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Have a Successful Garage Sale

Updated on February 9, 2018
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Writing Nag is the pseudonym for blogger Patricia Biro. She writes about home, finance, creative writing and anything and everything vintage

Spring and Summer means GARAGE SALES!

Lucky for me my husband has recently become a collector of vinyl records, so now when I want to stop at a local garage sale to look for my favorite collectibles including: vintage postcards, vintage kitchenwares, vintage Christmas and Halloween items, he is all for it. Going to garage sales is fun and if you're a collector it becomes like a treasure hunt. But what if you want to have a successful garage sale do you know what to do? Spring clean your house and garage and make money off of your clutter!

The best garage sales are organized, easy to find and have clean and nicely displayed goods. If you want to be successful at throwing your own garage sale I've come up with 5 Simple Tips for Having a Successful Garage Sale. What are your favorite tips for throwing a successful garage sale? I know that there are many more but learn these five and you will earn more money to go to the next big garage sale.


5 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

  1. Plan Ahead
  2. Invite the Neighbors
  3. Take Time to Display Your Goods
  4. Don't Overcharge
  5. Have enough change

Plan Ahead

I'm sure you've seen those garage sales that look like they spent about 10 minutes getting prepared. The lawn with the broken chair, a baby car seat, a stained mattress and a stack of old magazines. To hold a successful garage sale, plan ahead. Go through the items you want to sell, clean them up and take some time (the night before or early in the morning of your sale) to organize and price them. Plan ahead also means advertising in the local newspaper, and/or on Craigslist, not selling good reusable items and taking care that the clothes you want to sell have been washed and presentable. No one wants stained, ripped or useless goods. It also means creating good signage that people can see from the street, getting balloons or other markers so that people know exactly where the sale is and being prepared for early birds.

Invite the Neighbors

Successful garage sales are often made up of several homes that share yards. Why? Garage sale shoppers love to park in one place and walk the neighborhood streets for good buys. In advance, ask your neighbors if they would be willing to join your garage sale, some families get the children involved with making signage, adding a lemonade stand or asking the children to put together a kids toy section. Plan on having coffee and/or maybe doughnuts for the early bird shoppers!

Sharing the cost of a newspaper ad, balloons to mark your spots and signage is also a way to reduce the cost of holding a garage sale.

Favorite Garage Sale Finds

What do you shop for at garage sales? Choose your favorite!

See results

Have Enough Change

Most "professional" shoppers know to bring dollars and change to yard sales, tag sales, flea markets and garage sales but don't make the mistake of missing a sale because you don't have enough money in your cash drawer. Purchase some rolls of quarters and at least one hundred dollars worth of singles. Be willing to haggle too if your goal is more sales, especially in the last hour. Most people plan on donating what doesn't sell at the end of the garage sale so isn't one dollar better than zero dollars?

Take Time to Display Your Goods

Retail stores know that people buy more if goods are displayed in visually stimulating ways. Use card tables but drape with fabric or table clothes and take pride in your goods.

Display the same colored items together for visual interest.

Put all collectibles together.

Hang clothes, don't just throw out a box of stacked misc clothing.

Set up little niches of kitchen wares, books, toys, ephemera, vinyl records and more. Collectors love to find their favorites quickly and easily.

Don't Overcharge

Because of online auction houses many people have an inflated view of what an item is worth. Do you want to sell your items? Or do you want to hold on to them because in your mind they are worth so much money?

Buy a good flea market guide if you have no idea of the worth of your collectibles. But if you honestly think it should go for more money keep it or plan on selling it at an auction. Many of us watch auction shows and hope our items will fetch hundreds or thousands of dollars but many items are only worth what someone will pay.

People that hold successful garage sales stick to realistic prices for small goods: .50-$5.00.

Have you ever had a garage sale? - What made it successful? Please share in the comments.

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