Best Garage Sale Tips and Tricks from A Pro
Please do not take these garage sale tips and tricks lightly because they will help you make more money with your next garage sale.
I have held more than thirty successful garage sales, community garage sales, and estate sales that generated way more money than the owners or I anticipated.
When it comes to holding successful garage sales, I am the king. But I do not say this to toot my own horn.
I do say this to show you that I know a thing or two about holding garage sales that make the most amount of money as possible.
When it comes making as much money as possible with garage sales, or yard sales, it all comes down to the details.
These are my best garage sale tips – if you want you can take notes so when it comes time for your big day you will be totally prepared.
How to prepare for a garage sale
Planning and preparing for a garage sale are the first steps in ensuring your garage sale is a success.
The best way to prepare for your garage sale is to have a garage sale checklist.
A checklist will help keep you organized and motivated. The more organized and motivated you are, the more money you will make.
A proper checklist will have you start planning two to three weeks in advance of your garage sale.
It will cover everything from getting your items together to pricing to signs, to set up and more.
Here is a free garage sale checklist that you can download and print.
What supplies do I need for a garage sale? Not much!
The great thing about a garage sale is that you do not need to outlay a lot of money to make money – in fact, the basics can be bought at most .99 cent stores or Amazon.
Here are the supplies you need for a garage sale:
- Black markers for signs and pricing stickers – 1 large and 1 small will do
- Colored heavy construction paper – I recommend 18×24 yellow construction paper folded and cut into four pieces with only the words “garage sale” with arrows directing traffic in. People can’t and won’t try to read signs that have a bunch of text on them or worse, addresses.
- A change box – Keep your money in a locked box and only keep some small change on your person.
- Change – Have as much as possible but I’ve started with $20 in change.
- Facebook and Craigslist accounts – The best way to promote your garage is by posting it in your local Facebook Groups (some even have garage sale groups) and on Craigslist the night before your sale days, at 5 am, 6 am, 7 am, 8 am, and 9 am the mornings of your garage sales. Take pictures of your sale from a distance and then post close-ups of your tables etc. with your items on them. People will ask questions about items so be prepared to answer them or put “Sorry but I don’t have time to answer questions so please come on down” on all posts.
That’s it – all the supplies you need for a garage sale.
What to sell at a garage sale? Here are the 15 best things.
This is really a loaded question.
Just like big-box retailers, certain things will only sell in certain parts of the country. Like, a surfboard probably won’t sell in Minneapolis and a snowplow probably won’t sell in Phoenix.
However, there are items that are pretty universal when it comes to garage sales and they are:
- Baby items
- Kitchen items
- Household knickknacks
- Musical instruments (when priced right)
- Collectables (when priced right)
- Art (when priced right)
- Vintage items (when priced right)
- Some antiques (when priced right)
- Jewelry (when priced right)
Stick with these basic items and at the end of the day, you’re bound to make some nice money for your efforts.
How to price garage sale items accordingly
Pricing is critical if you are going to make the most money you can.
Research your items on places like eBay to find what they are selling for because people will say to you “Well, I can buy it on eBay for….”
So be prepared to know the ballpark figures of the prices of your items so you know how to price them.
By the way, a good way to work around the eBay people is to tell them it takes time to ship items on eBay plus you have to pay to ship them, and you never know what condition the item will come in.
This usually shuts them up pretty quickly.
Do be willing to haggle. If you researched and priced your items accordingly then you will have enough meat on the bone to negotiate with.
When you negotiate and settle on a lower price, people walk away thinking they got a deal, and in many cases they did.
But in the end, what you gave them is “perceived value”. The big brands deploy this pricing tactic all the time and so do salespeople, so why shouldn’t you?
Also, a great way to use this tactic to generate more money from a single sale is to offer “bundled” deals, meaning you give price breaks when people “bundle” two or more items together.
Again, if you priced your items right, you will make money if you are willing to negotiate bundled deals.
This will also make for happy customers.
Believe me, happy customers will look forward to your future garage sales.
This means you can hold another one knowing people want what you’re selling – basically you’ll make sales again from these people.
Trust me, pricing is the biggest thing I used to build my little garage sale empire.
It took me a long time to be able to hold a garage sale knowing that I would make money.
For years I have used garage sales not to merely “clean-out the garage”, but to make a profit.
At first, I sold my own items and I made some nice easy money.
This got me thinking, what if I were to buy items at a low price then have garage sales and sell them at a higher price?
Soon enough I was buying vintage items, antiques, and even some new things, which I sold for a handsome profit at my garage sales, flea markets, and online.
Much of my business was repeat customers, with people looking forward to the garage sales that I put on every few months.
Through these events, I meet people who saw how successful my garage sales were and they asked me to organize, promote and put on their garage sales and estate sales.
If you follow my time-tested garage sale tips and tricks then the sky’s the limit for you my friend!
Willi and I wish you the best of success with your garage sale.