In a previous post, I wrote about side hustles. I think that having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of all those items you no longer need or want.
And make some good money from stuff you were probably just going to donate anyway. This past Memorial Day Weekend, we had a garage sale.
My mom and grandmother have been having garage sales for as long as I can remember and there are some great garage sale tips that if you follow, will make the sale go smoothly all while getting rid of all that stuff and making a little bit of money. Here are my garage sale tips for a successful sale.
The Garage Sale state of mind
I am here to get rid of unwanted things not making enough money to retire. So, I am pricing my items to MOVE!
If you have items that you think are worth more money, you might want to set those aside and put them on eBay. This is a garage sale, and you don’t want to have to pack everything back up again.
I usually give myself one day because, honestly, I am not a fan of garage sales. I know why I have one, and I love getting rid of stuff, but I just would rather be doing other things on a Saturday from 8-2.
Get as much done before the day of your sale
I like to have the tent set up the day before and wrap a tarp around the street side, so people are not tempted to stop. The tables are all set up and I can pull everything out.
Take your time setting all of the things up. And I do not feel rushed or half asleep trying to get it all done the morning of the sale.
There is less rushing around and stress when everything is already done ahead of time.
Price to sell
This means cheap. We sold a table and chairs (including leaf) for $25. It was the very first thing to sell that day. It was the most expensive thing we had out there. Chairs, bookcases, microwave…each $5. I was not playing. I gave myself one day. All must go!
This is a great technique. If someone makes an offer, take it. There is no way the stuff is going back into the garage or basement.
I have a box in the basement that holds all of the tools I need for a garage sale. It has pricing stickers, markers, paper for signs, string, tape, and the box is perfect for the money.
It lives in the basement on a shelf so when I need it, I know where it is.
One of my favorite garage sale tips is to organize everything on the tables. Like things together makes it look neater and more appealing to the eye.
Another garage sale tip is to keep it simple. I had printed signs up that said “Everything On This Table 50 Cents Unless Otherwise Marked”. This saved a lot of time and prep work. I didn’t have to put stickers on everything!
Make sure everything is clean
This is so important. Nobody will buy that vintage Pyrex dish if there is still stuck on macaroni and cheese in it.
Make sure everything has been washed or wiped down. A clean bookshelf will sell faster than a dusty one with cobwebs all over it. If you are selling clothes, make sure they have been washed as well.
Have a bucket of hot soapy water and some rags to make sure everything looks especially pretty.
Also, if you are selling clothes, it isn’t a terrible idea to wash them, first.
Have a free box
I always come across some things that just are not worth my target price of 50 cents, so they usually go into the free box. Sometimes they will buy something from you when they take a trinket from the free box and sometimes they do not.
I am ok with either. I just want the stuff to be gone.
People love free!
Many times, there are also small kid’s toys that end up in there. Kids also love free.
I put it up on my town’s Facebook Garage Sale Page and also if you have a local paper, that might be an excellent idea. It costs $9 to put it in our local Pennysaver paper.
Don’t forget the signs. Put signs everywhere. If your grocery store, coffee shop, or library have bulletin boards, print out a sign for there. Hang signs on the street corners near your house, too!
This is a great garage sale tip from my mom. My mom always sold coffee at her garage sale for 25 cents a cup. She had one of those big tabletop 30 cup coffee makers; she bought some creamer and some sugar to put out there and a package of cups.
Always a nice gesture. If it is hot, you could get a tub of ice and sell bottled water.
Have kids? Let them do it or sell lemonade and cookies!!!
Remember why you are here. You want to make a little bit of money but you REALLY want to get rid of your stuff!!
Feel free to dicker or haggle.
But only a little.
Then take their offer. Remember, you do not want to have to pack it back up again! If something is marked $10 and they offer $5, counteroffer $7 and let it go!
Don’t forget your change
Many garage sale shoppers are prepared with small bills and coins but it is always best practice to be prepared.
Be sure to go to the bank the day before for plenty of ones, some fives and tens, and quarters. I keep my money in a plastic pencil box that my boys used to use. It works perfectly!
People are always happy when you can break a twenty dollar bill.
Also, don’t forget plastic bags and empty cardboard boxes for those who purchase more than they can comfortably carry.
Plan ahead for the next Garage Sale
I will start now, planning for the next one. I have this huge purple plastic bin in my basement that I put anything I come across that I don’t want anymore.
It goes right in there with the lid on (to keep the dust off), and we can quickly pull it out for the next sale. Our townwide garage sale is in August, so anything that we did not sell has gone into a corner of the garage and will be sold at that.
After that is done, I will decide to try again next year or donate it to a church thrift store.