The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Successful Garage Sale!

We had a garage sale this past Saturday, and it was a HUGE success! We made way more money than we expected, and the best part was getting rid of stuff that had been cluttering the house! It went so well that I think we may put out what’s left for round two this next weekend. I figure it’s already organized in the garage and ready to go. I’ve learned there are some misconceptions when it comes to having a successful garage sale. There are also some things that we could have done better — things we plan to do next weekend for round two. So here I’m going to share with you my HOW TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL GARAGE SALE — FOR BUSY MOMS!

How to have a successful garage sale // for busy moms  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

1. Start gathering your garage sale items. First step is to go through everything in the house and set aside stuff to sell. Don’t be a hoarder — if you haven’t used it (or worn it) in a year, you probably don’t need it. Identify space in the house or garage where you’re going to collect your garage sale items so that they are all in one place and ready to go. I have a space in the garage where I collect garage sale items year-round.

2. Don’t price your items ahead of time. That’s right, you didn’t hear me wrong. Who has the time? Most people will tell you to price everything out and have it neatly organized, right? Well, I’m telling you NOT to price your items. Why, you ask? Well, how many times have you been at a garage sale and passed something up because the sticker price was more than you were willing to spend and you never spoke a word to the owner? By NOT pricing your items, it forces the buyer to ask you what the price is. You then know they are interested and can open up a dialogue and get to a price that they are willing to spend. I sold so many items just by a little negotiating. Garage sale customers like to get good deals… that’s why they’re shopping at garage sales! Which brings me to number 3…

3. Don’t price things too high! Discuss high-ticket items ahead of time to identify your starting price and your lowest price for the item. But remember, this is a garage sale and people expect a deal. It’s okay to hold firm to a price if you know that you could sell it on eBay or Craigslist for more. But otherwise, remember the goal is to get rid of stuff!

4. Display items neatly. I could have done way better with this one! Display like items together on tables and when possible hang your nicer clothing items. When your items are displayed neatly, it gives the impression that you take care of your things and that they are nicer items and people will pay more and be more likely to buy.

5. Advertise. Piggy back alongside a neighborhood sale or neighbors who are also having yard sales. This garners more traffic to your home. You will also want to post some of your high-ticket items individually onto Craigslist ads and direct traffic to your garage sale through those ads.

6. Create good signage. Have you ever seen those garage sale signs that are barely readable? The ones where you have to slow down and squint just to see where to go? Don’t be one of those! The best signs are simple, large print signs on brightly colored paper. I just write “SALE” in large capital letters and draw an arrow to show the direction they need to go. Neon colored card stock is inexpensive and will do the trick. Don’t over-think it!

7. Involve the kids! We kept the girls busy by giving them something to sell — Gatorade was the perfect treat in 100 degree weather! And it was a fantastic learning experience for them. They just loved being a part of the whole thing!

How to have a successful garage sale   //    for Busy Moms  I  becauseiliketodecorate.com

8. Donate what you don’t sell! You’ve already gone through the trouble to de-clutter your home, so why bring the stuff that doesn’t sell back in? There are many organizations that will come pickup your items curbside and even give you a tax write-off slip for your goods. And if that’s too much trouble, post a quick ad in the “Free” section of Craigslist and you will have someone with a truck at your door usually within the hour.

YOU CAN DO IT!

Lots of love,
Mary

6 thoughts on “The Busy Mom’s Guide to a Successful Garage Sale!

  1. 1959duke

    Hi. An interesting post. I deal in Antiques and stuff. You are right about the bright signs. I pre price everything. Part of that comes from the fact for me this is business and I know what I paid for it. The biggest mistake people make is this. They feel they have to be the first ones there. I am doing this huge yard sale thing this weekend. ( there will be several thousand people there) By around 2 I will be a lot more willing to negotiate. I don’t want to haul it back home. E-Bay also has a free classified ad sight. The issue of price padding on higher items. Its a very common practice. You can always go down but can’t go up. Overall you did a great job writing!

    Reply
      1. 1959duke

        I was not being critical at all. You covered the things that cost people money. There are 2 kinds of yard/garage sales. People who want to get rid of stuff and those who want to get back what they paid for an item. Just because someone paid to much for something why should I bail them out? For me the 2 words that gets me to leave are “I paid”. You are right people want to feel like they are getting a deal. Something else that cost people money is when things are put on the ground. If there were more people like you out there it would make people like me life’s a lot easier. Good Luck!

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