Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Planning Your Garage Sale to Make More Money

Garage sales aren't all about the profit, but the money is usually a major goal. No one would plan to not sell anything, but not planning well can be a missed opportunity to take full advantage of the opportunity to maximize profits.

The strategy you use for advertising, pricing, and displaying merchandise can influence your potential success. The following tips can give you some guidelines and creative ideas to make a little more. When these separate little ideas are added up, you could possibly double your profits.

Choosing a Location for a Yard Sale

Location is as important in garage sales as it is in real estate. You might think you can't do anything about your location, but keep these tips in mind:

  • If you don't live in a populous area, then team up with a friend or friends who do live in a good spot. (there are many other benefits to teaming up)
  • Choose a property near a busy street
  • Choose an area near a lot of other residential properties

How to Advertise for a Garage Sale

Get the most out of cheap advertising to keep your profit margin high using these tips:

  • Use free website postings including Craigslist.org, YardSaleSearch.com, garagesalefinder.com, gsalr.com, and yardies.com.
  • Have your signs ready to put on the street one week in advance, so you can give people enough time to plan to come who drive by your neighborhood.
  • Remember that most neighborhoods have multiple entrances, so you'll need multiple signs.
  • Use as bright of a color as you can for your sign.
  • Include hours you'll be open for business.
  • Include the street address.
  • Use an arrow at every intersection to indicate which way people should go to find your sale.
  • Keep your sign uncluttered and legible from a distance.
  • Make sure to secure your signs well with stakes, staples, and enough tape to prevent wind from taking them down.
  • Laminate your signs, or use some form of plastic or metal background if rain is expected during the preceding week.
  • Advertise in the local newspaper if the cost is not too much. (Sometimes this is not worth the amount, but could be useful depending on how many people you can go in together with to split the cost)
  • Give something away for free and make a big sign such as: "Free Flowers!" or "Free Car Wash!"

How to Make Extra Money and Get Rid of More Stuff During a Yard Sale

Sometimes a garage sale can be an opportunity to make money in creative ways. Kids can participate in some of these ideas:

  • Sell refreshments (water, sodas, cotton candy, ice cream, hot dogs, etc.)
  • Sell arts and crafts that you make such as greeting cards, jewelry, or quilts.
  • Sell plant starts in pots that you dug up from your own yard.
  • Offer a car wash at a cheap price, or offer a free car wash while customers shop.
  • Advertise a business such as home painting, lawn service, or dog walking.
  • Hold an auction at the end of your garage sale, and advertise this to everyone who comes earlier in the day to get them to return.
  • Schedule your yard sale just after the first of the month when people have more available money to spend.

How to Price Items for a Garage Sale

Yard sales are in the same class as thrift stores, so go to a thrift store to get a general idea of how to price items. Also use these tips:

  • Use sites like ebay to get an idea of what items may be worth, especially if you think the items may be worth a lot. Amazon has an Android app that allows you to scan bar codes of items to see how much things are selling for on Amazon.com. Use that and then cut the price in half.
  • Never place a sticker price or write where glue or ink could ruin an item. For example, don't put stickers on vintage record sleeves. This can diminish value to collectors. Instead, label a larger container or a plastic bag that contains the item.
  • If you set your prices high, place a prominent sign stating that you are willing to negotiate your prices.
  • Expect to get roughly 50% of what you would pay for an item if it were new in a retail store.
  • Copy retail stores by marking things with high prices and advertising to everyone that everything is half price. You still make the same amount, and shoppers think they got a good deal.

Garage Sale Safety Tips

Safety is an important part of planning a yard sale. Unsafe situations could potentially lead to great costs. Use these tips to keep yourself and your possessions safe:

  • Cash boxes are easier to steal from than money in your pocket. Either way, keep your money out of visibility and stay alert.
  • Cover up or hide any super expensive items that may be in your garage that you don't want strangers seeing, including empty boxes of expensive items. People could be checking out your place to burglarize.
  • Use the buddy system since people you don't know will be walking in your yard and/or your garage.
  • If you are by yourself, keep a phone close by and act like you are not alone. For example, put two chairs up as if there were someone else running the sale with you. Poor two drinks and leave the one you are not drinking half full.
  • Don't keep too much cash in your cash box. If you get too much cash in your box, take some inside so it looks like you don't have a lot.
  • Make it your policy to never let anyone in your home during a garage sale, even if they seem nice. This will prevent people from casing out your place for burglary.

Organizing the Merchandise at a Garage Sale

The way your organize your merchandise can influence how much you sell. Use these tips for setting up your displays:

  • Keep valuable items near where you'll be stationed during the sale.
  • Make enough items visible from the street that people want to stop to check it out, especially furniture items.
  • Set up an extension cord and keep batteries handy so you can demonstrate any electronic items to prove working condition.
  • Place similar items together so people can categorize each table by glancing without missing what they are looking for. You can also set items that are the same price together so you don't have to price items individually.
  • Put items you want to sell the most down toward the street. That way people will have to walk by those items twice as they come toward and go away from your garage.
  • Place toys low to the ground for children to easily access.
  • Make sure you have items that both men and women would be interested in visible. They might be looking for different types of things, but they may not stop if all they see are things they are not interested in buying.

Yard Sale Preparation and Planning Tips

Good garage sales always start several days if not weeks before the actual sale. Before you get too far, keep these tips in mind:

  • Get some cash in small bills and change so you are prepared to break larger bills and give change.
  • Find out about any city or state laws about how garage sales are legally conducted including where you are allowed to place signs and what you can and can't legally sell. Also check on neighborhood association rules.
  • Neighborhood garage sales generally attract more shoppers and can save you advertising costs. Find out when your neighborhood or a surrounding neighborhood's is.
  • Get your entire household to go through their belongings to come up with as much as you can for your sale.
  • Ask family and friends to see if they have any items they want to sell in your garage sale. They may just give you items, or you can offer to sell on their behalf at a 20% commission.
  • Figure out where you will put your own vehicle/vehicles. Usually, you will want to keep the street clear for customers to get a good view and have easy parking.
  • Decide what hours you are willing to be open for business. Sometimes starting a little earlier than most other people can provide an opportunity to attract the serious garage sale buyers who are known to knock on garage doors early.

Pictures of a Successful Garage Sale

Click thumbnail to view full-sizeMake sure to use bright colors for your Garage Sale signs. Include an arrow pointing in the correct direction at every turn.
Get your stuff out of the garage and visible if possible, that way people can easily spot the sale from their car in the street.
Keeping your merchandise outside of the garage can cut down on the awkwardness of people in your garage... and the awkward small talk.
Group like items together in an uncluttered way, so shoppers can focus their eyes to distinguish items.
A plastic storage container turned upside down or saw horses can be used as tables for a yard sale.
Create a simple walking path for people to view your items closely.  The closer they are, they more  likely they are to pick up items.
If you are working together, make sure to keep track of individual sales items to split the profits fairly.
Keeping data such as how many people stop and how many people drive by and look can help you analyze any changes you make.
Being comfortable can make a huge difference.  Keep a fan handy to ensure you don't let the heat keep you from staying open.
Stay hydrated and entertained with some water, a cooler with snacks, and some reading material.
Make sure to use bright colors for your Garage Sale signs. Include an arrow pointing in the correct direction at every turn.
See all 10 photosMake sure to use bright colors for your Garage Sale signs. Include an arrow pointing in the correct direction at every turn.Get your stuff out of the garage and visible if possible, that way people can easily spot the sale from their car in the street.
See all 10 photosGet your stuff out of the garage and visible if possible, that way people can easily spot the sale from their car in the street.Keeping your merchandise outside of the garage can cut down on the awkwardness of people in your garage... and the awkward small talk.
See all 10 photosKeeping your merchandise outside of the garage can cut down on the awkwardness of people in your garage... and the awkward small talk.Group like items together in an uncluttered way, so shoppers can focus their eyes to distinguish items.
See all 10 photosGroup like items together in an uncluttered way, so shoppers can focus their eyes to distinguish items.A plastic storage container turned upside down or saw horses can be used as tables for a yard sale.
See all 10 photosA plastic storage container turned upside down or saw horses can be used as tables for a yard sale.Create a simple walking path for people to view your items closely.  The closer they are, they more  likely they are to pick up items.
See all 10 photosCreate a simple walking path for people to view your items closely. The closer they are, they more likely they are to pick up items.If you are working together, make sure to keep track of individual sales items to split the profits fairly.
See all 10 photosIf you are working together, make sure to keep track of individual sales items to split the profits fairly.Keeping data such as how many people stop and how many people drive by and look can help you analyze any changes you make.
See all 10 photosKeeping data such as how many people stop and how many people drive by and look can help you analyze any changes you make.Being comfortable can make a huge difference.  Keep a fan handy to ensure you don't let the heat keep you from staying open.
See all 10 photosBeing comfortable can make a huge difference. Keep a fan handy to ensure you don't let the heat keep you from staying open.Stay hydrated and entertained with some water, a cooler with snacks, and some reading material.
See all 10 photosStay hydrated and entertained with some water, a cooler with snacks, and some reading material.

Fighting Boredom at a Yard Sale

Hopefully you don't become too bored because you are running the sale with at least one other person and you are busy selling items, but keep these ideas in mind if you get bored while running a yard sale:

  • Play background music for your enjoyment and your customers' enjoyment
  • Don't distract your customers with too much talking, but be available when they do ask.
  • Keep a good book close by
  • Surf the internet
  • Talk on the phone
  • Play games on your phone or tablet
  • Bring a TV out to the garage

How to Have a Successful Garage or Yard Sale

The Difficulty of a Garage Sale

What's the Most Difficult Part of a Garage Sale

  • Cleaning out your stuff
  • Setting up the merchandise
  • Advertising the sale
  • Having to deal with people
  • Being bored, hot, hungry, or needing to pee
See results without voting

More Garage Sale Tips can be Found Here

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  • Having a Successful Yard Sale Confessions of a Yard Sale Fanatic
    Tips and info on becoming yard sale savvy and holding a successful yard sale or garage sale

  • How To Operate A Successful Garage Sale

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  • How to make money at a Garage Sale eHow

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  • Tips to Turn Any Yard Sale Into a Money Making Success

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    Tips to Turn Any Yard Sale Into a Money ... the items are really good quality, you wont make much money versus the time ... to have a garage sale every ...

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    When you have a garage sale, your objective is to make money while ... and find some good deals. Here are some tips to make the ... Tips To Save You Money!

  • Garage Sale Tips: How To Sell Junk For Cash

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  • 10 Tips to a Wildly Successful Garage Sale

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  • How to Make Money on eBay - Garage Sales - YouTube

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    Learn how to make extra money on ebay by going to Garage Sales to buy items to re-sell on eBay. http://www.garage-sale-items.com


  • Effective and Successful Garage Sales Money Instructor

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    Here are some quick tips if you are having a garage sale, ... make sure you are open by 7:30am. Many good ... They are the professionalsthere to spend money ...

  • Make Money with Garage Sales - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com

    voices.yahoo.com/make-money-garage-sales-10431757.html

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  • Garage sale survival tips - make money without losing your cool

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