There’s more to holding a successful garage or estate sale than waking up early and compiling all of your junk, I mean treasures.
To attract the most buyers, it needs to be organized. A well-planned garage sale not only helps you get rid of your clutter, but it also makes you money.
But before we share how to get all of your ducks in a row for a garage sale, let’s make sure we are on the same page about what it is.
Garage Sale Vs. Yard Sale — What’s The Difference?
While you probably use “garage” and “yard” sales interchangeably — and that’s totally fine — there can be a few differences between the two.
When someone says they are holding a garage sale, they’re normally referring to selling their items either in the garage or in the driveway next to the garage.
On the other hand, a yard sale is when people place all of their sale items on their yard. A yard sale can also mean a group of people are going into together to sell things.
How To Organize A Successful Garage Sale
Now that you know the benefits to having one, let's take a look at how to organize a garage sale. Just follow these six easy steps:
Cross Your Ts
Before you start figuring out what you want to sell, you need to make sure there are no local rules against it.
Some neighborhoods don’t allow homeowners to hold garage sales at all, while others will host annual sales for residents to participate. So, check with your HOA first to see what is and isn’t allowed where you live.
You’ll also want to check with your city to see if there are any regulations about holding garage sales. You’d rather be safe than sorry.
Pick the Right Time
No one wants to browse a garage sale during the heat of summer or frigid winter, so schedule yours when the weather is pleasant. Sometime in late summer, fall or late spring would be ideal.
See what day of the week is a popular garage sale day in your area to ensure people will be out shopping when you have yours. These can range from Thursdays to Sundays, so figure out the best day for your community.
The more people that come to your garage sale, the more items you’re likely to sell. To spread the word, advertise the event online and around town.
Create a Facebook event with the date, address and details. Then, share it with all of your friends. You can also buy an ad in your local newspaper to let even more people know about it.
And of course, place signs at major intersections near your home and outside of your neighborhood. The night before the garage sale, tie balloons or something that will catch drivers’ attention to the signs. Make it easy for them to find you.
Put Top Items Out Front
Once you have all of the pre-planning out of the way, work on your sale layout.
Place all of your large items in front of your other things. Buyers will see these first and think that means you have even more great items behind them.
Whether it’s a sofa, dresser or table, you can use it to attract drivers. You need to draw them in before they drive away, so make their first impressions good ones.
Another way to attract buyers is by placing a “Free Pile” in the front. Everyone likes free stuff, so place a sign next to the items to catch people’s attention.
Keep Related Things Together
You wouldn’t find stuffed animals in the kitchen department at the store, so don’t mix them together in your garage sale.
Create different areas for things like toys, kitchen items, clothing, furniture, movies and books. That will help people better find what they are looking for — meaning more sales for you.
You can also keep sets of things together by putting them in bags. That’s especially helpful if there are multiple, small parts to something.
Continue to Organize
Everything may look perfect when you open your garage door for the sale, but give it an hour, and it could become a mess.
When you have some slower times, walk around and put things back in their places. You’ll also want to move items up toward the front as items sell. That way, there aren’t random empty spots, and people will see what all is left quicker.
The items in your garage sale might not be things you want anymore, but you need to make them — and the space — look attractive to potential buyers. So, think like a customer as you look at the space.
Get Rid Of What Doesn’t Sell
Even with an organized garage sale, you’re bound to have some things left over. Instead of cramming them all back into your garage or around your house, you can throw the clutter into a dumpster rental.
You can put clothes, furniture, boxes and other non-hazardous items in the dumpster. If you have heavier items, you can carry them straight into the dumpster, instead of lifting them over the side.
Just like a garage sale can be a way to bring your neighborhood together, so can the dumpster. You can share the rental with your neighbors, which will help spread out the costs and help you meet the people around you.
So, make sure to have a dumpster on the ready so you and your neighbors can throw out what’s left after the sale.
Planning a successful garage sale takes time, but it can put more cash in your pocket and less clutter in your home.