Tips & Tricks

6 Garage Sale Tips & Tricks to Make Your Yard Sale a Success

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Moving is frustrating, confusing, and most of all, expensive. But a garage sale is a great way to get rid of extra stuff while making money doing it. Here are some garage sale tips and tricks to help you successfully make “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” your garage sale mantra.

#1: When Planning Your Garage Sale, Think Like a Store

Source: The Spruce

For your yard sale, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line: you’re doing this to make money, so you’ll need to appeal to buyers by making your items look their best. This means cleaning your “inventory” and then grouping objects in like categories. By creating specific sections in your garage or driveway (like toys, clothes, kitchen items, and tools) and creatively putting them on display, they will look more like found treasures and less like old castoffs.

For example, instead of randomly dumping all of your old shoes into a big box, spread them out on a blanket or show them off on an old bookcase. Or if you live in an area with young families, putting toys in the front of your yard may be a great way to draw customers (or at least their children!) into your garage sale.

Another way to think like a store during your garage sale? Make sure your customers have a way to get items home. Bags are key for folks who buy lots of little things (more on that below), but for oversized items like TVs or couches, make sure to give shoppers a delivery option like Dolly. Dolly will come pick up the oversized items in a pickup truck and deliver them to the buyer’s home, getting it out of your house and leaving you with a nice profit.

#2: The Price is Right

Source: Get Rich Slowly

While it’s beneficial to think like a store when it comes to layout and appeal, you probably don’t have the time or the “staff” to label each item. Instead, visit your local office supply store and purchase a pack of pre-printed price stickers that you can easily place onto your various items. For bulk items that you don’t want to price individually, make a sign that says, “Books: 50 cents each or 3 for $1” or “Purses $5 each, 3 for $10”.

Everyone wants a deal (especially at a garage sale) and this is a fast and easy way to move items quickly. And remember… price to sell! You may have spent $50 on that purse, but no one is going to buy a used purse at a yard sale for more than $10. Also, be prepared for customers to try and bargain with you. Many customers will offer half (or more) of the sticker price and you may have to prepare to accept 25% less than the listed price. Give yourself this wiggle room in your prices so you won’t feel completely ripped off later on.

#3: Gather Your Garage Sale Supplies

Source: Latrobe Valley Express

Other than the price stickers, there are other items that you’ll need to make your yard sale run smoothly.

  • Gather old plastic bags so that shoppers can easily carry their purchases to their home or car. Alternatively, if you’re looking to purge your reusable bag collection, adding a $0.25 charge for a reusable bag might be a good way to increase your sales and provide a bag for customers.
  • Buy poster board and markers to put signs around the neighborhood (but check with your city’s policies first. Some towns may fine you up to $120 for illegally hanging up signs on public property).
  • You’ll need to collect money and give change throughout the day, so go to the bank a day or two before to get a roll of quarters, a stack of 25 $1 bills, 10 $5 bills, and 5 $10 bills and keep this money on you in a fanny pack (and you’re in luck, fanny packs are back in style!).
  • Find or borrow items to display your inventory, such as folding tables, a clothes rack, and hangers.
  • Have a couple extension cords handy in case someone wants to test out a gadget.
  • Have your calculator or fully charged phone in your pocket to add up items.
  • Keep paper and pencils handy if multiple family members contributed items to track who sold what.

#4: Advertising Your Yard Sale

Source: Pinterest

Of course you’ll want to put signs around your neighborhood the week of the garage sale, but also post on Facebook, Craigslist, NextDoor, and in local newspapers. Share the time and location, but also what eye-catching or high-volume items you have, like boys size 6 clothing, kitchen gadgets, or high ticket items with pictures, such as your dining set or end tables.

#5: The More, the Merrier

The more people that are involved with your garage sale, the better. Get the kids to donate their unwanted toys and let them help sort your old items. The kiddos could even sell cookies and lemonade to learn a great lesson about the value of a dollar (not to mention, their cuteness might bring in a few extra customers!). Multiple family garage sales are appealing to customers because there are more items to choose from at one location. More people helping you can  also ensure that no one sneaks off without paying for your pieces, help with the bargaining and reducing prices at the end of the day, rearrange the displays throughout the day to keep the items looking nice, and make end-of-day-clean-up a breeze.

#6: Take Care of the Garage Sale Leftovers

Finally, when the yard sale is all over, pat yourself on the pack for a job well done and then contact Dolly. You’ve already done a boatload of work sorting, pricing, and selling your old items. Book a Dolly so that we can take care of the final job of removing these leftover items by taking them to the dump or transporting usable items to your local charity. We’ll do the heavy lifting while you sit back and decide how you want to spend your garage sale profits.

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