After you clean out your garage, you can then clean up by having a garage sale.

1. Schedule smart. June through October is the best time. A one-day sale over 5 or 6 hours is enough to get rid of lots of stuff and let shoppers know they have limited time.
2. Advertise. Take out a classified ad in the local paper and on Craigslist. A few days before the sale, post several large signs around the neighborhood. Make all signs the same color and be brief: “Garage Sale (or Yard or Tag Sale), day, date, hours, street address, and an arrow pointing to your home. Make sure to catch traffic in both directions and put a sign at your driveway.
3. Prep the merchandise. Clean items, press clothes, wash glasses, china, etc. Put a circle sticker with a price on each item. Mark cracked or chipped items “as is,” so buyers know you’ve priced it with the condition in mind. Group items for adults vs. children, and don’t forget shoppers looking for tools, sports and camping gear, electronics, used tires, and lawn equipment.
4. Price to sell. This is a garage sale, not an estate sale. Generally, price items for $5 or less, most for $1 or $2. Price more expensive items at 1/2 to 1/3 of the retail cost if in good condition. Leave room for haggling, setting prices 20%–30% above what you’d like.
5. Have a free pile. Nothing stops people like the word “free” and many will stay and buy.
6. Take care with the layout. Arrange tables so people have room to pass. To avoid theft, rope off the sale area, put the payment table at the exit, and have a family member or friend help out.
7. Be ready with change. Get lots of ones, fives, and coins, and carry them in a carpenter’s apron or fanny pack. Have bags or boxes available.
8. Offer refreshments. Sell lemonade, snacks, and baked goods–you’ll make some money and people will stick around longer.
9. Get rid of it all. Take any reasonable offer. In the last hour, have a “fill a bag for $1” deal. Put whatever doesn’t sell out on the curb for free, throw it out, or donate it.

Leave a Comment