How to Have a Successful Garage Sale
What to sell…
Shoppers like to see a little bit of everything. When prospective customers drive by, they’ll more likely stop for full tables.
Never underestimate the value of absolute junk. If you haven’t used something in the past year, sell it.
Dealers and antique collectors frequent garage sales, so clearly display one-of-a-kind items.
Dressers, bookcases, baskets, tables, toys, and tools attract traffic.
Make sure appliances work. Have an outlet handy so items can be tested.
How to price…
Tag all items. Customers may assume that unmarked items are out of their price range.
Be prepared to haggle. Most garage sale experts say 10 to 30 percent of retail is a fair price.
How to display…
Clean everything. Dirty dishes fetch a far lower price than their clean counterparts.
Large items bring the most foot traffic. If you sell a couch or table early in the day, ask to keep the item with a “sold” sign on it until the end of the day.
Clothing on racks sells higher than similar items thrown on a blanket, so hang a line in your garage or buy a portable rack.
Clearly mark your sales area. If you have a sale in your garage, cover anything you want to keep.
How to advertise…
Place an ad in a newspaper. If you partner with neighbors, you can usually split the cost.
Make bold, bright, neatly lettered signs. Place them in order to direct traffic to your house. (Don’t forget to take them down when the sale is over!)
When to sell…
Check the weather when planning your sale. Even if your sale is indoors, bad weather keeps customers at home.
Saturday is often the best day for a sale, but in some places, people favor Thursday and Friday sales. If you are new to an area, ask around.
What to do with leftovers…
Store them for another day. What didn’t sell now may be in high demand next year.
Give them away.
Have them picked up by a charitable organization? Keep a list of donated items for your accountant at tax time.