Personal Finance 

How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale

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One of the ways to make a little extra money is to sell your stuff. Among the time-honored ways to sell your stuff is to make use of the garage sale. There are plenty of people looking for good deals, and who will feel that what you want to get rid of is actually a treasure. You can use this to your advantage with the help of a garage sale.

Garage sales are nice because they are local. People come, cash in hand. You can get your money now, and you don’t have to worry about the hassles of shipping and other problems that can result when you sell your stuff online. As nice as garage sales are, though, you still have to be careful. If you want to succeed at holding a garage sale, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Know what the weather will be: First of all, you want to hold your garage sale on a day when the weather is fine. Check the forecast to make sure that the weather will be good for your garage sale. While weather forecasting isn’t perfect, you should have a fairly good idea of what the weather will be a few days out. If it looks like rain is moving in, cancel the garage sale and wait for another time.
  • Try for the first of the month: Most people are paid toward the end of the month, or at the beginning of the month. If you schedule your garage sale for the first weekend of the month, potential buyers will be more likely to have plenty of money to spend. People are more free with their money when they feel like they have a lot of it — right after pay day.
  • Advertise: You need to advertise your garage sale. Check the forecast, then put the advertisement in the paper. Many newspapers have a garage sale section that allows buyers to plan a route. Make sure you list your best items in the ad, including high demand items like baby clothes. You can also place ads with free online Classified local web sites. Place your garage sale signs in visible areas, and near busy intersections near your location.
  • Plan to start early: You need to start by 7 a.m. if you want the enthusiastic. Some hard-core salers will even start as early as 6:00 a.m. You want to make your sales early, so try to be early on the route so that buyers have more money with them.
  • Set up what you can the night before: The nice thing about holding a garage sale in your garage is that you have a chance to set up the night before, so you aren’t as stressed the morning of the sale. Try to do what you can, from pricing to advertising, ahead of time.
  • Have a lot of change: Make sure that you have plenty of change. You’ll want pocket change, as well as one dollar and five dollar bills. Go to the bank ahead of time to make sure that you have what you need.
  • Keep an eye on your money: Every now and again, you have to worry about the unscrupulous. Make sure that there are always at least two of you, so that someone can keep an eye on the money box.

What tips do you have for a successful garage sale?

(Photo: Eastlaketimes)

{ 7 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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7 Responses to “How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale”

  1. Great tips! I know I will be using these tips soon. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Scott says:

    Need to add to this list to check with your municipality if registration is required, and if so, do it. For example, our city requires a posted permit to hold a yard sale; it’s a simple request and costs $5. Last thing you want is a much more costly citation eating into your yard sale profits.

    You might ask, why do municipalities do this? In our city, you are limited to two yards sales per year at any one property, which is sufficient for pretty much any normal household. People who try to do yard sales more often than that are arguably running a business, not a one-time sale, and need to be handled (and taxed!) differently.

    • Frugal says:

      I did not know the reason behind the municipal fee. I always thought that the govt. wants to make money on you.

  3. libertyanne says:

    I don’t believe in money boxes. The best way to keep your money is in a fanny pack. I start out with a bank of $40 in tens (twenty ones. two fives) As I acquire $20 bills I put them in a seperate pouch and when there’s too many I leave the sale for a minute and run in the house and put them away.
    Also Don’t forget signs on lampposts in a 2-mile radius and to post the sale on craigslist and your local listserve.
    I’ve had many succesful sales over the years.
    Also try to get a neighborhood sale going–a big colorful “marketplace” attracts more buyers.

  4. Kris says:

    Advertising is key – ads in the local paper, ads in craigslist, good signs on the road. The rest will fall into place if you get enough visitors.

  5. Scott says:

    Should emphasize posting signs where legally allowed. You can get fined for posting in places you shouldn’t be – road signs included.

  6. Jim M says:

    Baby stuff sells – make sure you advertise any baby items you might have at the sale.

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