Garage Sales are my absolute favorite way to sell my unwanted items. I can easily make a few hundred dollars in one weekend instead of selling one item at a time. Here are my tried and true Brilliantly Frugal Tips for 2018!
Garage Sale Pro Tips
Pro Tip #1: Know your city and county rules. Some require that you register your garage sale. You may get fined if you don’t.
Pro Tip #2: Garage sale season starts in early spring and ends in early fall. Try to schedule your garage sale at popular moving times. Those are typically in June after school is out, and in August, right before dorm move in season. If you can, have the sale Friday through Sunday or Thursday through Sunday. Believe it or not, Friday is usually my busiest day.
Pro Tip #3: Don’t do it alone. I usually need at least one helper, sometimes two. Ask a friend to bring their items to sell and run it with you, offer a friend a percentage of the sales to help, or ask the family to lend a hand. You will need help carrying items in and out of the house, to answer questions, and to take and exchange money. Don’t try to do it all yourself, because you will be overwhelmed.
Pro Tip #4:
How to Get People to Shop:
Post on your personal Facebook page! You’d be surprised how many friends might stop by, even just to say hi, as they run errands.
Post on Facebook Marketplace, the Garage Sale app, your city’s Facebook page, Offerup, Nextdoor, Letgo, 5miles, etc.
Pro Tip #5: When you post on Facebook and all of your other apps about the garage sale, go ahead and post your furniture, appliances, and electronics individually in the marketplace. In my last yard sale, I had more people respond to those than anything else. Several people stopped by the yard sale to pick up the item and ended up purchasing a few other smaller items at the same time.
Pro Tip #6: Never hold items for people without payment. You will have MANY people asking you to hold an item for them and then never show up to pick it up. I only hold items if they provide a PayPal or Venmo payment in advance.
Pro Tip #7: Be diverse in payment options! It is 2018! There are many ways for people to send each other electronic payments. I accept Paypal and Venmo payments at my sales, but there are many other apps that you can use.
Pro Tip #8: That being said, the majority of your shoppers will have cash. Make sure you have at least $100 in change at the start of your sale. I usually try to keep it all in $10s, $5s, $1s, and quarters. Keep the money on you at all times, either in a fanny pack or something similar. Do not use a cash box or something that you will set down. It will get stolen.
Pro Tip #9: Don’t be afraid to put anything out in the sale. You never know what someone is looking for or why. Usually, the things that I think no one will buy are the first things to sell. There are plenty of people who are happy to buy broken, distressed, or old items to fix or spruce up for a deal.
Pro Tip #10: Make sure to have some furniture available to get people to stop. Focus on ways to repurpose or spruce up furniture when talking to shoppers!
Pro Tip #11: Have organized tables! Keep like items together such as clothes, toys, home decor, auto accessories, etc. It helps shoppers find what they are looking for and show how the item can be used.
Pro Tip #12: Make lots of signs! Make prices clear and low so that you have lots of shoppers. Your goal is to get a HIGH volume of items sold, not necessarily a high price for each item.
Pro Tip #13: Most shoppers will ask for a discount. Be prepared for that. Know your rock bottom price on your items. Also, don’t deny offers! If their offer is too low, counter with another offer in the middle! The buyer’s goal is to get a deal. Your goal is to get the item out of the house and hopefully make a little bit of money in the process.
Pro Tip #14: Towards the end of your sale, offer bulk prices. EX: a whole grocery bag of items for $5 or even $1, a whole table of things for $X, etc.
Pro Tip #15: Provide shopping bags! I keep all of my plastic grocery bags. When it’s time for a garage sale, I take the entire stash with me outside. If you provide shoppers with bags, they are more likely to buy more items at once. I have had shoppers ready to check out, but when I offered them a bag, they took the opportunity to fill a second bag with items they weren’t initially sure about!
Pro Tip #16: Hang jewelry on a cork board! It’s easier for shoppers to see the displayed pieces, especially the small ones.
Pro Tip #17: If you don’t have time to do one yourself, see if you can enlist someone else to run it or give a friend your items to sell at their garage sale on consignment.
Pro Tip #18: When I do garage sales, I sell items for my friends all the time. The more items I have out, the more people stop at my garage sale, the more of my own items I will sell. Sometimes my friends will allow me to take some of the profit from their items as a thank you. I’ve also had friends donate whole truckloads of items for me to sell! I’ve made so much money on garage sales.
After the Garage Sale
Pro Tip #19: Go through the items again and see if there are items that you would rather keep than go Goodwill.
Pro Tip #20: Pull out any items that you might be able to sell yourself online. If you have furniture, appliances, or electronics, slash the price on your facebook marketplace posts and see what happens!
Pro Tip #21: Any Brand name clothes can be sold on Poshmark!
Poshmark is a great app that lets you sell brand name clothes like Forever 21, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, Calvin Klein, Vera Bradley, Target brands, and so many more! People go here purposefully looking for specific brand names for cheap. Poshmark handles charging for shipping, sending you a shipping label, and provides many helpful articles for being successful in your sales.
Brilliantly Frugal Tip: Be sure to use code DANIELAMCL when you sign up for an instant $5 bonus!
Pro Tip #22: There are usually people on Facebook Marketplace that advertise that they are picking up garage sale leftovers. Message them a time they can come to pick up your leftovers and save yourself a trip to Goodwill.
I learn something new every time I do a sale. What have you learned doing your garage sale? We’ve love to see all of your suggestions in the comments below!
If you don’t have quite enough items for a garage sale, or would like to make more per item, check out our Ultimate Guide here!