ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Basics for a successful garage sale

Updated on May 23, 2012

Get organized

Congratulations! You've taken the first steps to avoiding being featured on the television show "Hoarders." Deciding to have a garage or a yard sale can be a overwhelming, especially starting to decide what to sell. My basic rule was, "if I hadn't used, looked or worn it for months or years, it was being sold." Spend a weekend or a few weeks going through your house and picking out things you just don't need, want or use anymore. I bet you'll be surprised by how much "junk" ..err, another man's treasure ... you have.

Look at everything with a critical eye and ask yourself, "do I really need this moose drinking a beer?" (see picture)

You'll probably find that you also have quite a bit of stuff that isn't sellable but you want to get rid of. Sure, you could make multiple trips to your local landfill but you'll have to pay to dump it. Instead, create a pile of free stuff. You'll be surprised that people will just carry off things that you think isn't worth anything.

Designate a space in your home or garage and place the items in separate areas, such as clothing, sporting goods, tools, DVDs and CDs, books, free stuff, etc. This will help you once you get to the point of setting up your display areas. Don't worry about pricing yet, just focus on gathering your inventory.

Once you determined what you want to sell, then it's time to pick a date. You'll want to pick a weekend day. Saturday is typically when most bargain hunters hit garage sales. Even though you can't control the weather, keep an eye on future forecasts and pick a Saturday when it is most likely to be a nice day. Nothing puts a damper on a successful garage sale than rain.

Finally, and maybe most importantly, on the day before your sale head to the bank and withdraw cash for making change. Garage sales are strictly a cash business and you'll need plenty of ones, fives and tens. I recommend getting $200 and breaking it down like this: $100 in tens, $40 in fives, $40 in ones, and $20 in quarters.

Get the word out

OK, once you've gathered your inventory and circled a date on the calender. It's now time to get the word out. Head down to your local newspaper and fill out a form to place an ad in the classified section. On the form be as specific as possible on the items you'll be selling. People will not show up at your garage sale unless you have what they want, and they will arrive early in order to get it. For our sale, we clearly stated that the sale was from "8 a.m. to 2 p.m., no early birds!!" However, people were circling our street at 7 a.m.

Most newspapers will give you road signs as part of the package for placing the advertisement. On the night before the sale, place the signs along the busiest roads near your home. These signs will help those who saw your ad in the paper find your home, and they will catch the attention of other motorists and hopefully entice them to check you out, also. And, if possible, place a big sign right in front of your house so there's no mistake who's having the sale on your block.

Take advantage of social media. Let all your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter know about your sale. And, put a notice on sites such as Craigslist and Freecycle.

Item
Price
 
Men's and women's clothing
$0.25 an item
 
Baby clothes
$0.25 an item
 
Leather jackets
$10 an item
 
DVDs and CDs
$1 an item
 
DVD box set
$3 an item
 
Book shelves
$20 to $25 depending on quality
 
TVs
$20 to $50 depending on quality
 
Radios
$5 to $10 depending on quality
 
Glasses and dishes
$0.25 to $1 depending on quality
 
Toys, stuffed animals
$0.25 to $1 depending on quality
 
Wedding decorations
$0.25 to $5 depending on quality
 
Books
$0.25 paper backs; $0.50 hardcovers
 
Microwave
$5 to $15, depending on quality
 
Board games
$1 to $3 depending on quality and game
 
Luggage
$3 to $5 depending on quality
 

Price to sell

Let's just be upfront. You're not going to get back what you paid for your stuff. That's not your goal. You're looking to price to sell. That doesn't mean you need to just give your stuff away, but you need to be realistic. People go to garage sales for bargains and if you don't offer any then they will head up the street to another sale where they'll spend their cash.

Condition, quality and popularity of items are variables to consider when setting prices. People will literally fight over baby items. So, you can set a higher price on things such as baby clothes, cribs, strollers, high chairs, toys, bibs, swings, bassinets, car seats, etc. Baby items are always the hottest items at garage sales and people will buy everything you have because, speaking as a parent of two toddlers, the stuff you're selling is a heck of a lot less expensive than buying it new at a store.

I've listed what I priced some of the items from our sale, which we made a profit of more than $200. Not too bad considering we set our prices low because our No. 1 goal was to sell, sell sell and de-clutter the house.

Road appeal

The day has come. Everything is priced, the newspaper printed your ad, signs are placed at high traffic areas throughout the city and your social media friends have expressed interest in stopping by. But, all that hard work could be for nothing if you don't have any curb appeal to make those garage sale bargain hunters get out of their vehicles.

The decision on whether to stop at your place often depends on what they can see from their vehicles. Arrange your merchandise so that the most sought after items you advertised are clearly visible from the road. Put bookshelves to good use before they are sold by using them to display smaller items, such as picture frames, decorative pieces and glasswares. Put a table of baby items, which I mentioned earlier as the hottest items at garage sales, near the street with a big sign saying, "get your baby clothes, toys here!"

The goal is to make drivers stop their vehicles and get out and fork over the cash. One fun thing you could do is get out a grill and offer free hot dogs and burgers, plus a cold beverage, for any purchase over $5. Buy some balloons, turn on a radio and create a bit of a picnic/party feel. I admit that this might be a bit much and eat into your overall profits some, but you want to create a fun and inviting atmosphere to help drive sales. Who knows, maybe you'll end up having fun yourself.

Take Our Poll

What's preventing you from having a garage or yard sale?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • smithed profile imageAUTHOR

      smithed 

      6 years ago

      Alphagirl: Kids who don't play air hockey don't know what they're missing. I love air hockey.

    • alphagirl profile image

      alphagirl 

      6 years ago from USA

      You reminded me of the things i want to get rid of. I have an air hockey table that is 4x6ft in great condition. I tried sselling on Craigslist. Kids don't play air hockey any more. Not one offer.

      Thanks for helpful hints

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I'm planning on having a garage sale soon, the balloons are a good ide, I think I'll add some with my signs as well. Thanks and Welcome.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Welcome to HubPages! This is a great Hub filled with good advice on having a garage sale. I'm voting it UP, etc.etc. and I will share with my followers, too.

    • smithed profile imageAUTHOR

      smithed 

      6 years ago

      Thanks. I just signed up this week. I enjoy having a creative place to share my ideas and thoughts, besides my personal blog.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 

      6 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Welcome to HubPages! :) You have some terrific helpful tips here! :) You're off to a great start!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)