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Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,179
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

Wood furniture/antiques you can get more. The rest of the items expect to get >90% of what you paid for it, originally.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

We have an annual garage sale in our subdivision every year. It is a fairly nice subdivision and you would not believe how many people come to the garage sale. We hire 2 off duty police to direct traffic. Anyway, I have participated a number of times. Now, I take my good clothes to consignment but I have made some good money. $50 to $100 dollars. Lots of people seem to want kids stuff, which I don't have. But, I always have a great time. I am of the mindset that sitting up in the attic collecting dust isn't good, so, I let people haggle and have given stuff away towards end of sale day. I don't think anyone has stolen or cheated me. I am usually alone and my husband may come and give me a break. HTH
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

We have an annual garage sale in our subdivision every year. It is a fairly nice subdivision and you would not believe how many people come to the garage sale. We hire 2 off duty police to direct traffic. Anyway, I have participated a number of times. Now, I take my good clothes to consignment but I have made some good money. $50 to $100 dollars. Lots of people seem to want kids stuff, which I don't have. But, I always have a great time. I am of the mindset that sitting up in the attic collecting dust isn't good, so, I let people haggle and have given stuff away towards end of sale day. I don't think anyone has stolen or cheated me. I am usually alone and my husband may come and give me a break. HTH
Super Contributor
Posts: 431
Registered: ‎07-19-2013

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

OK, where was I? {#emotions_dlg.biggrin}

As I said, we like to organize by departments. Things sell better if people can easily see them, so tables and shelves and such are much better than having everything sitting on the ground. Borrow card tables from everyone you know. We usually have lots of books, so we pull out a metal utility shelf and put them there, it's easier to browse. Folded clothes are lightweight, so we use scrapwood tables for them. To make those, pull out your sawhorses and put a piece of plywood across them. Another thing we do is use a couple of plastic storage bins as the table "legs". We use sturdier picnic tables for glass ware.

If you are putting some of the tables in your garage, make sure to remove or cover items that are not for sale. I put things like my snow blower and shovel behind a tarp hanging floor to ceiling at the back of the garage.

We have more luck if we price each item instead of just putting a sign on the table, but you can save yourself some time in pricing if you think about the category before you tag. Maybe you'll decide all children's tops will be a quarter and their pants 50 cents. Then you don't have to think, just tag. We usually mark paperback books a quarter, but then have signs on the shelves that say "25 cents each or 5 for $1". That strategy helps get rid of more stuff!

I just noticed you said you're in a college town. Household and kitchen items and furniture will sell fast there, if you price it low to go.

Super Contributor
Posts: 431
Registered: ‎07-19-2013

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

One more continuation...

Before the sale, ask your friends and family members to save grocery bags. That way you will have lots collected for sale day. Most people who buy only an item or 2 don't need a bag, but if they buy lots, they like to have them.

On the day of the sale, have several people there. Even if you aren't busy, you'll want to take bathroom and lunch breaks. Have plenty of one and five dollar bills to make change, as well as coins. We don't take bills over $20 at all, so that helps with the change supply. If someone is buying $1 worth of items and hands me a $20, I always ask if they have something smaller, especially if it is first thing in the morning. (Time of day matters because as the day goes on, you'll be collecting money that can be used to make change.)

A few words about security. Be friendly, but be smart. Always have someone next to the cash box. Routinely remove larger bills from it, placing them in a container of some sort INSIDE your house. Keep your house door locked, and don't allow strangers in to use the bathroom or to "try on clothes". Place smaller or more valuable items like jewelry on the table right next to the cash box. That way it can't walk away.

If you want an easy cash item, have a cooler of beverages for sale. You can charge $1 for a cold bottle of water or can of soda that you paid far less for, because people are thirsty!

So where is the fun part? It's chatting with your friends/family that are helping you, meeting people, and reminiscing over an item. My friends and I do a potluck lunch, which is fun for us, too.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,434
Registered: ‎10-21-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

I once heard a trick to not price anything. Let the person name a price. You may price stuff to low. Garage sales are supposed to just get rid of stuff. If your not willing to part because of price keep it or take it to a consignment store.
Super Contributor
Posts: 431
Registered: ‎07-19-2013

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

Oh, and if you are doing a multi person sale, like my friends and I do, you'll need a way to keep track of sales for each person. We use a notebook to help. We put initials on the price tags, and then as items sell, we either take the tag (and stick/tape it in the notebook), or write the amount down in a notebook along with the initials. At the end of the day, we add up each person's totals.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 8,179
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

Not to rain on anyone's parade. Most cities require a permit to sell food/beverages at home.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,434
Registered: ‎10-21-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

It's funny what people will buy. We had some wood poles from the living room. Somebody bought them and asked us if we had extras. He bought them to make a outdoor gazebo.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,434
Registered: ‎10-21-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

On 3/17/2015 missy1 said:

Not to rain on anyone's parade. Most cities require a permit to sell food/beverages at home.

The kids in our neighborhood always sell lemonade or ice cream.