How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

Published on 7/1/2022

Rules and regulations for garage sales

Check with your city or neighborhood for rules on when you are allowed to hold a garage sale and if there are any restrictions on sign placement. Typically city ordinance or storage rental agreements will not allow you to hold a garage sale directly out of your storage unit.

Advertising your sale

One of the best things you can do to have a successful sale is bring people in thru advertising!!!
o Have lots of bright signs that lead from major intersections to your house.  Make the signs the same or similar so people know they are following to the right sale.
o Advertise on local buy/sell groups, craigslist, the newspaper, your Facebook page, etc.  
o Highlight some of the items you have that are going to draw in the right people (ie Kids Stuff, Household Items, Farm Equipment/tools, Baby items, etc).
o Even if you are a part of a neighborhood or city-wide sale- advertise your own sale with your own signs and ads!!!  The more signs and ads people see the more likely they are to come to a specific location!  If there are 3 sales on your street, there should be 3 signs pointing that direction!!!

When to hold your sale

Early spring is the best time of year to hold a garage sale.
o Garage Sale shoppers love Multi-Family Sales, Neighborhood Sales, and Church/Benefit sales.  If there is a way to coordinate your sale for a weekend when one of these is going on you will have more potential buyers with cash in hand!  
o Also consider holding your sale the first weekend of the month.  Most people get paid either at the end or the first of the month and will have cash to spend!
o Friday and Saturday mornings are going to be your busiest time- have a helper if possible for those times.  Depending on your location, some areas start as early as Thursday.

Best get organized

o Arrange your items by category (ie- craft items together, décor together, kids toys together, etc) and ALWAYS organize your clothing by size and gender!!
o Put items out on your driveway!  This will make it easier to identify that you are having a sale and will draw customers in to see what you have.  
o Think of your sale like a mini pop-up store….having things displayed well and easy to find are going to result in more sales.  This also means when things sell, restock empty spaces and bring other items into view.

Be a salesperson

Suggestive selling actually works. Ask if buyers are looking for anything in particular or if you can help them find anything.  I like to have a “featured item” and point it out to buyers- when that item sells, replace it with a new item! If they are looking for a particular item, say jeans for a six year old, also show them your age-appropriate toys.

Be super friendly - but not over the top

People are more likely to buy from you if you make a connection.  Ignoring potential buyers is a big turnoff, but also over chatting can be distracting and take attention away from shopping.

Be prepared to make change

o Have enough change!  I like to start with at least $100 cash- mostly $1s, $5s, Quarters, a few $10s and a $20.
o Don’t keep all your cash with you!  Keep earnings inside your house or a safe place so you are not carrying excess amounts of cash on you.

All about items

o Everything needs a price, period. People are often uncomfortable making an offer on an unpriced item because they don't want to offend you
o Make prices visible- use stickers, masking tape, etc to mark prices
o Sell clean items - wipe off the dust or dirt and make sure it is in good/working condition
o You can always mark things down on the last day to save your cleanup

Checkout process

o Have a designated table for checkout.  This allows people to set down their purchases and makes it easier to calculate totals
o Provide grocery sacks, paper bags, or trash bags to carry purchased items. You don't want someone to stop shopping because it's too much to carry

Leftover Items

o You probably won't sell out entirely, so have a plan for your remaining items
o Several charities will take your leftover items, and some will even come pick them up from your house. Don't forget to track your donations for taxes!
o If you have high quality items left, you might want to store them for the next sale you hold. Wildcat Storage Center might have the perfect option for you. If you don't live in Louisburg, search the web for "storage units near me" to find your local storage options