how to hold a profitable garage sale

Garage Sale Tips
How to have the best ever garage sale

Prepper's love shopping yard sales and garage sales to find barely used camping
equipment, cast iron pans, gardening tools, and other equipment for their preps.
Scavenging through other people's junk is half the fun: finding ways to repurpose
or restore cool finds is the other half.

While
shopping garage sales is both thrifty and satisfying to preppers, holding a
garage sale is highly profitable and a worthwhile prepping activity! Having a garage
sale is #12 on the
Prepper's TO DO list.

Need to earn a little extra money for your preps? Then it's time to hold a garage
sale! The bonus is you'll create more room in your closets and cupboards and your
attic, garage or basement to make room for new preps. Here's how to have the
best-ever garage sale...

Garage sale tips for preppers

  • Garage Sale Tip #1: Plan weeks or months in advance of your event to
    gather, sort and price your wares.  The task of gathering all the unused
    and unwanted merchandise from your home is not an overnight task. It can
    take weeks or months to sort through your stuff. You will find emotional
    attachment to some objects, and you will most certainly run into
    disagreements with family members about which pieces to sell or not to sell.
    And finally, a successful garage sale takes advance work of pricing and
    sorting wares for sale. Thoughtful consideration about pricing is the most
    important. You want a price enticing for the customer, which is also a fair
    compensation for you to release it t their custody.

  • Garage Sale Tip #2: know what NOT to sell. Antiques and collectibles are
    better sold on eBay where you can reach a competitive audience. If you have
    something old, be sure to have a careful eye towards value. Describe it as
    best you can into the search box of eBay.

  • Garage Sale Tip #3 Plan sales for a Saturday morning with good weather.
    Knowing when to hold your garage sale is the most important factor of
    garage sale success. Check weather reports to anticipate a good weathered
    weekend sale, and be flexible to cancel or postpone. Hold your garage sale
    on a Saturday from 8 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., not on a Sunday when parishioners
    are at church and not late in the afternoon when the good stuff is
    supposedly all gone. And while you may post an 8 a.m. sale, know the
    professional shoppers will arrive earlier (at 7:00-7:30 a.m.) to get first dibs
    as you set up shop. Professionals won't visit late in the afternoon, because
    they know your good stuff is gone by 9:00 a.m.!

  • Garage Sale Tip #4. Grab attention by being bold with signage. In the old
    days you'd place an ad in the newspaper to attract shoppers to your garage
    sale or yard sale. Today, you may like to post on Craigslist.org! Beware
    however, that pacing ads will only encourage even more professionals to
    come and grab your good stuff early. Such ads aren't really necessary. You
    need only place some clever signage to attract visitors, and this is the
    important part about signage: BE BOLD:

  • Keep the signage simple. No need to list what's for sale, simply write "Garage
    Sale," the date, and your address. Make sure the address on your signage is
    as large and bold as possible. Write in block letters. Use a Sharpie or a bold
    print on the computer. Skip the word "street" or "road" unless there are
    similar streets in the area. Your signage might read simply:
  • "GARAGE SALE! 725 Pine, Sat. 8-1"

  • Use your vehicles for signage. Park vehicles on an adjoining street to direct
    traffic. This gives shoppers the best place to park, and also helps draw
    shoppers. Print large letters individually to spell "G A R A G E   S A L E." Affix
    the individual letters into a message and post onto your car windows with
    strong clear packing tape. Below the words "GARAGE SALE" include a
    directional arrow and large print for the address.

  • Put signs on the nearest cross streets to your home. Affix signs properly with
    strong tape and balloons to attract attention. Shoppers will give up if your
    location is too far away.

  • Signage should go up in the morning of your event, not the night before. This
    will help ensure the dew and wind don't destroy your advertising.

  • Garage Sale Tip #5: Set up shop like a professional.

  • Make sure you have a good location. If you have a remote location, then be
    realistic and save your wares to sell at a swap meet or rummage sale
    opportunity, instead of doing your own garage sale. Make a good business
    decision before you invest your time. Remember, you can always "borrow"
    someone else's garage.  Ask a family member if you can use their driveway if
    they live in an area with more foot traffic possibilities.

  • Get enough display tables. Turn your driveway, garage or yard into a shop
    with display tables, shelves and coffee tables. Borrow folding tables if you
    must. Give thought to how people might flow into your "shop." Make sure
    there is a path. Generally, shoppers will head to the right as they make their
    way around your store. Ensure there is plenty of space to highlight you
    wares.

  • Group "like" items: It may seem logical to put all the books in one spot: but
    refrain from doing this! You'll have a better chance of selling books when you
    strategically place them near the items you're selling. For example: place
    kitchen merchandise and cookbooks on one table; children's books with the
    toys and clothing; tools, garage equipment and manuals on another table,
    and so on. In this way, a gardener looking for equipment may actually pick
    up a gardening book; a young mother may pick up toys and storybooks, etc.

  • Price everything! Don't wing it when it comes to price. Thoughtful planning
    must go to every object. If you hold a successful garage sale by following
    these tips, you'll be extremely busy talking with customers and producing
    change. You won't have time coming up with prices on the fly! This only
    opens the floor to negotiation.

  • Have plastic bags and empty cardboard boxes available. Encourage extra
    sales by making it easy for your customers to haul away their wares. You can
    save plastic bags and boxes long in advance of your garage sale to prepare.

  • Finally, treat your customers professionally. The cashier in particular, can
    greet all the customers and announce "Pay the lady."

  • Garage Sale Tip #6. Keep an eye on the money, honey!

  • Stash a supply of cash. Start your morning with a supply of quarters, one
    dollar bills and fives to make proper change. Expect big sales and start with
    $50 in change.

  • Have one only cashier. Do not have more than one cashier or clever thieves
    will take advantage and say they paid your spouse. In all the confusion, you
    will believe them. Not if you have a plan! Having one cashier resolves this
    problem.

  • Make the cashier easy to spot. Wear a baseball cap that reads "pay here"
    on the front so it's clear who is "in charge." Have the cashier stand at the
    entrance, so shoppers don't pass out of your shop without paying.

  • Invest in a fanny pack to use as a money belt. Do not have a cashiers box.
    That is inviting an easy theft. Instead, stash your money the Girl Scout way:
    have a fanny pack tied through your belt loop to keep money secure.

  • Garage Sale Tip #7: Know what to expect.

  • Plan in advance for your family's hunger, thirst and bathroom breaks.
    Sleep well the night before. Eat heartily before your event. Have a bottle of
    water nearby and snacks to keep you energized. Visit the restroom before
    you open shop. It will be a non-stop event from 7:00-1:30. Have sandwiches
    ready for when it's all over. Plan for a garage sale the way you prep!

  • Know you will get questions. Neighbors and real estate professionals will
    question your garage sale. Neighbors may be "concerned" you are moving,
    or hard up for money. Realties may want your business. Don't tell them you
    are prepping. You can allay some concerns with one simple statement: "it
    feels so good to get rid of this unwanted stuff. You ought to try it yourself!"
    Soon you may see neighbors holding garage sales and you can swoop in and
    get their unused camping equipment.

  • Prepare for negotiation. Professional garage sale shoppers often feel
    compelled to get a lower price. You can handle this by pricing key items a bit
    higher than the lowest you are willing to take. In this way, you have some
    flexibility and you may well sell stuff. If you are not willing to negotiate a
    lower price, then post a sign that informs your customers: "prices are firm!"
    You may still get shoppers who feel compelled to negotiate, in such instances
    explain an emotional connection to the object. Tell the shopper you will keep
    the original offer open to them, but that you are happy take it back and keep
    it for yourself.

  • Expect theft. Even in the best neighborhoods you'll find theft rampant at
    garage sales. The garage Sale "professional robbers" don't feel bad at all
    stealing your stuff. They figure because you wanted to "get rid of it anyway,"
    they are doing you a favor. Assign family members with the task of "security
    guards." Have someone inside the house with the kids and lock all the doors.
    Theft happens sometimes in broad daylight.

  • Garage Sale Tip #8: Wrap up the sale.

  • Have a plan to donate or dump the unsold stuff. If your wares didn't sell at the
    garage sale, it's highly unlikely you will sell them at the next garage sale. If
    you didn't have any foot traffic, then you may like to try again in some other
    venue, but if you followed the tips for a successful garage sale outlined here,
    the good stuff will be gone. Donate or dump your remaining wares and free
    yourself from the burden of storage. In this way you will have more room for
    prepping!

  • Tally up your profits! If you've had a successful garage sale, you should have
    at least $300 in your hands at the end of the day, not including your original
    $50 change. Depending on your wares you may have hundreds more. It's
    not unusual to more than break the one thousand mark if you are unloading
    furniture or large equipment. It all depends on your wares.

  • At the end of the day, remove all signage. You don't want people showing up
    at your property next weekend at the same time.

Now have at it! Have the best ever garage sale! Be happy that having a garage
sale is prepping. In fact, holding a garage sale is #12 on the
Prepper's TO DO list.
Read the other 98 ideas and tips by clicking the graphic, immediate right.

  • NOTE: These garage sale tips are from the primary author of HappyPreppers.
    com. She is a former Platinum Powerseller on eBay and has held many
    successful garage sales.

Have some Garage Sale Tips to share? We're happy to hear your prepping ideas and link
to your site. Please drop us a note on Twitter at HappyPreppers.

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