Running a Successful Garage Sale

Now that you have a few ideas for finding items to sell, it is time to learn a little bit about how to run a successful garage sale. There are three things that are going to make you successful when running your garage sale – having items that people want, selling them at a low price, and organization. Yesterday’s post covered obtaining items that people would want to buy, so let’s cover the other two in a little more detail.

Selling Items at a Low Enough Price

This one, unfortunately, is going to take some experience to really get an idea of what price people will pay for certain items in your area. When you are just starting out, I would advise you to watch the newspaper for garage sale ads where the same address pops up week in and week out. This will give you an idea of what your competition is, will help you to weed out bad data like people just trying to get rid of their stuff and move, and you can shop their garage sales to find out what they are charging for their items. If you really wanted to get serious, you could talk to them a little bit, and find out how long they have been in the area, if they run a garage sale every week, etc.

People expect to get items cheap at garage sales, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money. It just means that you have to pay that much less for the items you buy, in order to turn a profit. A few weeks of shopping and collecting data from your competitors will give you the edge you need in pricing your items.

Garage Sale Organization 

This is arguably as important as the having the right price. People that drive up to a garage sale that is in disarray, no prices listed on the items, etc. are far less likely to buy anything from you. We are an economy that is driven buy Walmart and grocery store style selling, and people want to know what you want for the item before they make an offer. Often, if the price is right, they won’t even challenge your price, they will just pay you for the item and go their way. So having organization is extremely important, but more specifically, focus on these particulars:

  1. Have a Sign in the Yard
    Duh! Make sure people know you are having a garage sale by prominently displaying a sign in the yard near the street. You’ll be surprised at how many amateurs don’t do this!
  2. Group Your Items
    This isn’t rocket science either. Put furniture in one area, clothes in another, if you have a lot of baby items, put them all together as people love to go to garage sales for baby gear, have a technology and entertainment section, and have a section books. Just make sure you have some sort of logical order to your items, and you will sell a lot more. Using signage to tell your customers what items are where can be very helpful.
  3. Price Each Item
    You can use masking tape or something cheap to put prices on each items, just make sure that you do in fact price each item. Again, people want to know how much you want before they make an offer. So again, use a little experience here, price the items slightly higher than you will take for them, and let you customers negotiate a little bit.
  4. Have Some Watching the Garage Sale at All Times
    This is another no brainer. If there isn’t someone there to negotiate and take the money, you won’t be able to sell anything. So get you a lawn chair, sit back, relax, and wait for the inquiries.

So if you can utilize the tips I have shown to find great items to sell in a garage sale, and you can price them right, and organize your sale, you can make some good money, and possibly loads of money running your own garage sale week in and week out. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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