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Garage Sales are part talent, part display and part expertise

Updated on August 16, 2009

It is Sunday morning and I've had three customers today; all of whom bought something from my 20% off yard/garage sale today.  Yesterday, I sat in my 110 degree garage in the mid-90 degree weather, sweating my butt off, but earning over $400 total for items that were priced in the nickel and dime range for most products. 

It takes talent to set up a desirable garage/yard sale.  Placing items strategically on tables and by genre takes time but it allows the women to find the feminine items, men to find the masculine items and both to find items that they can't live without.  Hanging clothing on a clothes rack makes clothing visible and thanks to my guy, I now have a gorgeous 15 foot rack where the clothing hangs in glory.  I have an electronics table, a holiday decor table, a camping table, a pool stuff table, a kitchen item table, a workman/tool table, a toy/game/book table and a table for jewelry.  I also have a large table for myself on which I have the laptop for slow moments, the cash box, my large drink cup and room for people to lay their items on while they load their arms up with more!

Then comes the haggling or battering part.  Even though the prices are lower than what you would find in a discount store, people still want to try to get a lower price.  Often, I will.  Hey, the purpose of the sale is to get rid of things, not keep them.  However, the never used, $100 dollar tent (still in its box) wouldn't budge from it's $50 price; and the woman still bought it any way!  If you are willing to barter on some items, people are usually willing to pay what you are asking for the others.

On my second day of the sale, I mark things down 20% and am sure to let everyone that shows up that they get this special discount before they begin looking.  It truly fills their arms more quickly and in truthfulness, leaves less for me to pack away until the next sale.

The heat this year has been a factor in low attendance.  I personally find it more difficult to get in and out of my air conditioned vehicle on days like this than shopping.  Like many that cruise at 1 mile per hour past my home, I do the same thing if I want to see if it's worth my while to get out of the car.  If I'm going to haul my fat butt up some one's driveway and sweat like a pig for the 10 minutes while I peruse items, then something has to catch my eye.

A reason to place your larger, exciting items at the end of the drive and in plain site of those driving by.  It will get them out of the air conditioning and onto your property.

Day two doesn't always bring me the biggest sales; in fact, it's pretty darn slow.  However, having a sale at my house also gives me something that I don't get enough of...interaction with other people.  I love talking to people and hearing what they have to say.  I love seeing the little children get so excited about getting a stuffed animal for 5 cent. I Iike having people tell me what a nice job I do on my decorating the house and how the landscaping of the yard is wonderful.  I get perks from all of this interaction.

So, if you're thinking of having a garage/yard sale, put lots of signs on white poster board with bold black, blue and red letters.  Put the address, an arrow pointing the way and BIG SALE on the sign; nothing else.  Let them come to you to see what you have. 

Then, arrange your items by category/genre and place your biggest items near the front.  Put clothing on hangers.  Have a large cash out table to allow placement of items while shopping continues.  Thank everyone with a smile and a warm greeting.  They'll be back next year!


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    • ljrc1961 profile image

      Laura Cole 8 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, I would if I could...hope your days aren't so hot!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I'm planning on having one very soon. Do you want to come? LOL