Tutorials: Garage Sale
|This tutorial is designed to assist you in planning and implementing a successful garage sale.
First steps |
Get organized | What to sell! |
Setting the price! | Bring
in the buyers! | Advertise
| Be safe! | Wow,
you did it!
This tutorial is designed to assist you in
planning and implementing a successful garage sale. There are many benefits to
conducting a sale but you will need to ask yourself the following questions to
be certain that this undertaking is for you.
- Do you have the time it takes to organize a garage
- Are your items worth selling and is there a market for
what you have to offer?
- Is your homes location conducive to a successful
- Will you have some help on the actual day of the sale?
Once you decided to conduct a garage sale, you'll realize
be rewarding both financially and personally. Not only will you make money from
the sale but you will also lessen the cost of shipping your household items to
your new location. Eliminating unnecessary items will really help set the tone
for the entire moving process by lessening the size of your shipment.
Check to see if your homeowners
association has rules about conducting a sale. Some communities do not
allow you to have a sale of any type.
- Call your local village hall or municipal
center and inquire if there are permitting requirements.
- Find out if your homeowners insurance covers
liability for injuries a consumer might sustain while on your
- Consider a block sale. Ask your neighbors if
they are interested in having a sale of their own. This will help
keep you motivated, it is fun to share ideas and the potential for a
larger turn out is far greater.
- Check to see if your community has a website
where you can post your ideas.
- Before hanging signs, be certain your city or
town allows you to do so.
- Try to round up some help for the day of the
sale. It is difficult to conduct a sale on your own.
- Start saving shopping bags, plastic grocery
bags and boxes.
Let's start getting organized by deciding what you will sell.
- If you have not used it in the
last five years, you probably can live without it. Go ahead and sell
- Make a list of all the items
that you want to sell. Dont be afraid to add those items
that are no longer of use to you to the list.
- Consider that it may be more
expensive to ship certain, larger items than it is to just sell it
for a minimal amount, particularly if you will not need this type of
item at your new home.
- Items like snow blowers are
not necessary in some parts of the country. If you plan to ship it,
understand that you must follow guidelines, such as purging fuel
from the machine, when preparing the blower for shipping. The
gas can you have used to refill the snow blower cant be
transported, so you will need to purchase a new one. Is it really
worth all the trouble or can you sell it, make a few dollars and buy
yourself a new lounge chair to use while basking in the sun in your
new home - where it does not snow!
Listed below is a list of
items that seem to sell quite well in a moving sale. Remember, what is
junk to one is a treasure to another. Use common sense. If the item is
in decent shape and possibly useful, although somewhat unusual, give it
a try. You may want to put a fairly low price tag on it to assist in
- Appliances: large and small
- Audio, visual and photography equipment
- Baby furniture, equipment &
toys: be certain baby items are in proper working order. If there is
any question about the integrity of the item, it is better to discard
than to take the chance of causing injury to a child.
- Bottles and jars
- Canoeing and fishing equipment
- All kitchen items
- Records, CDs and videos
- Games, bikes and toys
- Garden tools
- Lamps, mirrors and pictures
- Lawn and patio furniture
- Musical instruments
- Plants: Most professional moving companies
will not take your plants as part of the shipment. Some states do not
even allow you to bring them in. Unfortunately, because of the
extreme temperatures inside the trailer, the plants often suffers irreparable
damage and dies within weeks of arriving at your new home.
Take those plants out of your good pots. Put them into inexpensive,
plastic pots and sell them in the sale or give them away if they do
not sell. Take the proceeds from the sale of the plants and buy new
plants with the money you made. Perhaps invest in some plants that are
indigenous to the new area you are moving to. Experiment with
something different now that you have the chance to start all over
again. Be adventurous!
- Rugs and carpets
- Sports and exercise equipment
One good rule of thumb for pricing items for a garage sale - be sure
to price items according to there worth to others, not their worth to
you. A good way to do this is by asking a friend or family member
(outside of your immediate family) to assist you in setting the price.
It helps in establishing realistic pricing to ask for the assistance of
someone who is not emotionally attached to the item.
- Charge about 20 percent of the original cost.
If the item is in good working order and/or excellent condition, the
price is fair.
- Used clothing and books usually bring in a
- Leave some room for bargaining when pricing
- Be sure to inform the buyer of the items you
are selling that do not work. Let them know it is an as is
- Be certain to secure a tag to each item and
record the costs on a sheet. This will assist you in keeping track
of what you have sold and if for some reason the price tag should
- When you look at the items that you want to
sell, be honest. There are some good items and there are some not
so good items. Thats okay. A way to ensure that those
undesirable items will sell is to bundle them!
- Sell items as a lot or bundled. Put one or two
great items in with one or two not-as-great items and sell them as a
in the buyers!
Treat this garage sale like a retail business. Merchandise your
items in an appealing way. Think about the times you have gone into a
store and were attracted to article of clothing because of the way it
looked on the mannequin or accessories on a piece of furniture. The
presentation does matter, so put some thought into it.
- Wash, iron and neatly fold or hang all
- Put like items together on the table or shelf.
- Use signs to draw the potential customer to
certain sections of the sale.
- Organize the items as you see in a store.
- If you are having a joint sale, be sure to mark
your items with your own color tag but again, keep all like items
- Polish silver or brass.
- Clean all glasses and mirrors.
- Basically, make items look appealing and they
cleverly and aggressively
Use signs, balloons, flags and banners and get them high enough off
the ground for the average motoring public to see.
- Use the internet, it is the fastest and
cheapest way to reach a big population
- Run ads in the neighborhood paper.
- Puts signs on billboards in neighborhood
- Distribute announcements
- Use a map on your street signs to assist
potential customers in finding your home
Garage sales attract honest buyers and the odd, dishonest person.
Keep that in mind on the day of the sale. Here are some tips on safety.
- Have two people present, if possible, in the
- If you are able to do so, position all your
items outside of the garage and close the door. It is best that you
do not allow people access to the inside of your home.
- Keep the money that you will use to make
change, on you at all times. A fanny pack or money belt works great
- Keep the doors to your residence locked.
you did it!
Congratulations! You completed a successful garage sale. If there
are items left over, consider donating them to the Salvation
AmVets or local charities.