Hosting a garage sale is a good way to declutter and make some cash. The best advice I can give you is DON’T OVERPRICE! Seriously, you will not make back what you invested. I know it’s hard but I’ve overpriced before and I was stuck with a bunch of stuff left over. I’m sorry to say that people don’t care how much you paid or if the item has sentimental value. If you are hosting a fundraiser, make sure you put that in your advertisement! If the garage sale is marked as “Need to make money for…” or a fundraiser, I will either avoid that sale because I assume no haggling will be amused or I’ll go, depending on the cause, knowing I’ll be paying up to 40%. Usually, I don’t pay more than 10% retail when I buy used. If the item is overpriced, I will ask for a price I’m comfortable paying. If the seller declines, I walk away. No, not literally! I don’t just turn around after they counter or say no. How rude! 😉
GO TO THE BANK! Get change for your customers prior to your sale. It’s almost guaranteed your first customer will only have a $20 for a $1 item. Also, KEEP YOUR MONEY SAFE! I’m the funny looking person with a fanny pack. You can use a tackle box or a lock box if a fanny pack isn’t your style.
ADVERTISE!!!! Craigslist is an awesome site to use for this. Make sure you check out Facebook for local buy, sell, trade pages. I’ve seen ads in the newspaper but I don’t make a point to look.
Don’t forget the TIME, DATE, and LOCATION! I’ve seen amazing garage sale ads where I would have woken up before the sun rises just to be first in line, only to be sorely disappointed because the seller forgot the address. Will you be setting up the morning of your sale? If you don’t want to be bothered before your sale begins, make sure you say NO EARLY BIRDS! Yes, we’re out there… If I see something I have been waiting for, I’ll show up 30 minutes early. If you let me know I’m not welcome before your start time, I’ll wait patiently in my car. No, I don’t mess around when it comes to shopping on a budget!
DON’T FORGET PICTURES! I’ve spoken with Craiglist users who say they only view ads with pictures. I don’t use it on my phone but I guess it’s a feature on the mobile ap. If you don’t add a picture, these people won’t see your ad. Allot of times, if there aren’t any pictures or a good description, I won’t add the sale to my route unless it’s on the way to another sale. If you can’t upload pictures of your sale, try to add one from the internet like the picture I’ve place above.
LEAVE A DETAILED DESCRIPTION of what you’re selling, especially if you can’t add pictures! Some shoppers are searching for specific items. If I’m looking to stock up on the kids’ clothes, I type it in. Also, solely stating the time, date, and location will not bring in the masses.
At the very least, PUT UP SIGNS! There are weekends that I don’t have time to garage sale because of an event or errands. If I see a sign while we’re out on days like these, I’ll try to convince my family to go. No sign, no bribing.
What to do with your LEFTOVERS? Call a local resale dealer and see if they’ll make you an offer on everything. The number will be low but it could give you some more money in your pocket. If you don’t want to deal with it, find somewhere to donate. I DESPISE THE GOODWILL and BEG you NOT to donate your leftovers to them. There are reputable businesses, like the Salvation Army or a women’s shelter, who will genuinely help your community. The Goodwill is anything but good will but kudos to them for thinking of an amazing name for marketing.
Also, BE KIND! If something isn’t for sale, don’t advertise that it is just so more people come out. If you agree on a price, don’t raise it when you see the cash they are carrying. (This has actually happened to me! Besides items we need new, like undies and socks, I buy everything else used. I shop garage sales prepared to offer deposit on larger items, like a generator. I also shop for Christmas gifts in July for those who don’t mind used. Once, a seller saw the cash I was carrying, $100 in smaller bills, and bumped the price up from what we agreed. Don’t do this!) Finally, TAKE DOWN YOUR SIGNS AFTER YOUR SALE IS OVER!!! It’s always a downer when we’re following signs through a neighborhood just to realize the sale was on a previous weekend.
Here is what our Craiglist ad looked like when we had our Living Estate Sale:
Title: FAMILY LIVING ESTATE SALE! We’re selling everything!
We’re selling it all and downsizing from 2,000sf to 400sf! Sale is as pictured, inside, and EVERYTHING you see is for sale. The garage is overflowing with more treasures. Huge section (everything on first half of driveway) is FREE! Almost everything is garage sale prices and we’re open to offers. It’s all gotta go by Sunday!
KITCHEN: food stockpile (we’ve gone organic), coffee maker, waffle maker, donut maker, cakepop maker, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, 3 beverage dispensers in original boxes, pitchers, serving patters, electric grill (NIB), kitchen nook table with bench and chairs, and much more!
LIVING ROOM: 42in flat screen TV, 32in flat screen TV, appleTV, sectional couch with ottoman, 6 person beanbag with extra cover, glass side table, blanket ladder, dog beds, old TV dog bed, and decor.
GIRL’S ROOM: white captain’s bed with 3 drawers (mattress not for sale), white full length mirror, entertainment center turned room divider with white board backing, decor, and books/games/clothes/shoes ages 4-6
BOY’S ROOM: custom painted baby furniture-changing table, crib, and drawers- with matching lanterns, keepsake boxes and albums, and other decor, bumbo , baby gate with pet door, diapers, swimmers, police car, play kitchen with lots of accessories, books/games/clothes/shoes ages 12mo-2T
The ad went on much longer but you get the idea. I knew most shoppers wouldn’t read everything, but it was organized for the people who were looking for something specific. Check out Living Estate Sale for more about how we paid Cash for our Cabin. And don’t forget to like our Facebook page, PathfindersForOffGridHappiness! I hope this helps your prep and good luck with your sale! ♥