One person's “junk” is another person's treasure, right?
Whether you are moving, selling your house, or you just want to clean out and declutter your house, consider hosting a garage sale! It's a great way to make money while you are getting rid of stuff that you don't need anymore!
Unless you have a clear plan of action, hosting a garage sale can be overwhelming and not seem like the payoff is worth the work involved.
Having just gone through a move myself, I can say without a doubt that clearing out as much as absolutely possible from your house will make the move so much easier! The extra money doesn't hurt either!
With these tips, you will increase how much you make with your sale, while also decreasing the feelings of overwhelm you may experience throughout the process.
Here are my top 7 tips for hosting a crazy profitable yard sale!
1. Advertise effectively
Don't just throw some items outside and call it a yard sale — be sure to spread the word beforehand!
Put up fliers in your neighborhood and use online ads to let people know about your sale. Use Craigslist and social media, including Twitter and Facebook!
Facebook also has garage sale groups where you can share your garage sale details and let people know when to come and what you have (just use the search bar on Facebook and type in your location + “garage sales” – you will likely then need to request to join the group).
Specialty forums also exist to help those looking for garage sales. Facebook flea market groups are another good place to advertise.
Check out GarageSaleHunter.com and Yard Sale Search. You can also Google your area/town + “yard sale” or “garage sale” to find more websites to post your sale on. However, Craigslist and Facebook are probably going to be your best bets.
In your promotion, list the notable and big-ticket items that will help attract people. Consider putting up pictures of furniture, antiques, large kids items and baby gear, and other interesting items.
Put Up at least 15 Signs
Put up a lot of large, brightly colored signs, with a simple font that easy to read.
Signs are your #1 marketing tool! Make them as simple as possible so people can read them as they are driving – for example, simply writing “sale” or “yard sale” with an arrow pointing the way are perfect. Plus, simple signs are reusable, because they don't have specific dates or details.
While some people will find you from your various listings, signs should be your top priority! If you just jot down the details on a piece of paper and staple it to a pole the morning of your sale, your sale will fail. Good signs are three things:
- Highly-visible (please don’t write on cardboard with pencil)
- Prevalent (blanket the area—every intersection within a radius of the sale)
- Simple (“Yard Sale,” arrow, address, a few other pertinent details)
2. Team Up With Your Neighbors
Chat with your neighbors to see if they’re also planning an upcoming garage sale. If they are, consider teaming up to host your sales on the same day. Many neighborhoods will “host” community garage sales.
The larger your sale, the more noticeable and attractive it is for potential customers.
An added advantage of hosting a neighborhood sale is combining your networks and resources to get the word out to a wider audience.
Also, many hands make lighter work, right? With more participants, you can also do less work but have a greater return if everyone pitches in.
3. Think like a customer
Make it organized!
Walk through your sale with the eyes of a shopper. Are things grouped in a way that makes sense and helps the shopper find what they are looking for (ex: books with books, toys with toys, clothing with clothing, etc)?
Are things scattered around on the ground, or are they placed neatly on tables or even on shelves?
If you display items to their advantage and make your sale easy to browse, you are more likely to lure in more people and convert more of those people to paying customers.
Keep in mind that if it looks cluttered and difficult to browse, people will leave your sale quickly.
4. Schedule It Right
Friday and Saturday mornings are the traditional time for garage sales, so consider a different day or time so that you have less competition.
Timing a sale during early morning or late afternoon commuting hours (think 7am or 5pm) could help grab the eye of commuters.
Also, consider having your sale on a Thursday morning or evening instead of Friday and Saturday. Sunday afternoons could also be great times to host a yard sale to provide less competition.
5. Accept Other Forms of Payment
If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you can accept credit and debit cards! And you should because it is
- so much easier than dealing with cash and making change
- a really great way to entice people to spend more money since it's easier for them too
Do not use a cash box. Carry your money with you at all times. Casual thieves and professional swindlers can both make off with cash boxes in an instant. Some people use a fanny pack or a zippered bank deposit pouch.
GET THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO TAKE YOU STEP-BY-STEP THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROCESS OF HAVING A YARD SALE
Be willing to bargain, but be a little less flexible on the first day. On the first day, your goal is to get as much as you can for each item before your sale gets picked over. Honestly, most people who try to bargain with you want the item and are likely to still buy it even if you don't budge.
Don’t be completely rigid, however, but at the same time don't just give away your stuff from the beginning of your sale.
A good garage sale rule of thumb is to sell items at 10 to 25% of their original value.
Most people aren't looking to spend a lot, so try not to price anything over $100.
Towards the end of your sale, consider posting a “half off” sign and offering even better deals to move items.
Another useful technique is bundling like items, such as books or DVDs. “Five books for $3” will catch a shopper’s attention.
If you really want to move items by the end of the sale, have a few paper grocery store bags on hand. Tell people to fill the bags with whatever they'd like for $5 or $10 per bag. You may be amazed at how much will disappear with this approach!
Expect negotiations throughout your sale and decide how you want to handle them ahead of time!
7. Have a Plan for after the sale
Everyone has stuff left over after a yard sale.
Develop a plan before the sale regarding what you want to do with the stuff that doesn't sell. Options include:
- Donate to your local Goodwill, ARC, Habitat for Humanity Home Store, or thrift store. Depending on your area, some will even come pick it up!
- You can try to sell it somewhere else: Craigslist, Ebay, Facebook garage sale groups local to your area
- Give it to friends or family
- Keep it
Running a yard sale isn’t rocket science, but it does take work to make it effective. If you put a little effort into creating an environment where it's easy for customers to find what they want, you can make a lot of money!
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