If you’re planning a garage sale as part of your spring cleaning routine, learn how to run a successful garage sale instead of just tossing your items on a table. You can clean out your house and make a tiny bit of cash if you go about it the right way.
How to Make Cash at Your Garage Sale
Get Ready to clean out your clutter! Go through your house into all your cupboards, drawers, closets, and find items that you no longer have a use for, or for stuff you haven’t used or fit anymore. Then grab some price tags and a marker, and start boxing, and getting ready about a week or so before the plan the event.
But before you get too excited, consider these tips for increasing the cash your able to make that weekend.
How to Prepare for a Garage Sale
Don’t start throwing in stuff on a table, there’s work to be done, by following these simple tips and tricks to get started.
1. Do a Huge Spring Clean Up. Set aside a weekend or a few evenings prior to the garage sale date. Look in your closets, drawers, the basement, and anywhere that you place items you think ” I may need it one day”. We all have that spot – the spot where your not ready to let go. Maybe today is the day you will decide to let go of it! Have you watched ” Tidying Up” on Netflix? Read Our Spark Joy article and what it means to help you purge those items
2. Keep a few boxes as you go along. I know for me – I really hate to make someone’s decision for them, so as you are purging, and as you come across items that you are unsure of, simply put in the box, and keep adding to the boxes as you go along to get others involved in the process.
3. Don’t have enough stuff? If you feel you don’t have enough for a garage sale, consider organizing a few friends or neighbours, or other family members to join you. Larger Garage sales attract more people, plus you will get more help in advertising with putting up signs, and help to manage all the buyers. The more people that come through, the more potential cash that can be earned.
4. Sparkle Clean for higher cash! Give everything a good wipe down, and make it ready to use. Wipe off dirt and dust, wash and clean up clothing of any animal hair, etc. The cleaner everything looks, the more people are willing to pay.
5. Plan for a Sunny Days: Select a weekend that plans to be sunny and warm out. Also, check with other Garage Salers and see if you should host your garage sale: Thursday and Friday Evening. I know in my area, Thursdays and Fridays were the better sale days, and Sunday was the lowest sale day.
6. Advertise like a mad man. Find your local facebook groups that allow garage sale postings, Put it on Kijii, add it to your Facebook feed on your personal Facebook profile, and mix it up with tons of posters where you can! The more you can advertise the week of the sale, the more the word gets out.
7. Posters: Use Florescent poster board. The Poster should have the physical dates, and times it starts plus the Street Address and town. If you have room put what kind of items your selling: Kids items, baby stuff – Moving out sale, Household items, etc, Just the basics.
7. Pricing. Determine what your item is worth. Simply upfront books won’t pull in more than $0.50 each for paperbacks, and DVDs – You will be lucky to get a $1.00 or $2.00. Boxed sets can get away with $ 5.00. Clothing will depend on brand names:
What to price with? Well, you can purchase stickers at your dollar store: or just use painters tape or coloured masking tape. ( There are lots of colours available) if in a rush. People love to know the price. It’s okay to do posters on bins of books, or DVDs, or common items you have a lot of. But everything else should have an individual price tag on it.
If doing multiple people for the same garage use different coloured price tags to keep things running smoothly with little confusion.
8. Organize Your stuff!. Set up the kind of garage sale you would want to go to. Think about what makes you pull in that driveway or make another trip around the block a the weekend before your upcoming event.
Treat your garage sale like a retail store. You can make it easier for the buyer to have all your paperback books in a Rubbermaid container with a sign that says $0.50 each and have all your books so it’s easy to read each book, versus a pile of books. Hang clothing up if you can – Get creative and use a ladder or create a clothesline. Create sections – Kids toys next to kids clothing, Guys tools, kitchen stuff in one section etc.
What to do the Day of Your Garage Sale
Here’s how to run your garage sale like a Pro. The Big day has arrived, and here’s how to make your sale a success.
1. All About the Time: The Garage Sale Bargain Hunters are Pro’s and will be at your sale about 30 minutes before your signage, so Make sure your ready ahead of the start time that you advertised on your advertising. So Don’t be late, and also stay open at the time your sale posters say. If you say 3 pm to 8 pm. Stay till 8:00 pm.
2. Bags and Boxes: Remember to help your buyers by providing them with some grocery bags, or small boxes to help them buy more. Also if you are selling some larger items such as a treadmill or dining room table, it would be great to have some extra hands to help load it up.
3. Offer free coffee or Side Hussle cookies and lemonade. If you have kids you can get them involved by selling lemonade and cookies. It helps to encourage conversations and it will help keep your kids entertained at the same time. Potential buyers are more apt to hang out for a bit longer stroller if they have a drink or cookie in their hands.
4. Accept multiple forms of payment. Cash is always King at Garage sales, but you can also advertise you accept Paypal or ETF transfers especially when it comes to a larger purchase. I also would make sure you have a healthy float of a minimum of $200.00
5. Free Box: Great Box to have close to the front of your garage sale. Put some kids items in it, like 1/2 used colouring books, or Happy Meal toys, stuffed animals etc, maybe some games or puzzles that you think might be missing pieces and are not money worthy. This helps keeps kids entertained while the parents browse: Plus it helps with getting rid of your clutter, One person Junk is another person’s Treasure!
6. Redo your tables every few hours – Make sure your tables look full. You may have to reorganize and try your best to make things organized as the day goes on. Rehang up clothes, refold towels or bedding etc. Try your best to make it look it look like your next customer is the first.
6. Be open to deals. Sell more if you package up a deal if you think someone is lingering – example if you are selling paperback books for $0.50 cents each, You can tell onlookers, to sweeten the deal: Buy 4 Get 1 Free. If you are hosting a 3-day sale: Friday, Saturday- Sunday. You may want to start packaging up deals on little things to get rid of more stuff. Buy 2 Get 1Free. I actually re-stickered things lowering the price just to get rid of stuff, especially the last day, as it was less for me to deal with on the “get rid of your garage sale items that didn’t sell” Phase.
7. Bargain: You are in Charge: As a seller, you have to know when to hold on to an item, that Gucci purse that you know is worth $100 new, but you have it hanging there in practically new condition for a stellar price of $20.00. Be kind but firm, and you don’t have to sell it for $5.00 if that’s what you are offered. You need to consider the item and may have to decide to hold on to the item vs letting it go. Sometimes better pricing happens on Kijii or eBay, where you won’t get the higher prices at garage sales.
What to Do After the Garage Sale Ends
No matter how good we are at bargaining and selling the leftover items, right down to adding to that free box of stuff you started. You will always have leftover items, this is where the “real work begins”
1. Determine what you think still has value – and consider to taking your best leftover items onto Facebook Market Place, Kijiji or eBay. It can’t hurt at all to take another stab at it. Or you can box it up and try another weekend later in the summer.
2. Consignment store or Pawn shops. Another option for some things you may find another choice is in your local consignment store or a Pawn store. This way you can receive some cash for your items ( depending on what items you have)
3. Donate your items to a worthy cause. Consider finding an organization in your town that focuses on a Women’s Shelter, or the Homeless. The homeless shelters are always in need of coats and blankets, and women’s shelters are always in need of clothing and bedding and houseware. Call around and see what your local organization is in need of.
4. Donate to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, Value Village, Diabetes Association. You won’t earn money but other organizations can make a profit off your items, and many times this can be a one-stop of all of the leftover goodies you have from your garage sale.
5. Happy Dance! It’s time to count up your earnings by decluttering your home. Now, what will you spend your money on? If you don’t have a set plan: Consider putting it in your Emergency Fund.
Depending on the sale – You may have enough cash for a weekend getaway, or perhaps purchase a new dining room set. But in the end, your house is that much more clutter-free, and you will feel much better with purging all that extra stuff you needed to let go of.