5 Tips For The Perfect Garage Sale

Whether you’re tight on cash or have junk piling up, a garage sale can provide a solution to both problems. Of course hosting a garage sale seems much simpler than it actually is, especially if you need to get rid of a lot of items. You may need to secure a permit, pick a date(s), sort and price items and more. So, before going in head first, consider these 5 tips for a perfect garage sale.


Scheduling With Local Municipalities

Picking A Date

Advertising Your Garage Sale

Sorting Items

How To Price Items


Organizing a garage sale can be a fun family activity, or very stressful.

Scheduling With Local Municipalities

Perhaps the first thing you want to do before hosting your garage sale is to lock down a permit from your municipality. Depending on where you live, you may be required to get a permit of some sort in order to host a sale. Of course, you could risk not getting a permit, but then you may be shut down early, or even fined. It’s best to just check with your local authority before putting in all the time and effort. 

In order to find out if your city/town/village has a procedure, you have a few options. You can visit your local city hall, call them, or visit their website if they have one. The permit may come with a fee, but they are usually not too expensive at all. However, if you plan on selling items for more than one day, you may need multiple permits. So, you should consider how many days you want to host your sale when purchasing a permit.

Along with securing a permit, you should check to see if there are additional guidelines to follow due to COVID-19. In other words, you may need to make sure your customers and well as you are wearing a mask. Again, nothing would be quite as frustrating as putting in a bunch of effort just for the authorities to shut it down. Additionally, putting out signs to remind customers to wear a mask and even some hand sanitizer encourages a healthy environment to browse. 

Picking A Date

Typically, people tend to hold a garage sale on the weekend, when most people are not working and free to shop. However, in the year 2020, so many people are either working from home or are unfortunately out of work. So instead of waiting for the weekend, you could get away with hosting your sale during the week. 

Next, you should be mindful of weather forecasts. Contrary to popular belief, meteorologists are not out to get you. And if you feel as though you can not trust your local meteorologists, check your local weather with the Weather Channel. Nothing spoils a good sale like rain, so be vigilant of forecasts and plan appropriately.

Lastly, and this is for those who are looking to sell out, you may want to take a trip around your neighborhood. Check street corners and busy streets for other garage or yard sales going on in your area. This will give you a good idea as to how many other sales are going on besides yours. You wouldn’t want a bunch of sales at the same time because it might hinder your ability to sell.

Advertising Your Garage sale

After securing a permit and picking a good date for your garage sale, you’ll want to start advertising it. You have several options for advertising such as conventional yard signs and social media. For those going with a conventional approach, you have some things to consider. First, you should consider your own location, meaning where your home is in conjunction with major streets/intersections. If your home already garners a lot of both foot and driving traffic, your advertising needs may be minimal. Heck, you might not even need anything more than a basic sign in your yard if your house is that visible to the public.

Make sure your garage sale signs have accurate and legible.

However, for those who do not see as much traffic, you’ll need to do some heavy advertising. Depending on where you live, it would help to throw up signs on busy intersections near your sale at least a few days before the sale. Of course, you need to specify when and where the sale is so people know exactly when and where to go. Your signs need to be easily read, so use big text with colors that attract attention but can be read from a distance.

On top of conventional tactics, it would not hurt to do some social media advertising. Now, you don’t need to throw money into a social media advertisement. Instead, create a social media post on any major platform that advertises your sale. You could even try to enter a local group’s social media page to reach a local audience better. Just make sure it’s ok to post something of that nature into a local group or else it may get deleted. 

Sorting Items

When sorting items make sure you put similar items near each other

At this point, you should know what items you want to sell and which you want to keep. As you would find in a department store, you should organize items by similarities. In other words, don’t put sporting goods with kitchen appliances or baby clothes with tools. Try to keep items grouped up so that it is easier for people to find what they are looking for.  

Additionally, you may want to keep expensive items either close by or in a display that would not allow someone to walk off with it. Items like jewelry and other small expensive items can be easily pocketed. Clothing items should also be hung up and clean so customers can browse easily without making a mess.  

Lastly, you’ll want to differentiate what is for sale and what is not. For example, let’s say you decide to use your garage as a sales floor. If you do not mark which items are for sale and which are not, there may be some confusion. In the year 2020, you’ll unlikely be using your home as a sales floor but the same logic applies.

How To Price Items

After organizing, advertising, and scheduling your garage sale, the most important aspect may be pricing items. This might be the most difficult part of hosting a garage sale. For one, all of or at least most of the items for sale will have varying levels of use. Now an item being used does not necessarily mean its worth-less than a store bought item, however do not expect retail profits for your goods. Some experts say you should not price items beyond 10% of retail value but of course you can price as you like.

haggling for items can be a hassle. Price items appropriately at your garage sale.

Additionally, you will need to cut ties with sentimental value as customers are unlikely to feel the same way about them. In other words, that collection of dolls may feel worth a million dollars to you, but for someone else they may just be a couple bucks. So if you feel like you can’t quite put a price on something, just don’t sell it. 

Lastly, you can completely opt out of pricing items at all and go for a “best offer” situation. This type of arrangement has it’s pros and cons. A pro of this situation is that you can possibly get more for each item, and it might help pass the time. However a major con of this is that most people will low-ball items. Additionally haggling can become wearisome and you may reluctantly accept bad deals. 


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