7 Things You Need to Know for a Successful Garage Sale

7 Things You Need to Know for a Successful Garage Sale

If your garage is getting pretty messy lately, it may be time to get it straightened up by getting rid of some things! You can get rid of all the unused items stored away in your garage and free up the space for other uses with a garage sale. It’s easier than it sounds when you know our top seven tips for successfully selling your items. We’ve put together this primer on garage sales that will help you get your garage in great shape.

If you want to have your garage ready for the warmer months, so you can work on projects, tinker with cars, or just have another place to hang out, this is a fantastic idea. But instead of just throwing things out, you can make a little money on the side, too. And you may also be helping out neighbors and friends that need things they can’t find anywhere else. It’s a win for everyone, and that’s why we love the idea of a good garage sale.

Not sure how to go about throwing a garage sale? Here are some inside tips on making yours a home run!

1: Decide if a garage sale is right for you.

If all you want to do is clean out the garage and start using it, the garage sale may not be right for you. It takes a lot of work to put together a successful garage sale. If that sounds like a drag, spare yourself the hours and headaches. Garage sales aren’t for the fainthearted. You’ll need to invest time and energy.

However, if you think the idea of making some extra money and cleaning out the garage sound great, and you have the time to haggle and chat, a garage sale could be perfect! Start by making a list of all the things you need to do and make sure you’re committed.

2: Get prepared.

These are some of the things you’ll need to do:

  • Get a permit or schedule the date correctly.

    Some towns require you either set your garage sale on a specific day, or that you get a permit. Be sure you don’t need to do this.

  • Gather everything and create categories.

    The sooner you get started gathering up the sale items, the better. Make categories of items so that you can easily clean, price, and set up everything when it is closer to time. Some good options are clothing, books, décor, toys, and so on.

  • Invite other sellers to join you.

    It’s a fact of garage sales that you’ll get more visitors if you have a big sale. Invite friends or neighbors to join you so you can get bigger crowds.

  • Don’t schedule on a holiday.

    It’s tempting to take advantage of your free time on a holiday, but keep in mind that most people will be visiting family or enjoying their day off. If there is something going on in town that could be distracting the shoppers, consider waiting to set your garage sale for another day.

  • Keep an eye on the weather.

    The weather doesn’t care if you are having a yard sale. Be sure to check the long range forecast and make a backup plan for what you will do if it rains. If you are putting items up in an uncovered area, be sure to have tarps handy.

3: Advertise your sale

You do need to let people know that the sale is happening so that they can come! It’s a good idea to start publicizing your garage sale 10 or so days ahead of time.

  • Post free notices on websites like Craigslist and other local bulletin boards.
  • Tell all your neighbors, friends, and family, and post it on Facebook as well.
  • Post brightly colored signs on telephone poles in your neighborhood.
  • The day before, put up signs at intersections indicating the location of your sale more precisely.

4: Get ready two days before

When there are just two days left before the sale, you need to start doing the bulk of the preparation work.

  • Get all the items ready to go. Group things into categories so they are ready to be put out on the morning of the sale.
  • Wash any clothing, dishes, toys, and kitchenware you want to sell.
  • Ask friends and family for their plastic bags so you have plenty of bags for customers to carry their purchases away in.
  • Make a complete inventory of everything you are selling.
  • Price all the items with stickers. If you want to make change easier, round everything to the nearest quarter or dollar.
  • Don’t price things above what they are truly worth, even if you paid a lot for it or have sentimental attachment to it.

5: Stage your items to sell

Just like in any retail store, goods sell more easily if they are well displayed. Use this same philosophy for your garage sale.

  • Use tables to keep your items off the ground. This helps customers see and reach the items better.
  • Don’t sell things that don’t work or can’t be easily fixed.
  • One effective way to convince buyers that you have lots of great stuff is to keep holes on the tables filled. You don’t want your sale to look “picked over”.
  • Make sure your home’s exterior is clean and inviting.

6: The day of the sale

Now it’s time for the sale. On the morning of the sale, get up early to do these things:

  • Check that all your signs are in place.
  • Tie some balloons at the foot of your driveway to attract attention.
  • Keep in mind that customers who love garage sales will likely be there right when you said you’d open, so be ready to go!
  • Have some small bills and coins ready so you can make change.
  • Try to be hospitable and cheerful – it’s the best way to attract buyers.
  • You may need to accept prices lower than you wanted to, but consider being more lenient with buyers that are making several purchases.
  • Choose some upbeat music that will make it seem fun to be at your garage sale. Just don’t pick anything that may offend someone!
  • If cooking is your thing, why not sell some baked goods? Kids just love cookies!
  • If you have very young children, it might be a good idea to have them babysat by a friend or relative. Older kids may want to participate by selling some of their own things.
  • Consider selling cooled bottled water or baked goods in addition to the garage sale items. Older kids may want to have a lemonade stand at the garage sale.

7: Cleaning up after a successful garage sale

After the garage sale is over, you are nearly done! You just need to clean up the area. There will be some trash to pick up, tables to put away, and unsold items to box or bag for donation. You also need to go grab all your signs and balloons, and flyers from around the town. The items that didn’t sell can be donated so that your garage doesn’t get cluttered again, and you’ll also get to help out someone in need.

Give your garage a makeover after the clean out

Then contact us anytime, toll-free at 1-800-409-3667. We know garage doors better than anyone else. We will be able to advise you on the best choice to make based on your needs and budget, whatever they may be. We can also email you a quotation if you’d like.

We would also like for you to visit us at our showroom. Another way to see what a new garage door would look like is to use our Design Centre, or even just spend some time looking through our image gallery to get some inspiration.

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