How To Have A Successful Garage Sale

10 Apr


Being an eBay seller, yard sales are part of my job. We go to hundreds of yard sales, church sales and community sales every summer. I guess you could call us expert yard sailers. Over our years of attending sales we have come up with a list of how to have a yard sale that will be packed with people and in turn will make you more money than doing it another way. Here are the tips we have come up with:

1. Advertise your sale!
There are so many free ways to get the word out that you are having a great sale that everyone should want to come to. Craigslist is the main source people look to for yard sales. In your ad make sure you say the dates and times of your sale. List some of the cool stuff you will have for sale and take a few sneak peek pictures to entice people to come.

2. Have clear, easy to read signs
It seems obvious, but clear signs are a must! Unless your HOA has other rules all your sign needs to say is “Garage sale” and the dates of the sell. There is no need to write all the items you have on the sign. People driving by won’t be able to read it. Also, make sure your arrows are clear and BIG.

3. Make all the signs uniform
Have your signs be all the same color and size. Buyers get confused if you have one sign on a paper plate and the next on a pink board. Keep it simple, simple, simple!

4. If you live pretty far into a neighborhood have signs along the route
Buyers can get discouraged if the feel like they are driving for miles and don’t see any signs. Many will turn around and assume the sale doesn’t exist anymore. I would recommend a sign every six blocks or so even if it is just an arrow pointing straight

5. Don’t have a sale if you don’t have enough stuff for a sale
As a buyer I won’t even stop if the sale doesn’t have much stuff. It is a pain to get little ones in and out of the car for a sale with barely anything for sale. You are wasting your time if you don’t have enough stuff. Hold onto it until next year or get a group of friends together so you can have a driveway FULL of stuff

6. Make things presentable
It drives me nuts when things look like they were thrown onto a tarp at the last minute. Sure, digging can be fun, but plenty of people won’t dig and will just leave. Put things nicely on tables. Take time to clean dirty and dusty items before the sale. Dirty, unorganized things will always result in lowball offers.

7. Price your items!
When I go to a sale where nothing is priced I am likely to just leave. I am a shy person and don’t want to ask you how much every single item costs. Plus, if the person holding the yard sale is busy with someone else I won’t want to interrupt them. At least have bins of 50 cent, one dollar etc items.

8. Be willing to haggle
People go to yard sales hoping to get great deals. And the purpose of your sale is to de clutter, right?! Don’t be offended by people’s offers. I know it feels like a personal attack because it’s YOUR old stuff, but play the game! Counter their offers! I am not saying you need to give stuff away. I am saying you need to learn the fine art of haggling.

9. Have plenty of change and some grocery bags, too
You would not believe how many sales I have left with nothing because the person holding the sale didn’t have change for a twenty dollar bill. Make sure you have at least $100 in small bills and change. Keep it on you at all times. That being said, don’t ever accept bills larger than twenty dollars. Some people prey on innocent yard sailers and give them counterfeit bills because, well, they can.

10. Have fun!
People can spot a grumpy person from a mile away. I have been to sales with the grouchiest of people. One woman complaining that people were making a mess of her stuff, another complaining someone walked on her grass. This is a huge turn off to buyers. Put a smile on your face and enjoy the day!

11. When the sale is over take your signs down!!
This isn’t so much to benefit you, but all the poor people who follow your signs that lead to nowhere. It is just garage sale etiquette. It is really frustrating following signs that lead to nowhere. Be prompt with taking the signs over after the sale. And, don’t put your signs up in the morning until your sale is ready either. It will stress both you and the customers out if they arrive before you are ready to sell them anything.

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