SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Friday, July 29, 2011

Successful Garage Sale Tips | Family Economics

By Trisha

I don’t know why, but all of my children have enjoyed the adventure of hosting garage sales during the summer. Maybe it is the fun of pretending they have a store or the idea that they are making extra money. I, on the other hand, look at hosting garage sales as a lot of work. But over the years I have learned a few successful garage sale tips and tricks, and don’t forget to check out Andrea’s tips on a profitable garage sale, too!

Tip One: Time and Day

•    Choosing the right time and day is important to the success of your sale. In most areas, Saturdays tend to be the big garage sale day. However, in my town Friday’s are the busiest. Look around and see when experienced garage sellers host their sales.

•    Warm summer months tend to be the best time of year to avoid cold and rainy weather.

•    The earlier you “open” the better for those avid garage sale shoppers. I’ve found that the afternoons tend to slow down. We usually open at 8:00 a.m. and close around 4:00 p.m. Be sure to honor the hours you advertise.

•    Also, don’t forget to check your city and county ordinances when it comes to hosting garage sales.

Tip Two: Set-up

•    When setting up your items, categorize them into areas such as home décor, books, sports equipment, tools, kids stuff, etc. This will help your customers shop in areas of their interest and see everything you have for sale.

•    Check to see that all electronics and battery operated items are in working condition.

•    Clean and repair items and display them so that they sell for the best prices.

•    Dispose of all broken and damaged items.

Tip Three: Pricing

•    When items are clearly tagged with a price they have a higher chance of selling.

•    An organized way to price is to purchase a variety of colored, circle-shaped labels from your big box store or office supply store. Designate each color to be a different dollar amount such as green= 25 cents, yellow= 50 cents, etc. Next, use the white circle labels for items over $1.00. Then, create color-coded signs that tell your shoppers what each sticker is worth. Make several signs to hang in various spots so that your shoppers are not asking you over and over how much items cost.

•    To make pricing quick and easy you can purchase the circle-shaped labels that already have the amounts written on them.

•    When deciding on how much to price an item think, “How much would I pay to purchase this used at a garage sale or thrift store?” Remember, shoppers are looking for deals and they don’t care what you paid for it new.

Tip Four: Advertise

•    Use multiple avenues to tell your community about the garage sale like Facebook, Twitter and local newspapers. Be sure to include date, time and location.

•    Place signs around town and at major intersections so your shoppers can easily find the location of your garage sale. Include arrows, address and hours on signs.

•    Check city and county laws on posting signs.

Tip Five: Policies

•    Decide if you will accept checks.

•    Decide if you will allow early bird shoppers to enter your sale prior to the advertised time.

•    Decide if you will hold items for shoppers to return with payment.

•    Decide if you will reduce your prices during the last hours of your sale. For example, you could designate the last hour for everything 50 percent off.

Tip Six: Check-out

•    Use either a cash box or wear a fanny pack to hold your money.

•    Have change on hand such as $1 and $5 bills as well as a good supply of change.

•    Prior to your sale, begin saving grocery bags, newspapers and packing supplies to use at check-out when your customers purchase items.

Tip Seven: Clean-up

•    Prior to your sale, arrange for a local charity to pick up your leftover items.

•    As tired as you may feel after your sale, schedule your last day to have time to clean-up the sale so you are not having to think about it the days following.

Do you have a successful garage sale tip?

1 Comment so far

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On Friday, July 29, 2011, Leslie from Port Orchard wrote

Great tips! Thank you

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