How to Have a Successful Garage Sale by “Coupon Dawn”

Another bump for those of us planning spring garage sales…. 

“Coupon Dawn” is a friend of Cheap Thrills, who participates in garage sales every year.  Coupon Dawn is in the “Master” category of couponers/rebaters, and knows a great deal when she sees one. 

Have you ever been to a garage sale where everything looked like it was just thrown together? Various tables had items strewn about? Although some people may feel like “digging,” other potential customers will just walk away feeling it’s not worth the hassle.

Here are some tips to making your garage sale a success:

A.  Look around your house, garage, attic, etc., for items to sell. Do you have enough to sell? Consider having a garage sale with friends or family members.

B.  Advertise. Place an ad with concise wording in the newspaper. Display colorful signs showing people how to get to you. Remember:

1.  Write BIG. I’ve seen several signs with such small print that I can’t read it. How am I going to find you?

2.  Don’t put too much on the sign. Something like: SALE Main Street is enough. Then have a big arrow drawn showing the way is enough. I’ve seen people put Garage Sale, exact street location, days, time, etc. Too much!!

3.  Color! Use bright color posterboard to grab my attention. If I’m driving along, I will look at a bright pink sign.

4.  Some neighborhoods have “neighborhood garage sales.” What a great time to have a garage sale! Take advantage of the traffic that will generate.

C. Organize, Organize, Organize. I can’t stress this enough. My sister and I receive so many compliments every year on how nicely organized our garage sale is. Things we do:

     1.  Boys clothing on one side, girls on the other.
     2.  Clothing is neatly folded and put in size order from smallest to biggest.
     3.  Prices are CLEARLY marked.
     4.  Hang nice items of clothing on hangers. Dresses, coats, shirts, and various sport clothing look nicer if they’re hanging up. This makes it easier for potential customers to look through your items as well.
     5.  Put items down the driveway to entice—consider it a “teaser.” Some people will just drive by to peek. Make it worth their time to stop! Don’t let those people just drive by.

D. Decide if you’re willing to negotiate your prices. True garage salers like to dicker; it’s part of the game. Do you really want to sell your items? If so, be flexible.

E. Have lots of change including one dollar, five dollar, and ten dollar bills. Expect people to buy $2 worth of items and give you a $20.

F. I like wearing a fanny pack with my money around my waist. This gives me flexibility to talk with people and answer questions.

G. My cardinal rule: Don’t sell anything you wouldn’t buy yourself. Stained, holey clothing needs to be thrown away.

H. Have fun! What a great opportunity to visit with people, clean your house, and make some $$$$$.

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