Happy Friday! Today, I want to share with you how to have a successful garage sale. I have seen several people in my minimalist Facebook Groups who want to make a little money off of what they are decluttering to pay on bills or have valuable items they prefer not to donate. I have learned so much these past few weeks about getting ready for the garage sale, setting up, selling your stuff, and deciding what to do with what remains; so we are going to talk about each step. I am going to share with you my tips and tricks, what I would do differently, and the end result of my garage sale.
Garage Sale: Getting ready
Price as you declutter // This will save you so much time! You will not be touching everything twice, and it gives you less opportunity to bring it back inside your home. The point of decluttering is to rid your home of excess; not to second guess your decision of letting go of something.
Also, if it is a multi-family garage sale, be sure to initial everything. This will help whomever is keeping up with who has made what.
Organize according to category // Having things grouped together by category will allow you to see how much you have of certain items. Using this will help you decide what to include in advertising your garage sale. For example: I had lots of kitchen, clothes, and home decor; so I made sure it was known that I had a lot of pieces in these categories.
This will also help save you time when you set up your garage sale.
Label your boxes // Sometimes you need to get back into certain boxes to add to it, or pull something out if you sell it before the sale. Labeling your boxes will save you a lot of time trying to find the right box.
Plan out the week of the garage sale // Allow yourself a full week to finalize everything for the garage sale. This plan needs to include scheduling newspaper ads, facebook ads, etc.; when you are going to start setting up; how you are going to organize everything; and what will happen with what remains.
Garage Sale: Setting Up
Gather Tables and Clothing Racks // The biggest tip I can share is to make sure you have plenty of tables and clothing racks! People do not want to bend down to look through boxes. [Trust me, I’ve done it both ways!] Having enough to space things out some will make it appear like you have a lot more than you do, and will incline people to look thoroughly and for a longer period of time. This will increase the odds of them grabbing up more.
Decide on your layout // Some people think grouping things by category is best, and while I do not disagree, I do not feel it is a must. What is a must is creating a flow plan. You want to make sure people have enough room to move around when there are lots of people there. If you place your things too close together can cause people to bump into each other and get frustrated. Giving ample space prevents this, and keeps people happy at your garage sale.
Bulk boxes // If you are wanting to make sure you sell as much as possible, bulk pricing things can be a big help! If you have a lot of Tupperware or craft supplies, place them in a box and mark a bulk price on them. It will ensure all of the things in that group are sold. Yes, you will probably sell it for less than if you separated them, but in the end, you will have more leave than stay. People like to think they are getting a bargain, and this helps tremendously!
Garage Sale: Selling Your Stuff
Haggle // People come to garage sales to haggle. Yes, I know you already priced your stuff incredibly cheap, but that does not matter. Do not be afraid to haggle back with anyone who makes an offer. Sometimes they are trying to see how firm you are or you may have something overpriced. [Happens to us all!] If you have something you are firm on, do not be afraid to stay firm. Some will agree and some will put it down, but that is all part of the fun!
Ask for offers // Being motivated to not take your stuff back inside may create a situation of you asking that person to make you an offer. [I did this, and often times I got more for it than I would have if I had made the offer.] Do not be afraid to put them on the spot. Remember, they are there to take things off your hands. Doing this can sell a lot more of your stuff than you think. I was very aggressive with this approach, and sold lots more because of it.
Reorganize as things sell // As things sell you want to reorganize what is there. Giving things more space or moving it around can help sell it. At first, your tables are probably pretty full, but after a couple of hours, they will not be as full. If you have things on the floor, move them to a table when there is space for it. If you notice something is not selling very well in an area or how it is displayed, change it.
Go Half-Price // I only suggest this with a two day sale. If you are getting half way through the second day, go half price to give a push to the things leaving. People get excited about sales on top of sales and are apt to grab more!
Garage Sale: Deciding What To Do With What Remains
You can donate it // Evaluate what is left from the sale. If you feel you can simply donate it, do it immediately after the sale. Do not take it home or inside your home to do it another day. Remember, you had this sale for the simple fact of minimizing and decluttering your home. Do not dwell on a decision. Just do it!
You can take it to a consignment shop // If you do not mind setting up an account and waiting to receive money when your things sell, take it to a consignment shop. This will not be the case for everything, but it is an option for some things.
You can sell it on Facebook or Craigslist // If you have not already tried these options, it may be time to try them. Only do this option if it is worth the effort to set up times to meet someone. Dollar items are not worth the time… Trust me, I’ve been there and done that!
Store for another garage sale // I know this seems counterproductive, but I have a point. The first garage sale with my purged items was about a month ago, and by the end of it, there was still a lot left. After weighing the options, I decided to hold a second garage sale last weekend. By the end of the second garage sale, I had about half a car load that did not sale; and I more than doubled my earnings!
You only need to agree to this if the time in between is less than a month.
Garage Sale: Final Tips, What I Would Do Differently, and End Results!
Final Tips // A garage sale can be a lot of fun and a lot of work. Remember to not attached yourself to your stuff. They need to find a new home, otherwise they would still be in your home. That does not mean take a ridiculously low price for your things either. Team up with family members to make it a bigger sale and attract a bigger crowd.
What I Would Do Differently // The first garage sale we did was only one day. With as much as we had, a two day garage sale may have saved us from doing the second garage sale. I also would have had more tables. They seemed to peak the interest the most, so more would have been great! Lastly, I would have priced my clothing cheaper. It was probably the one thing I did not sell much of, and I believe it was due to my pricing.
End Results! // I am not going to share my earnings, because I want to focus on the amount of stuff rather than the cash earned.
I started out with 3-4 car loads, an extended cab truck, truck bed, and a trailer full of stuff! By the end of the first garage sale, I had 1 car load, extended cab truck, truck bed, and half a trailer still full of stuff! By the end of the second garage sale, I only had half a car load left of stuff!! I was so excited with the results of the second garage sale, and I did donate the rest to a local charity as soon as we were finished! It feels so good to have it all gone, too!
If you have any additional tips or tricks to make a garage sale successful, please share them below in the comments!