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10 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Spring is in full bloom and you know what that means: garage sales! Hawking your wares in your front yard can be a great way to get rid of clutter and make a little cash in the process. Here are 10 tips for a successful garage sale:

1. Get the neighbors involved. Touch base with your neighbors ahead of time and let them know the date you are planning your sale. Try to get multiple homes to participate. Advertising a multi-family or neighborhood sale will draw more interest than a single seller.

2. Advertise. There are so many opportunities today for free advertising online. Place an ad on Craigslist and look for local swap groups on Facebook that allow notices for sales. Post photos of your big-ticket items on social media and ask friends to share your posts. The more people who find out about your sale the more stuff you’ll get rid of!

3. Arrange items by category. Make it easy for your customers to find what they are looking for by placing like items together.

4. Merchandise. Just because it’s a garage sale doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any effort into display. Place your items on tables to allow customers easy access and use tablecloths or sheets for a clean backdrop. Have a full-length mirror available for people to try on clothes or jewelry and access to an electrical outlet to test electronics.

5. Clear signage. This is so important to help people find your house as well as to catch the eye of traffic driving by. Place clear signs with dark, block letters leading off any main roads and at each turn to direct people to your house.

6. Place a free table near the road. There are probably lots of random items in your home that you’d like to get rid of but won’t bring in much money. Set up a table or box of these things near the road with a prominent sign to get people’s attention. If someone stops to take a few things they will likely feel obligated to venture up the driveway to check out the rest of your stuff.

7. Price everything individually. This is a lot of work upfront but will make things easier during busy times when you won’t want to make up prices on the spot. Buy preprinted stickers or make your own using labels printed on your computer.

8. Focus on volume sales and keep prices low. Garage sale shoppers are looking for serious bargains. Price small items like clothes, housewares, and books to move. Bigger items like furniture and sporting equipment can bring in more, but be realistic. You will likely only make a fraction of what you paid for your things, so start with a large quantity to make it worthwhile.

9. As the day winds down, slash prices to move stuff out. You will likely see the most traffic early in the day and the most desirable stuff will sell first. As things slow down reduce your asking prices and for the last hour post a half-off everything sign. Better to get a buck or two for something than nothing at all.

10. Get rid of what’s left immediately. When it’s over, pack up the car and make a trip to the donation center. You already did the work deciding what to get rid of so don’t let those things become clutter again!

What are some of your best garage sale tips? Let me know in the comments!

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