Garage Sale Tips
Garage sales can be fun, but also a lot of work.
Here are a few tips to help you have a successful garage sale.
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Planning and Organizing
- Have a game plan: Do you want to organize a garage sale to make money or just to remove unwanted items?
- Does your neighborhood or local government require a special permit or limit the number of garage sales per year that one person may have?
- Are your neighbors interested in having a garage sale too? Multi-family sales draw more shoppers and the cost of a promotional ad can be shared by all.
- Go through your cabinets, closets, storage sheds, attic looking for things you haven't used in a long time or may never use again. The more you have to display to drive-by shoppers, the better chance they'll stop to browse and buy.
- Gather all the items you want to sell in one room a few days before the sale and develop an inventory list.
- Clean all items; you can charge more for items that aren't dusty or stained.
- Group like-items together. This will help you determine pricing and will make buying easier for your shoppers.
- Leave clothes on hangers - it makes shopping easier for the buyers and prevents your neatly-folded items turning into a messy pile. Hang them on a bar or rope between 2 ladders or from the inside lip of your garage door.
- Attach prices to each item...you'll get more for the items if you're not setting a price spontaneously at the time of the sale.
- Make up an inventory sheet with the prices if you'd like a record after the sale.
- Have a petty cash box or at least twenty $1 bills and coins for change.
- Recruit volunteers to help: you may need help setting up and displaying your items or a cashier.
- The night before your sale, set up display tables in your garage and arrange your priced items on the tables.
- Be prepared for early birds who show up before the official start of your sale and also be prepared to negotiate.
- If you don't have enough tables, spread blankets on your lawn or driveway for non-breakable items.
- Do your have kids who would like to participate in the sale? They could bake cookies, make lemonade or hot chocolate and have their own refreshment table offering treats to the shoppers...for a price of course.
- If would you like to donate your unsold items to a local charity or church after the sale, make arrangements ahead of time for the items to be picked up.
Advertise Your Sale
- Advertise your sale in The Sacramento Bee the day of the sale for those last-minute shoppers, as well as the day before.
- State the date, time and address of your sale in your ad. Include specific items rather than a general phrase such as "miscellaneous household items." Clothing, especially baby/kids clothes & toys are big draws, as well as furniture and small kitchen appliances.
- A 3-line garage sale ad in The Sacramento Bee is the same price ($24.95) for 3 days as it is for 2 days, so plan far enough ahead to submit your ad by deadline. Example: If your garage sale is Sat., place your ad by 12 noon Wednesday to publish Thursday through Saturday.
- Download garage sale signs and display them in your neighborhood (if city by-laws allow).
- Include your address and the sale's day and time on the sign large enough to be read as cars drive by.
- Remove the signs after the sale.