11 Tricks to Earn More From Your Garage Sale

Recently, a couple sold their $3 garage sale pottery find for a cool $2.2 million when the historical significance of the item was discovered. I bet the original sellers of that seemingly insignificant piece of pottery are kicking themselves right now.

While finding a hidden treasure may seem like the goal of avid garage sale shoppers, most people are simply looking for a good deal. Since spring cleaning is in full swing, now is a great time to put your wares up for sale and make a little cash for your clutter. There is an art to designing a sale that will yield the most bang for your buck, so read on for tips on how to do just that.

1. Advertise -- everywhere! Post an ad on Craigslist, in your local newspaper and around your neighborhood to get the word out. Tell friends, family and coworkers about the sale and post the details about it on social media sites. Be sure to highlight the types of items visitors can expect to find at your event; jewelry, furniture and sporting equipment are big drivers, so it’s important to mention them in your ads.

2. Don't call it a garage sale. For whatever reason, the terms “yard sale” or “moving sale” have more positive connotations with local residents. Similarly, estate sales attract people with deeper pockets since the term “estate” sounds like a big deal.

3. Sell valuables elsewhere. Items like quality jewelry, expensive furniture and select home goods are better sold through eBay, Craigslist or local consignment shops. Same goes for things like gift cards, which you can exchange for a higher value using GiftCardGranny.com. Ultimately, you don’t want to undervalue anything you own for the sake of getting it out of your house.

RELATED 10 Things to Buy Used 

4. Time it right. Spring is the best time to host a garage sale because the weather is mild and people are looking for frugal updates to their homes and wardrobes. Summer isn’t ideal as folks are more likely to escape for the weekend and you may be faced with a smaller audience. Be sure to check the forecast before scheduling an event, as even the most dedicated garage hunters won’t shop in poor weather. Finally, piggyback on a neighbor’s sale if you can in order to take advantage of the traffic their event produces.

5. Schedule around payday. Here’s a mind-blowing fact for you: people are more prone to spend money when they have it! Many people are paid around the 15th or the 30th of each month, so scheduling your sale around payday will help you bring in the best customers. Keep in mind the first and last week of the month might represent the leanest for some who are either waiting on payday or just paid out big expenses like rent and car payments.

6. Wake up early! Dedicated garage sale hunters know the good stuff goes first, so they’ll be waiting outside your door at the crack of dawn. Plan to rise as early as 5:00am to set up so you don't miss this eager crowd. The “early bird gets the worm,” as they say, and these shoppers will likely pay your asking price for the best items.

7. Price it right. Price items too high and you’ll scare off shoppers. Price them too low and you’ll be pestered by hagglers who realize you just want to get rid of things. If you’re unsure how to price something, both Goodwill and the Salvation Army offer helpful valuation guides for reference. Also, make sure to have price tags on everything so you don't leave people wondering. You may also need to drop prices by the end of the day if items aren’t selling.

8. Glam it up. Presentation is key for attracting buyers and getting the most value for your items. Dust off old furniture, polish jewelry, fold clothes and make sure things aren't dirty or wrinkled. Consider using baskets and table clothes to make your sale more appealing. Tip: you can nab these items on the cheap at your local dollar store. Thinking like an interior designer or visual merchandiser will ultimately make your sale more inviting, likely resulting in a better profit.

RELATED 5 Easy Repurposed Decor Ideas 

9. Make it an event. Serve coffee, stream music and chat with your shoppers to engage them in the event. These tricks are already used by retail stores to encourage shopping, so why not implement them at your own sale? You should also stretch the sale to both Saturday and Sunday if you can; a weekend event gives you the power to say “no” to a bad offer knowing you have more time to sell your items.

10. Less is more. If you have several boxes of clothes, display the higher-quality items you think will sell first. If your sale is overly cluttered, you may deter shoppers who don't want to fumble through everything. Once your tables or clothing racks start thinning out, add more inventory. Advertising this strategy might result in repeat customers who want to see what else you have later in the day.

11. Don’t give things away. As you near the end of your sale, you may feel discouraged by the number of items remaining. While it’s okay to give away small items, hold on to things like furniture that didn’t sell and try your luck online. For example, I advertised a chest of drawers for $25 at a recent garage sale. After lowering the price twice and finally trying to offload it for $5, I still hadn’t sold it by day’s end. I posted it to Craigslist and ended up getting the original $25 for it. Lesson learned!

More from GalTime.com:

Connect with GalTime on Facebook! 

Powered by WPeMatico

Leave a Reply