Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Home Improvement


Follow these tips to hold a successful garage sale

• Spread the word. Post an ad on Craigslist, in your community newspaper, or on your organization's bulletin board. Make sure to include the type of items you're selling (kitchenware, furniture, children's clothing), the date, hours, and address.

• Get an early start! We've had shoppers knocking on our door before we had even set up.

• Shoppers are more likely to stop when they see filled tables and large items, such as bookcases, dressers, big toys (rocking horses, trains), and tools. As your inventory dwindles, move together items that haven't sold, for an appearance of abundance.

• Dealers and collectors may be visiting your sale. Display one-of-a-kind items clearly, but have someone nearby to thwart theft.

• Clean everything and make sure appliances work. If they don't, attach a sign indicating so (this can be a simple "Doesn't Work") and reduce the price. Many shoppers want to find "steals" they can fix.

• What's a fair price? 10–30% of retail, for most items. Tag all items, but be prepared to haggle.

• Sort items by size and type and organize them on shelves or a rack. They'll bring in higher prices.

• Partner with neighbors for a bigger, more festive event that will attract more shoppers.

• Check the weather. You don't want your things ruined in a rainstorm. (And who's out shopping then anyway?)

• Make large, thickly lettered signs to direct traffic to your house.

• What to do with your remainders? Give them away, store them for another sale, drop them off at Goodwill, or call a charitable organization that does pickup. Then keep a list of what you've donated, for tax time.

Let me know how you did!