To plan a garage sale, it’s helpful to start a few weeks in advance so that you have time to prepare the merchandise and advertise. When you choose a date, avoid holidays or other times when events might keep potential customers from shopping. Whether you publicize your garage sale by posting flyers or place an ad in a newspaper, there are many details to include.
Be sure to provide the date, time and location of the sale. If your home is difficult to find or out of the way, provide landmarks or directions. If you are planning your garage sale along with neighbors, mention that it’s a multi-family sale. Also mention any big-ticket or popular sale items, like brand-name children’s toys or clothes, tools and furniture.
Post large, colorful, sturdy signs in your neighborhood and at nearby businesses or intersections to announce your garage sale. If you put your signs up days in advance, periodically check to make sure they haven’t fallen or been removed.
As for what to sell at your garage sale, collect items throughout the year that you no longer want or need. Also ask family if they have items they want to include in your garage sale. It’s always a good idea to have a variety of items.
You’ll need to price the items individually, or at a minimum, hang signs that explain your pricing system. For example, it might be easier to place books or small toys in a box or bin and price them at a small predetermined amount each. If you price items using quarter increments, you will need to make less change.
Attaching prices with stickers is easiest. If you are concerned about stickers falling off or being switched, use safety pins to attach a price tag. To determine garage sale prices, start at about 20-30% of the item’s original value and adjust up or down, according to condition and other relevant factors.
Obviously, you’ll make more money at your garage sale if your items are in clean, working order. Place some of your best items toward the street to attract passersby. It is both attractive and convenient to group similar items together. It’s best to hang clothes or place them neatly folded, by type, on tables.
Keep the entire area as neat as possible, and as items sell, move merchandise around or bring more out so that you are well-stocked. If you have fragile items, take care to protect them from breakage. If you have electrical items, provide an extension cord so that potential buyers can test it. Since not everyone feels the same about animals, it is best to keep your pet indoors during your garage sale.
Have plenty of coins and paper money on hand, as well as a calculator. Keep the money box out of the way and locked, if possible. You can also keep your money in a fanny pack.
Think about taking the items left over after your garage sale to a charity or non-profit organization. That way, you won't be tempted to move the unwanted items back into your house. You can also get a receipt of your donations to use at income-tax time.