14 Secrets For a Profitable Garage Sale
If you’re like most people, you have WAY too much junk.
It’s everywhere. Rotting away in your garage, your attic, your basement, your closets; hiding on the side of your house; perhaps even stuffed without fanfare under your bed.
Junk can take many forms: forgotten artifacts of birthdays past, college-day souvenirs, what-the-heck-is-this wedding gifts, half-broken toys, and clothes that will never, ever fit you again.
Now that spring has mercifully arrived, it is time to finally get rid of your junk. And what better way than to hold a garage sale? In theory, it’s the perfect solution – after all, holding a garage sale should allow you to get rid of your junk and make money… at the same time!
Unfortunately, too many garage sales are poorly planned, horribly advertised, and badly run. When all a seller has to show for their trouble at the end of the day is a profit and a sunburn, that’s a terrible waste of a Saturday afternoon.
Below are 14 tips that will help you to have a fun, successful, and profitable garage sale:
1. Clean and repair the items you will be selling, as needed. Pump up old sports balls. Put new batteries in any electronic gadgets. Dust away cobwebs and dirt. The better condition your merchandise is in, the more money you’ll get for it.
2. Flip carefully through the pages of your used books. I once nearly sold a college textbook that I had been using to press an irreplaceable picture of my children.
3. If you have a few individual pieces of a larger set (for instance, one or two plates of china), display them proudly. Dealers and collectors will often pay a nice price for such items.
4. If your vegetable garden or fruit tree is bursting with extra produce, consider selling it at your garage sale (e.g., “3 lemons for a dollar”). This is a great way to get rid of excess fruits and vegetables that you probably wouldn’t have been able to eat anyway.
5. Hang colorful, full-page fliers for your garage sale at your local grocery store, coffee house, gymnasium, laundromat, and community college. And anywhere else close to your home that has a bulletin board.
6. Draw large, thick arrows on your street signs, just below your street address. Make sure these arrows point in the right direction!
7. Once you have taped up your street signs, drive by to make sure they’re easy to read. A sign that looks fine in the light of your kitchen might be hard to read by someone driving in heavy traffic, bad weather, or at night.
8. Have two or three reliable tape measures/yardsticks on hand. People often like to measure furniture or other items to make sure they will fit in a particular space.
9. Check the location and times of other garage sales near your home. Direct customers to those sales after they’re done shopping at yours – and suggest that they tell people about your sale.
10. Price each item individually. This will keep you from having to answer the question, “How much is this thing?” every ten seconds.
11. Decide beforehand who will set the prices – my mother-in-law once sold several of my trinkets for 50 cents each, even though I had priced them myself at .
12. Place current advertisements next to some of the used merchandise you’re selling. When somebody sees that the used roller blades you are offering for would cost them 0 new, they’ll feel like they’re getting a bargain.
13. Make sure that your garage is well lit, especially if you are displaying or selling items in your actual garage (as opposed to your driveway or lawn).
14. Keep careful records of all items sold (and money collected) during a multi-family sale. After a successful sale, the last thing you need is bickering – and potential hard feelings – between the families.
About the Author: Jim Gratiot is the author of the booklet “104 Invaluable Secrets to Increasing Your Garage Sale Profits.” To learn more – and to gather 90 more useful tips for your garage sale – visit www.bestgaragesalesecrets.com.