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Successful Garage Sale Tips

Garage sale season is here and if you have been decluttering your home, you probably have a lot of stuff that needs to find a new home. We all know that a garage sale can be an easy money maker if we have garage sale tips to put into place.

We all know that having garage sales can be an easy money maker, but with these garage sale tips you are sure to set yourself up for the best garage sale ever.

I have been having anywhere between 3-5 garage sales a year simply because we have WAY too much and not enough space.  So then its out with the old, in with the new or just live with our new motto of less is more.

I am a recovering pack rat!  I admit it!  If there is a crevice that could be filled and only enough room for 5 things, guess what I could get 10 things in that crevice! I know how to pack and I can do it really well!  The big problem is that my house has suffered from my pack rat abilities!  This past weekend was prime opportunity for us to clear our all the stuff that had been looming in our garage for months (well, maybe years).  Now, lets get on with how you can plan a quick and painless successful garage sale!

Successful Garage Sale Tips:

  • Choose a closet, a space in the garage or basement and start purging.  I keep a box in our garage that is solely for items that I would like to sale in our next garage sale.  When I fill 5-6 boxes or fill a 5×6 space, its time to sell some stuff.
  • Advertising is key!  List your garage sale in your free local newspaper (if you have one), online through your local news channel classifieds (usually free), Craigslist, signs around town, Facebook (on your wall), word of mouth, or buy ad space in your local newspaper (usually around $1 a word with a minimum of 10-15)
  • Location, Location, Location!  Location plays a huge roll in how much money can be made at any garage sale.   If you know that your street is not the location for a garage sale because you have tried and made very little, ask a friend to use their driveway.  You could even throw a little extra their way for letting you use their location (could be $20 or even breakfast and lunch).   We are fortunate to live on a well traveled corner.  We plop one sign in the front yard and set up shop.  We can be cleaning the garage out and have 10 people stop on a Sunday afternoon wanting to buy stuff.  It’s just crazy!  If we are planning on having a garage sale in the near future, we give those people a heads up that we will be having one either the coming weekend or the following weekend.  We have even set up half the driveway with garage sale stuff and the other half as our keep pile.  This allows those people that are looking to buy the opportunity to get in early and we make a little just for cleaning the garage.  Who doesn’t like to get paid for cleaning out their own garage?
  • Collect like items.  When you are organizing your shelves in your home, you always try to collect like items to go together.  Well, that same gesture holds true when it comes to setting up your garage sale.  Set up imaginary lines for specific items such as:
    • Electronics
Clothing (if you can hang it, showcase it)
    • Household Appliances
    • Knick Knacks
    • Kids Toys (let them choose what to sell and they get the profits)
    • 
Linens


  • Price to sell and walk it out the door.  Most people will tell you to mark each item and that is what people will pay (no ifs, ands, or buts about it).  Not me!  I have an idea of what I want to get for certain items and then I go from there.  I, personally don’t mark each item.  Instead, I sell my items ready to walk out the door because it is not coming back into my house or garage for safe keeping.  If someone is buying more of a particular item, give them a discount like 10 shirts for $3 instead of $5.  Some of my prices that work well for me are:
    • Blue Jeans – $1 (kids) $2 (adults)
    • 
Shorts – $0.75 (kids) $1 (adults)
    • Shirts – $1 (button-up or polo) $0.25-$0.50 (t-shirts)
    • Electronics – $3-$15
    • Household Appliances – $3-$10
    • Knick Knacks – $0.50-$2
    • Kid’s Toys – $0.25-$4
    • Linens – $1-$3

    All of my prices are negotiable and all the locals know that with me.  I generally like to price it a little higher in my range and then have an idea of what I really want. For example, if I know I want $5 for a particular item, then I will price it @ $7.  If someone is really interested in it then I will tell them I will go to $5 and 90% of the time, it walks out the door!

    There are some items I will not budge on price though.  For example, we had a 5 disc DVD player (I know old school huh?!?!) that was $10, the customer wanted to give me $7 for it.  I was not willing to budge on the $10 price and after a few minutes, they handed me $10 and off the DVD player went.

    I find garage sales to be kind of like parenting…you have to choose your battles.

    The Garage Sale is Over…what should I do with the leftovers?

    So, you have successfully completed your garage sale and have leftovers sitting on the driveway unless the garage sale fairy came to your house and paid you a flat rate for it all.  Not logical unfortunately! {smile}  I have been waiting on that garage sale fairy for years now and he/she hasn’t shown!  Oh well, there is always the next garage sale that I can hope this happens, right?

    There are many options to get rid of those excess items leftover. You can list or take your items to many places and most are even tax deductible.  Some of my favorites are:

    • Local Ministry
    • Resale/Thrift Store
    • Consignment Shops
    • Craigslist (listed under free or sale lots of clothing or items you want more for)
    • Freecycle
    • Out on the curb (my all time favorite & not for everyone)

    My last option is not for everyone, but by the time Tuesday’s trash day rolls around 95% of what I put out is gone.  Usually all that is left is the kids Pokemon cards (or the like) and items that will generally decompose within a short period of time.  If there is any metal or appliances, we call our local metal guy and he comes right over to pick them up.  He makes a few bucks and I don’t have to worry about filling the landfills with all the muck that won’t decompose.

    We all know that a garage sale can be an easy money maker, but with these garage sale tips you are sure to set yourself up for the best garage sale ever.

    Good luck on your next garage sale! 

    Do you have any successful garage sale tips you can add to this list? I would love to hear your garage sale success stories!

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One Comment

  1. Kristi Kirk Trent says:

    Hi Kristi! I’m Kristi! :-) Nice garage sale post! Very helpful! I can’t believe I’ve never thought of calling a scrap metal guy to come pick up old appliances that didn’t sell. What a great idea. Thank you!

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