How to have your most successful garage sale ever!
It’s spring in Australia making it the perfect time to plan and have a garage sale. How much stuff do you have laying around the house which could be sold? While it seems like a lot of effort, if done well, you can make a few hundred to thousands in one day!
To have a killer garage sale you need to plan, advertise and be patient. Here are our tips.
Successful garage sales happen when you have planned ahead. Known what you need to do, set aside the time to do it, collaborate with others and be patient.
Pick A Date
Choose a day and time you want to have the garage sale. Remembering people will come earlier than you say to try and get a bargain! If doing it on a Saturday make sure you have enough time during the week to advertise, clean everything up and move it to where you want to have the garage sale.
Get Your Neighbours Involved
The allure of a whole street sale is much higher than one garage sale at a time. Ask your neighbours if they are interested in having a garage sale at the same time or consider having a street sale. Doing things in groups like this will bring more people in and have people hanging around longer, making them more likely to buy. Plus you can do some extra things to make money at your garage sale.
Sort Your Stuff
With a date set and others on board, get your stuff sorted. Have a look to see if anything you have would be better off being sold online and do that. Clean everything, sort it out, take photos of some of it for the online ads and know how much you want to sell things for.
Cash, Supplies And Emergency Plans
Be sure to get out cash beforehand so you don’t get caught short. If possible, set up Paypal or other options on your phone to allow for cashless sales too. This can help when someone wants to buy something but doesn’t have the cash on them because they didn’t expect to buy so much.
Have a first aid kit handy, tape, scissors and other things you might need.
Lastly, have a backup plan. What will you do if it rains – do it completely in the garage or postpone it? Know ahead of time so it isn’t stressful if it happens.
Promote your garage sale as much as possible – everywhere! Think Facebook Marketplace, your personal profile, in groups, on Gumtree, put up signs on the street and on community noticeboards. The more you put it out there, the more people will see it and come. It might seem like a hassle placing different ads and putting up signs, but it’s worth it.
With the signs, make sure you include the date, time and location with arrows directing people to it. This means they need to be big if possible. Get old moving boxes and permanent markers to make them. Use strong tape or cable ties to attach them anywhere you want to place them. Be sure to check the laws in your area to ensure you are allowed to place signs where you want to and don’t end up with a fine.
In all your advertising be sure to mention specifics. What are you selling? Are there collectables, geeky things, specific furniture items, brand names? Mention them and put in details to attract people. Those looking for garage sales also look for specific items online, so by being specific you show up in more searches and attract more customers.
Make More Money
I mentioned listing things which might sell better online already and have a guide for it here. Also look for extra ways to make money. If doing it as a full street sale, does someone want to offer face painting? Can someone do a BBQ (check laws in your area)? Plan to sell cold cans of drink. You can get them on sale in bulk for as little as 50cents for brand name cans and sell them for $1 to $2 easily. Packets of chips, biscuits and other snacks sell well too and help bump up your profits. Think of other things you can sell or do at the garage sale to generate more money.
Be thorough with cleaning and descriptions. Know how low you will go on an item and play hardball. People like to negotiate and push prices lower at garage sales. Be firm and polite, most of the time they’ll pay what you’re asking but they want to try their luck. Also, suggest alternatives such as buy two books for the price of one or offer a discount for multiple items. Be flexible and negotiate with them, but don’t feel pressured to sell for less if you think it will definitely sell or is popular.
On The Day
You want the day to go well and have as little stress as possible. If you’ve planned ahead, it will go smoother.
Allow Enough Time
Get up early, move everything and make sure you have allowed enough time to set up properly. You are better off being set up too early so things are ready when people arrive than you are doing it all last minute and being stressed.
Consider The Layout
Don’t just throw everything out on your lawn and hope it sells. Think about how shops layout their products, what items are placed next to each other to encourage them to be sold together or which make sense for them to be close to one another. Make sure everything is clean and easy to view. Get a rack for clothing instead of putting it in a box or on a table. This way people can easily flick through it.
You want it to be easy for them to shop, see what you have and find what they want. Think about what you like at garage sales or when shopping then replicate it.
I mentioned this already but it needs to be said again. Have cash! Notes and coins so you can give change. Where possible, price items in whole dollar amounts to make it easy to do change and add things up.
Whenever I’ve had garage sales I have usually had a box with freebies and people love it. It attracts them to the garage sale when it’s placed out front, people look through it and you get rid of stuff you don’t want anymore. I’ve also found most people are likely to buy more or look for something to buy as well if grabbing a freebie so they don’t feel bad.
Electronics Testing Area
If you are selling anything electric, set up a powerboard and an area people can test the items. When they know for sure something works, they are more likely to buy it.
If you’re unhappy doing the garage sale, no one will want to spend any time there or buy anything. Be happy, make it a fun environment for people and everyone will have a good day.