How To Put on a Garage Sale for the Best Turnout - Home & Texture
Hosting Garage Sale

Here's How To Make Your Next Garage Sale as Successful as Possible

Raise the bar on the community sale with the best strategies for selling your stuff.

March 4, 2024 at 7:14 AM PST
Hosting Garage Sale

Here's How To Make Your Next Garage Sale as Successful as Possible

Raise the bar on the community sale with the best strategies for selling your stuff.

March 4, 2024 at 7:14 AM PST

It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a bit of spring cleaning, getting ready to move, or just want to declutter. Garage sales are a great opportunity to give your unwanted items a new home while getting a little extra cash on the side. If you’ve ever snagged a treasure, you know how much fun it can be! If you’ve never had one before, here are a few tips to help you organize one and get the most out of the experience.

1. Plan strategically.

Just like with most things in life, whenever you have a plan, you set the foundation for setting yourself up for success. Garage sales are no different. And while you’re not a popular retail store preparing for a blowout sale, you don’t want to decide to sell all your stuff last minute, either. You can make an even bigger impact by thinking a couple of weeks or a month out. Decide on a date, ideally on a weekend when more people are likely to be off from work and out and about. Be sure to also check local event calendars to avoid scheduling your sale on days when competing community events might draw potential customers away. Sunny days often attract more shoppers, so keep an eye on the weather forecast as well.

Photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo

2. Gather your goods.

Once you’ve settled on a date, it’s time to organize the stuff you want to sell. Begin by going through every room in your house, including the garage, attic, and basement to identify items you no longer need or use. The last thing you want is to throw all of your stuff in your garage or yard without any rhyme or reason, so start making piles where you can group similar items such as art, furniture, clothing, and electronics.

When you’re assessing an item to decide whether to keep or sell, keep in mind the condition of the item. While someone might treasure old china collecting dust on a shelf, they probably wouldn’t have use for a broken vacuum or shoes worn down to the sole. Give your stuff as much a chance to have a new life as possible, but also be realistic and have a pile reserved for items that have run their course to toss. Plus, the better the condition the item is in, the higher you can price it.

3. Price to sell.

You may not have a financial goal in mind for how much you’d like to make from your sale, you might be surprised at the turnout! Remember that shoppers are looking for bargains and even if you have items that look brand new, you likely won’t get the full price you paid for it. But, don’t sell yourself short, either. If you’re not sure how to price an item, research similar items online such as eBay or Amazon to get an idea of fair market value, and then price your items accordingly. You can also consider offering discounts for bulk purchases or bundling similar items together to encourage sales.

4. Spread the word.

What’s the point if you have all this stuff to sell, but no one shows up to buy it? Marketing your garage sale takes minimal effort, but will be key in making sure you get a good turnout. Take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram and apps like Nextdoor to create event pages and share photos of some of the items you’ll have for sale. You can also post flyers in your neighborhood, at local businesses, and in community centers. If you want to take it a step further, consider placing ads in local newspapers or online classifieds to reach a broader audience.

Photo credit: Simone Pellegrini

5. Create an inviting atmosphere.

On the day of your garage sale, creating a comfortable atmosphere can keep customers sticking around to hunt for deals. Play some upbeat music in the background to set a positive tone, keep your items organized, label everything clearly and wipe off any dust to add to the showroom effect. You could also offer basic refreshments like lemonade, coffee, or bottled water to keep visitors hydrated and happy.

6. Be prepared to haggle.

Garage sale shoppers love to haggle, so be prepared to negotiate prices with potential buyers. Keep in mind the lowest price you’re willing to accept for each item, but also be flexible. Sometimes, making a slightly lower sale is better than holding onto an item that’s just taking up space. Be friendly and open to bargaining, and you’ll likely find that most shoppers are eager to strike a deal.

7. Stay safe.

Last but not least, remember to prioritize safety during your garage sale. If possible, have a friend or family member help you out, especially if you’re expecting a large crowd. Keep your money secured in a cash box or fanny pack, and be cautious of strangers entering your home to use the restroom or browse items inside.



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