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

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

I'm not talking about homemade treats, just cold cans.

Super Contributor
Posts: 253
Registered: ‎06-07-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

On 3/17/2015 sciencegeek said:

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.

Wow, science geek, thanks for all the info! So helpful! I'm going through my house getting so much stuff what I'm worried about is how I will get it set up before the sale. I know it won't all fit in garage, and not sure how to get it on tables and outside that morning? Borrowing tables and making on sawhorses good ideas.
Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,975
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

You've gotten some great advice.

I'll add a few things.

If you live in a city or town, many garage sale shoppers are on fixed incomes, and get paid at the first of the month. Having the sale early in the month will allow more customers to come and have money left to spend.

The object is to get rid of stuff, and you are only going to get a fraction of what is cost or is worth in other avenues (like ebay), so be ready to sell cheap, and don't get emotional. It's not personal when people don't want to pay big prices.

Make sure the rest of your house is locked up tight. That way no one can get in another door while you are preoccupied. I always wear an apron with front pocket to keep the money in, so it is always on my person, and doesn't need guarded or I don't lay down a change bag and loose it.

Price things in sets to get rid of more. For example, don't price a set of dishes or glasses by the piece, so someone can buy a few then leave the rest that don't sell because it is incomplete. Bag up small things in clear plastic bags for one price, like sets of silverware, or assorted small kitchen gadgets.

Try to organize your sale like a store, with like items together. Have a kitchen section, a linen section, a tool section, a book section, etc.

Around here, the sales often start on Thursday, and if you advertise, don't allow any early shoppers. It will really anger people who respect your start time, and wait to come until the announced day and time.

If it is all going to be trashed or donated at the end of the sale, dicker with people. It can be fun for you and for them. If you really just want to get rid of it, have fun and let people get a good deal. I have met some really great people at my garage sales, and we have visited for quite awhile.

If you have lots of insignificant little things like small toys and odd things, a free box usually goes over well with the kids. Anything you put in there they can have for free.

Listen to what customers are asking for. I sometimes have things I couldn't decide about putting out, but if a customer is looking for something I was considering, or I know I don't want/need anymore, I'll go inside and get it. For example, one year I was getting rid of a lot of sheet sets. I put out several, and they went fast. I had more inside that I had planned on keeping, but really didn't need or want, so I went in and brought out more. It made me a little more money, cleaned out that section of the closet, and I got rid of some sheets I wasn't really interested in keeping. It was easier to clear them out when I saw there was a market for them.

In my experience, adult clothing doesn't sell well here. I have to price most of it at fifty cents, unless it is a coat or something bigger like that. I'm sure markets vary, and very expensive or current clothing may sell for more, it depends on your market. I always got way more money for my kids clothing.

Good luck and have fun with it.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,351
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

On 3/17/2015 carlycat said: Wow, this is discouraging! I live in a fairly small college town (90,000) and garage sales abound in the spring/summer. Last year we had a giant estate sale when my mother died and made a lot of money. I'm trying to not do that to anyone else--cleaning now rather than later! Anyone at all have any luck?? TIA Posh, thanks for your thoughts. I will have family to help, brother and fiancé. Couldn't do it alone!

Go ahead and have your sale and I am sure it will go fine..yes, they are a lot of work but so what! My neighbor and I are planning one for late spring, if what I have does not sell I will take it to good will...and a tax receipt does me no good the way we file our taxes.......my sales are always well attended because people knew my sale was well organized, clean and most of all I had misc. antiques to sell which brought in a lot of people, good luck

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,279
Registered: ‎05-15-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

Be prepared to begin early. People will be outside your house by 7:00 a.m.

If you have an apron that has pockets, wear it. You can put price stickers in it, plus any cash you want to use for change when someone buys something.

Keep an eye on everything so nothing gets stolen. Don't let anyone into your garage or house.

Good luck.

Super Contributor
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎01-11-2015

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

I've had several and won't have any more. They are not fun - they are a lot of work. The people show up early, even if you run an add with the starting time and indicate "No Early Birds". Make sure you have a lot of people helping you because people will steal things. They will also try to bargain by offering RIDICULOUSLY low prices. Some people bring their kids (who have NO business being at a garage sale), who like to handle things. If I were you, I would donate the items for a tax write-off.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,752
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

Seems like there used to be a calculation for pricing somebody published years ago{#emotions_dlg.confused1}

I think it was retail cut in half and then take that half and reduce it by 75%{#emotions_dlg.confused1} Something like that. Of course that would not apply to bigger ticket items, antiques, etc. Good luck.

It's God's job to judge the terrorists. It's our mission to arrange the meeting. U.S. Marines
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,858
Registered: ‎06-25-2012

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

We have a garage sale yearly. Our tiny city has a city-wide garage sale over Memorial Weekend. I never used to ever have garage sales. But several years ago we started and now I can't stop! I've gotten rid of a lot of things. I've met so many nice people in our community. I'm looking forward to this years sale. Just keep in mind people come to garage sales to get a deal...usually a super deal. You really have to let things go for pennies on the dollar. I price everything pretty much under $5. Trust me they won't buy unless its a couple bucks. If you are selling furniture and larger items then price those accordingly but still you'll have to be committed to selling itfor next to nothing. Try not to listen to the complainers here. Have your garage sale, meet your neighbors and have a great time!

"Pure Michigan"
Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,062
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

head to the library read up on what sells and what you need to know

You'll probably be selling for less than you think, people are looking for bargains.

Before you hold yours, go to other sales for a few weeks, see what is out there to be sold in your area, and what they pri$e things at. (That was on purpose $).

Figure out how you'll advertise and where you can post your poster board signs. Plan on balloons to show where it's at.

Plan to negotiate.

A big yellow smiley face, helps on poster board!!!

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 109
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Need garage sale help and advice!

We have a cummunity garage sale at one of the local parks a few times a year. We also have a few flear markets with outside tables within a 1/2 hour driiving distance. I will rent a table there for my next garage sale. As others stated - be careful of thefts. I was selling some jewelry and put each piece in a plastic baggie with a price. Someone still managed to open up one bag and steal a silver bracelet even though there was someone there the whole time with them.