the age of the internet the easiest way to get publicity is to put a notice on Craigslist about 3 days before the sale is to take place.   You should also go to your local newspaper and put an ad in the paper.  Be sure to check with your local paper for the deadline to run your ad.  The cost for this in most newspapers is less than 25 dollars. In my local area I  got free signs to put up in the neighborhood.  You may also want to put an ad in the paper which is circulated throughout most of the state in which the sale may be held.  You should also let your friends and family know you are having a sale.

The day before your sale, you should put up signs throughout your neighborhood to let anyone driving through know that your sale is coming.  As a buyer I began to notice garage sales on the Friday before the sales.  Be sure you check with your county or city for the guideline before you put up your signs.   Make sure the sign includes the date, time and place of the sale. 

The next most important thing organization.  Organize your sale so that it will look neat;  Like items should be grouped together.  If you are selling electrical items, please make sure you have an outlet so that buyers can check to see if they work.  If you have items which use batteries, you should also have these on hand. 

The next thing is pricing.  All items should be priced reasonably.  I consider a reasonble price of an item to be no greater than 1/2 the price you would pay in a retail store.  If you have items that are collectors items or speciality items, try to find the item on the internet and printout what the item is selling for so that a buyer can see what a good deal they are getting.  The prices should be easily seen on each item and/or posted throughout the sales area. I do not recommend using the stick-on preprinted prices on clothing because they often fall off the item.  These are great for plastic items.  In order to price clothing I recommend cutting out little slips of paper and using a straight pin to attach to size tag in clothing.  This prevents damage to clothing.

The next thing is ability to make change.  Visit the bank the day before the sale is to occur to make sure that you have enough change to include dollar bills to make change for customers.  I have often seen sales lost because the seller did not have change.

While I do not recommend accepting checks,  if you are selling higher priced items you may need to accept a check.  if you do accept a check you should get the person's driver's license number and make sure you have a good phone number.  Make sure there is a note on the check for what was sold.  Give the person a handwritten receipt.

Make sure you have plenty of bags, change and as many items to sell as possible.  If you follow these guidelines you should have a very successful garage sale.


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