Great Garage Sale Tips

Making a good clear and easy to read Garage Sale sign can bring in the customers by the car load!
Making a good clear and easy to read Garage Sale sign can bring in the customers by the car load! | Source

Where Do I Get Stuff to Sell at my Garage Sale?

If you have rummaged through your house, garage and storage unit, for past garage sales, then you are probably in need of a new source for your garage sale inventory. Your friends, family, and neighbors, more often then not, will have an old refrigerator or dining set they have replaced sitting in their storage unit or garage. The knowledge that you are more than happy to share your garage sale with them—for a 20% cut—saves them the hassle of setting up their own yard sale, and gets the clunky old stuff out of their hair; while putting that extra 20% from the sale item in your pocket. You may not wish to charge your family, but your friends and neighbors will be grateful for the chance to dump some of their old stuff.

Things to get in writing when selling other people's stuff:

  • A list of their items (What stuff belongs to who?)
  • The amount contributors want for each of their items (Pricing, with price tags, each piece of inventory is the best way to sell unwanted stuff and keep customers coming back.)
  • What their bottom price is for each item (You need room to negotiate with customers, so be sure the price tag allows you some room to play the barter game and still get the amount you want for each item.)
  • You will get 20% of the sales price for each item (Saving people the hassle of setting up their own garage sale is worth at least 20% of the sales price).

Garage Sale / Yard Sale Poll

How Often do You Have a Garage Sale or Yard Sale yearly?

See results without voting

Tell People About Your Yard Sale

Another reason it's a good idea to let people know you're having a garage sale is that the more stuff you get people to add to your inventory, the more customers are going to show up for the sale. It is a fact that the most successful yard sale and/or garage sale proprietors have large inventorys to choose from. If you advertise that you have hundreds of great items for sale, like 10 fly fishing poles, hundreds of pieces of office quality clothing, 15 power tools, and dozens of miscellaneous items, you will find a better turn-out at your yard sale then if you advertise an end table, two chairs and a tool-belt. Again, the more stuff, the more customers.

Make sure you have enough cash and coin on hand so you don't miss a sale because you don't have the right change!
Make sure you have enough cash and coin on hand so you don't miss a sale because you don't have the right change!

Buy From Other Garage Sales and Bargin Sales

If you are a regular garage seller, you are going to want to get going to other people's garage sales, yard sales, rummage sales, and flea markets yourself. This can help yield a larger inventory for you in the long run, and as discussed earlier, the more stuff you have to sell, the better your customer turn-out will be. Often you can find bulk purchases at flea markets, close-out sales, or regular stores. By later splitting these things up and selling them as individual items, you not only expand your inventory, but increase your money making potential.

What Is The Most Popular Garage Sale Item That Always Sells?

Tools are the most popular item at garage sales (along with good fishing gear). The more good stuff like this you have to sell, the more buying customers will attend your garage sale!

How To Make More Money From Your Garage Sale

A Simple Profit Making Example

Purchase a tool chest with several pieces at a bargain price. Most often, people will only be looking for a single tool to buy at a yard sale. Let's say you bought a 25 piece tool set for a sale price of $8.50, deciding to sell each item for $1. The beauty of the bargain is that you only have to sell 9 of the 25 pieces to make a profit. You don't need to sell every piece of the tool kit, only enough to cover your purchase output. By planning a meaningful way to put money in your pocket—buying low, then selling each piece individually—You create a great garage sale item!

Good Garage Sale Bulk Purchases Include:

  • socks
  • Pens and pencils
  • printer paper
  • Office supplies
  • New Blank CD's / jeweled cases for CD's
  • Canned sodas or water (your shoppers may get thirsty)
  • Arts and craft items
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Batteries

How to Price Your Garage Sale Items, so They Will Sell!

This has to be one of the more difficult aspects of the garage sale. How do you know if you have something priced too high, or worst, too low? If you keep in mind that what you don't sell, may well have to be hauled away (for a fee) and that you really have no further need for this stuff, then pricing becomes far less difficult and far more fun. You're getting people to pay you so they can haul off your unwanted stuff! Leave your sentiment behind, because your customers don't really care that you got that paisley recliner from uncle Dan. More likely, the buyer just wants to get some cheap furniture to fill their kids college dorm room this semester!

However, just because your customer didn't know uncle Dan, doesn't mean you should give the chair away for $3. So, how do you know how to price things? There is actually a formula to figure the price for things like furniture, televisions, stereos, lamps, and other items that have real value. You need to take a moment to figure, in your head, what the item would cost new in a store. Then, use the starting point of a 75% markdown from the store price. Here is an example:

If uncle Dan's recliner cost around $240 bought new at a store, then we would make the starting price $60-$75. You are going to want to make the price something the buyer can not match. You know, make the buyer an offer they can't refuse! Keep in mind that the people who go to garage sales are smart, they know pricing and are looking for a deal. If they know you have marked something too high, they are going to assume that everything is too high.

Further Pricing Expectations:

These items can act as loss-leaders, making people think everything you have is priced really low!

  • Shoes and sandals - $2.50 a pair or less
  • Clothing - $1.50 to $3 (DO NOT sell things that are damaged unless you mark them as such.)
  • Old glass ware and vases - $1 to $2 (Make sure your not selling Tiffany lamps for this price though!)
  • Trinkets - $1 to $2 (Costume jewelry, key chains, kitchen wear, place-mats, etc.)
  • Books - .50¢ to $2 (Know what you're selling/ no first editions at this price!)
  • Nice outfits or suits - $5 to $20 (Hang these items. Also try putting slacks and dress shirts nicely folded on display together with a sign that reads, "ANY THREE ITEMS $5 - or - $2 each.")

90% of Your Garage Sale Customers Will Negotiate!

A little give-and-take in negotiations can improve profits; providing your starting price is more than you really want for an item!
A little give-and-take in negotiations can improve profits; providing your starting price is more than you really want for an item!

The Garage Sale Negotiation

90% of the Time Garage Sale Customers Will Negotiate Over Your Pricing

Knowing you are going to be faced with a day of bartering from 90% of your customers can help you set your prices accordingly from the beginning. You will want to mark your prices with this in mind. If you have a bamboo fly fishing pole you want $20 for, then you need to mark the fly rod $30. The customer who offers $15, gives you an opportunity to counter offer with $20. This gets you the price you really want, and gives the customer a sense that he/she has gotten a better deal for a cool fishing pole because you have negotiated a deal below the marked price tag!

Remember that the things you put in your garage sale are those things you want to shed from your household or storage inventory. So, have fun selling the things that are in your way, get as many things from around the neighborhood that you can, add your family and friends stuff to the inventory, get 20% of the sales price from peoples stuff you sell, and price your garage sale things with room to negotiate; and you will find that at the end of the day the only stuff you have to haul away, is the money in your pockets!

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Comments for "How to Make Your Garage Sale a Success" 31 comments

davidotunga 3 years ago

Great blogs buddy……… this will definitely assist me.

http://www.retailblog.com


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Outstanding! I hope you find these garage sale pointers helpful for your move! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Cheers~

K9


twoseven profile image

twoseven 5 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

Thank you for this very useful hub! We are moving soon and I was thinking about having a garage sale, but was too scared by all the logistics. This makes it seem possible!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

RedElf~ Thank you for the kind remarks. This is the time of year when Garage/yard sales are making a hit! In regard to your comment, "what to do while waiting for customers?" I strongly suggest a nice cold margarita or sweet tea! Always works for me. Thanks for the support here today RE.

K9


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

I wish I had this as a guide before I had our garage sale. Thanks so much for this informative guide. Now I need one on what to do while waiting for customers... :D


howcurecancer profile image

howcurecancer 5 years ago

It's more than a basic guide! Thanks.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Purple Pearl~ Really am grateful for your comments. Thank you for the well-wishes and congrats. It has been a very fun personal finance contest!

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Shaz~ Thanks so much for stopping by. I apreciate your comments very much. I have not heard the term "car boot" sale before. You always manage to teach me something new, thanks!

K9


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

Really useful guide. Thanks for sharing and Congrats!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain

We tend to have car boot sales in the UK but many of your tips still suffice.

This is a very deserving hub and well picked in the money grows on hubs contest - congratulations in winning staff picks.

Shaz :)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Bart~ Thanks big brother! Still waiting to see some of your writing show up here on HubPages!

Love ya,

Your sister


Bart 5 years ago

Go sis Go.

B


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Johnny Parker~Thanks so much for taking in the hub today. Finding garage sale stuff on eBay sounds like a really great idea, wish I had included it in this hub as well. But, knowing you will be linking-in to this one is a super way to get your idea found anyway! I really appreciate your comments Johnny, thanks.

K9


Johnny Parker profile image

Johnny Parker 5 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

Very good article. Will put a link in to this from my Haggling hub.

I get most of my ebay stock from Garage sales, its amazing what you can pick up.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

stephhicks68~Thanks for your nice regards. I know, it's like finding hidden money--for free! Hot coffee, great bargin items, good ads, and lots of customers make for the perfect garage sale morning! Can't wait for the weekend sales this week. Thank you for the read Steph, I really appreciate it!

K9


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

I love garage sales - just a bit of work can help you "recover" money from things you no longer need or want. Great hub - rated up! Congrats on your win.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Nellieanna~Thank you so much my friend!

K9

Les Trois Chenes~ I can only imagine the many great yard sale or barn sale things you will find! This would be a fun day of sorting and remembering as well as pricing stuff for a bargin sale! Thank you for the well wishes and for stopping by for a read, I am truly grateful.

K9


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

We have a barn in France full of stuff. You've inspired me to consider a barn sale! Congratulations on your win.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Thumbs up!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

dmilesut~Thank you very much for the kudos. Winning was a surprise. I learned a lot about personal finance from the many great hubs written by the community! It's been fun! I appreciate you stopping by for a yard sale hub!

K9


dmilesut 5 years ago

Congrats on winning the contest. Great hub and keep up the great work!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

oceansnsunsets~Thank you very much. I am thrilled with the win. Yea, I made it in under the wire on the last day! Close call. What a fun contest this has been, creating motivation for several very cool hubs from the hubpages community! I appreciate you stopping by.

K9


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Congratulations on winning on the final day of the finance contest. Thanks for sharing tips on yard sales and garage sales too.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Akirchner~Thank you so much! Better late than never, right? I must admitt I am a little giddy about it. I love being among such a great company of winners. Appreciate your comments.

K9

Garagespike~Thank you for the read. I hope the tips help you make an amazing chunk of change at your next garage sale.

K9

Analana~Thank you. I know the rush you speak of well! I love the yard sale, rumage sale and flea market thing very much. Nothing like getting a $50 item for $4! I am grateful for your comments.

K9


Analana profile image

Analana 5 years ago

Great job and congratulations! I have to admit that I am a yard sale junkie. There is nothing like the rush of getting a great deal!


garagespike 5 years ago

good ideas for having a garge sale. i will try some ideas you give.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Congratulations on your win~!!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Nellieana~ Thank you for having a read on garage sales here. Nice to see you!

K9


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

WEll - this is a keeper! I'm far from ready to have a sale but it IS in my future. Good advice!! I'll be back!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California Author

Darski~ I am thrilled that you like my hub! I hope you can russel up some friends who are in the garage sale mood! Best of luck to you. Thanks for the comments and for stopping by.

K9


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Now this is an excellent hub, really great, I have so much stuff and live in a community where they will not allow us to have a gargage sale of any kind. I dislike people walking through my home that are stangers so the secret is to get our friends together with a home in an open neighborhood. Thank you so much for this excellent and useful awesome hub, rate up peace & love darski

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