Garage sales have got to be one of the easiest ways to make a little extra money when you need it. Bargain shoppers flock to yard sales when the weather is nice, and it feels great to turn some of your unneeded junk into cash.
There are plenty of tricks you can use to get the most bang out of your junk before it’s gone. Here are 6 ways to make more money at a garage sale!
Have a Neighborhood Sale
Before you start, a great way to maximize your sales is to tell your neighbors ahead of time you’re planning to have a garage sale. Hopefully a few of your neighbors will want to join you. In that case, advertise a multi-family or neighborhood yard sale.
Trust me — this will definitely increase the traffic flow to your sale. Shoppers like to be able to hit several sales with one stop, especially if it’s in a walkable neighborhood.
A lot of the work involved in hosting a yard or garage sale is involved in the prep work beforehand. It takes a lot of time to pull out all of your junk and then tag each and every item with a price.
I hate doing that, but you’ll do more sales if people know how much you want for an item (as opposed to having to ask you). To minimize the prep work, try grouping like items and similarly priced items together on tables or blankets.
For instance, instead of individually pricing all clothing and kitchenware, place the clothing on one table and the kitchen items on a separate table, and display the price on a sign on the table. (i.e. $1.00 each or 50 cents per item.) This can save tons of time as you won’t have to put a single sticky tag on each individual item.
Tag Everything Else
As for the rest of your items, individually price them so people don’t have to ask you the price or make you an offer. As an introvert, I hate having to ask someone how much something is at a garage sale. I’ll walk away from an item more often than I’ll ask a price.
Don’t assume people are comfortable asking you for a price. You’ll sell more if everyone knows up front how much you want for a particular item.
Be Willing to Negotiate
Although you’ll (hopefully) have everything priced, do let customers negotiate down to a lower price, as long as it’s within reason. The later in the day it is, the more you should negotiate on your items.
Selling an item for real cash is far better than hauling that same item away to a charity shop as a donation at the end of the day, so don’t worry if you have to let something go for less than what you originally hoped to get. It’s still junk. Let it go.
Advertising for your sale doesn’t have to be much work. Even if it seems old school, it’s definitely worth it to pay the small fee to advertise your garage sale in the newspaper with your address and a short description of what you have.
Oftentimes, seasoned shoppers will get the paper the day before to map out an area they want to shop, and you want to make sure your sale is on their route. Unless you live on a main road, newspaper advertising will definitely pay for itself. If nothing else, at least advertise your sale for free on Craigslist.
If you have extra time, it’s also helpful to place poster board directional signs at intersections close to your house and the end of your neighborhood. This assures customers they’re going the right way and that, yes, you’re there. Just remove all the poster boards when you’re done.
The Day Before
Now that you’ve done all your prep work, it’s time to make some money!
The day before your sale, make sure you have enough change for customers so you don’t have to turn away a sale for lack of change. Keep your money in a pocketed apron so that it’s on you at all times. A lock box can easily be stolen.
If you plan to have a yard sale, try putting most of your items in your garage the night before, along with all of your supplies. This makes it easy to put everything out early in the morning. Customers like to shop early to get the best deals and pick the best goods, so be prepared to start early.
I think it’s a good idea to only host a one day yard sale on a Saturday. Take whatever isn’t sold by 2:00pm (or whenever you’re ready to stop) and immediately haul it off to a charity drop off site the same day.
Don’t let unsold garage sale items back into your home. If you already placed it outside to be sold, then you’ve already detached yourself from it. By getting rid of it now, you won’t have to declutter again later.
Now that you’re armed with some new tips, get out there and make some cash! As you’re busy selling your old junk, you can start deciding what you’re going to do with all of your extra money.
What are your best tips for a successful yard sale? As a shopper, what do you like to see at garage sales?