6 Profitable Tips for a Successful Garage Sale or Yard Sale

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6 Profitable Tips for a Successful Garage Sale or Yard Sale

Throwing a garage sale may seem like fun, but there's a lot of work that goes into putting together one that ends up successful. Fortunately, if you use these tips to help prepare your garage sale, you likely find that your garage sale is just as fun (and as profitable) as you hoped it would be.

1. Location, Location, Location

The most successful sales usually take place on busier streets or in denser neighborhoods. If you live somewhere where there’s not a lot of street traffic nearby, consider asking a friend with a more visible house to team up for a joint garage sale.

2. Timing Is Everything

Think about weather conditions when planning your garage sale. Nicer weather makes for more shoppers, so try to avoid cooler temps. If possible, have your garage sale coincide with a neighborhood event or – ideally – an annual neighborhood garage sale day for even more foot traffic. Most sales start in the morning by about 9 or 10 a.m. and wrap up around 3 or 4 p.m. on a Saturday.

3. Advertise Your Sale

A plain white piece of paper with writing in black marker doesn’t exactly catch someone’s eye. Get large, colorful signs, and print in clear, tidy writing. Make the date and address of the sale easy to see, and if possible, mention the types of items that will be for sale (furniture, baby clothes, toys, etc.). Make signs with arrows to post near your location on the day of the sale.

In addition to posting around your neighborhood, you should stop by local businesses and churches and ask if you can hang a sign on their bulletin board or walls. Make a listing on Craigslist and any other online community message boards as well.

4. Set Up Items Efficiently

If your sale looks like a chaotic mess, folks won’t want to hang around long to sort through it all. Borrow or rent some large folding tables and separate items according to their category. If possible, find some clothing racks on which you can hang items for sale.

Hang signs on the tables and racks to showcase what’s on display, such as books, CDs, kitchen items and knick-knacks. The more organized your sale, the more likely shoppers will find what they want and stick around to look for more items.

5. Price Items Clearly

Organize items according to price as much as possible. Don’t put individual stickers on each item – it’s time-consuming, and they can damage the item.

Instead, try to price groups of similar items at the same price. For example, your used paperbacks could each be priced at $1, while the hardcover books are $2 each. This simplifies things for shoppers and makes them more confident in purchasing than if they have to haggle for a price. Of course, certain items may still need to be marked as “Make an offer” or with a special price due to the item being unique or in great condition.

6. Give Something Away

Have a box of junk or items priced at a quarter? Simple place this box out and mark it as “Free.” The offer of a giveaway will entice people to stop by your sale. If you don’t have any freebie-type items, offer free coffee or lemonade to your shoppers instead.

Use these tips to help create a successful and profitable garage sale. A little planning goes a long way, so make sure you take the time to set things up correctly and get the word out about your sale. 

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