Monday, April 5, 2010

Tips on running a sucessful garage sale

My mom has always had 1 or 2 garage sales every year since I can remember.  I've learned a lot from her over the years on how to run a sucessful garage sale.  Remember, all those quarter shirts add up to some nice cash over the course of a day.

So here are my tips from watching my mothering and some of own ideas:

1. Ask your neighbors and family or friends if they want to sell anything.  This makes the sale look bigger and better to passerbys. 

2.  Advertise, advertise, advertise.  This means putting an ad in your local newspaper AND a craigslist ad.  It's well worth the extra few dollars to get the big ad in the newspaper. The ads need to have your address, the times and items.  If you have big ticket items than be sure to list them.

3. Organize your items.  Don't just throw them out in the lawn and expect people to bend over and sort through them.  Nearly everything should be on a table and everything should be priced.  That can mean you tag each item or the whole table of clothes $.25/ea.  People don't like asking how much something is, they will just walk away instead.

4. Pricing.  Nobody likes driving to your house and finding out that you want to charge too much.  If you want stuff to sell, you've gotta price it as such.

5. Signage.  I highly suggest having color-coordinated signs, meaning all of your signs that you have placed around your neighborhood and on the main drags + the one in front of your house, need to be the same color.  If everyone in your area is doing a sale that day people will get lost following different signs, so make yours all one color w/ just "GARAGE SALE" and an arrow.  Boxes are best to tape to with rocks in the bottom.

6. Be prepared.  This means several things.  Everything should be priced the night before.  Your friends and neighbors should have already brought their stuff over priced.  Everything should be waiting inside your garage or somewhere safe and then head out about an hour early to pull everything out and sell to the "Earlybirds".  Also, be sure to have plenty of change handy, but secured.

7. The customer.  Whether its the blue-haired granny from down the road, the aspiring eBay seller, or the kids from next door be sure to give everyone a warm welcome.  This makes them feel welcome in your yard and encourages them to ask questions rather than just walk away.

8. My preference.  Whenever my mom and I have a sale I always ask her to have it 1 day.  This makes people have a sense of urgency.  When the customer scans the newspaper or Craigslist and sees your "1 DAY SALE" vs the other persons "Friday, Saturday, Sunday SALE" they think to the themselves "Well, I better get to this one since it's only 1 day.  I can hit up the other ones later this week."

So, do you have any tips for a successful garage sale?


  1. Excellent tips Lacey! My mom had a yearly garage sale too! Our family used to call her the queen of garage sales! She had regular customers who came back year after year! We're going to have one here soon too .... once the weather gets better!

  2. I've been debating whether or not to have a yard sale this year! I had one last May and it went okay, but I think if I followed some of these tips I might have more success.

  3. I love yard sales, but my favorite kind are neighborhood yard sales so I can hit all of them in one stop.