Having a yard or garage sale is a great way to earn some extra money and get rid of some of the clutter around your house. Here are some simple things that you can do to maximize the profits of your garage sale.
Garage Sale Tips
1. Get the Word Out: The more customers that you have the higher, the chances of sales. The more advertising methods you use, the more people will come to your yard sale. Here are some methods to consider: craigslist, facebook yard sale groups, signs, and bulletins. Each one of these methods will be discussed in greater detail.
Craigslist: On the Thursday or Friday before the yard sale, post some of the specific items that you will sell in the appropriate category within Craigslist. Mention that the item is part of a yard sale and briefly list a few of the other items that you will also be selling. Before you set a price, take a look at other listings to ensure that you are competitively priced. Here’s also a trick that works out very well: select a few items that you know will be in high demand. Make sure you list these items cheaper than any similar items on Craigslist. Be sure to state in the ad that it is part of a yard sale with the words “First Come First Serve.” You will get people coming to your yard sale looking for those “super cheap” items even after they have been sold. While they are there they won’t waste the trip so they will look at other items that you have.
Facebook Yard Sale Groups: Most cities have facebook yard sale groups where people will post the items they have for sale and provide their yard sale details. In addition, join the yard sale groups for neighboring cities to get more customers. In these facebook groups, only post a few of the major items, not every single item. Use the same strategy discussed for Craigslist where you post a few items with low prices to get people to your yard sale. Once they are there, they will browse the rest of your inventory and possibly buy more than they originally planned. People will try to negotiate a price online to pick it up early, so make sure you state “First Come First Serve” and do not negotiate until someone is at your sale. You priced these items to sell because they are in high demand so don’t worry about not being able to sell them. If by later in the afternoon they aren’t sold, then you can start replying to messages.
Signs: Make sure every sign looks the same, identical if possible. Make the signs simple with all the information they need: yard sale, directional arrow (turn right or left), address, and time of sale. Remember that people will be seeing your signs as they speed by so don’t put a lot of clutter on it. Make sure your signs will be able to withstand the wind. Also, try to make your signs stand out from other signs by using things like balloons. Spread your signs out and make sure to guide traffic to your sale at every turn. Get your signs out as early as possible to get the first pick of the best spots.
Bulletins: Churches, community buildings, and stores will have often have bulletins that you can post your yard sale details. I also recommend listing some of the items that you will sell to catch people’s interest.
2. Yard Sale Layout: Place some of your larger items like furniture or electronics closer to the curb to catch the interest of people driving by. Put the rest of your eye catching items toward the back so people have to walk past your other stuff to get to what they want to see.
3. Know What a Yard Sale Is: This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you price the items understand why people shop at yard sales: to get usable stuff at cheap prices. If your prices are high then people won’t bother seeing what else you have and you will lose out on a lot of sales. Price items based on what people may be willing to pay, not what the value of the item is to you. If you insist on high prices then market those items on Craigslist or ebay.
4. Have All Prices Marked: Make it easy for people browsing by having all the prices marked. Some people find it annoying to have to keep asking what the prices are.
5. Expect to Barter: Negotiating prices is part of the yard sale experience. Many people will give a “low ball” offer to try to get a good deal. Expect to go back and forth until you both agree on an acceptable price. If you are firm on all your prices then you will turn a lot of people off.
6. Don’t Give in to the Early Birds: You will find people out early trying to find good deals before anyone else has the chance to get there. They usually don’t stay for long and will try to get you to cut prices for a quick sale. Don’t feel rushed to sell everything in the first hour unless it is a price that you feel comfortable with.
7. Don’t Make Assumptions: Don’t assume that what you consider a worthless piece of junk won’t appeal to others. Don’t make decisions for what other people will want to buy, put it out there and see if anyone will take it. We’ve had stuff that we were ready to throw away only for someone to pay full price for.
8. Be Organized: Have all “like” items on display together. For example, have all baby clothes together, have all electronics together, etc. This will give your garage sale a better flow and be more organized.
9. Have Change and Small Bills: Don’t lose out on a sale because you didn’t have the right amount of change to give someone. Go to the bank the day before the sale to stock up on quarters and one dollar bills.
10. Have a Kid’s Stand: On our last yard sale we decided to involve our 5-year old to give him the experience of making money. We had him sell cookies for $0.25 each and lemonade for $0.50, and he made a killing. He was completely sold out before noon and made over $18 even though he consumed a good amount of his own inventory. We had him make his own signs and set up his little table off to the side. He got to keep the money he made and afterward we gave a little lesson on money management.
11. Have Everything Assembled: People will want to see that something is fully useable before they buy it. Make sure everything is assembled as if it were ready for immediate use
12. Have an Extension Cord Handy: If you are selling any type of electronics people will want to test it before they buy it. Have an extension cord already setup to make this process easier.
13. Donate What You Don’t Sell: Take whatever you don’t sell to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or charity based thrift store. They will give you a receipt that you can use for a deduction when tax time comes.
14. Create a Warm Environment: The more comfortable and fun your yard sale is; the more likely people are to stay longer. Believe it or not, some people yard sale hop for the social aspect more than for the shopping. Once they are there they will be more likely to buy something if they like you. Have some catchy tunes playing, don’t hover over anyone, and be friendly. There’s no reason why you can’t have fun while doing this activity.
If you have your own tips that you would like to share please leave them in the comments below.