Top 10 Garage Sale Tips for Increasing Profits

Top 10 Garage Sale Tips for Increasing Profits

Here are the Top 10 Garage Sale Tips for Increasing Profits, a ‘Best Of’ collection from our very popular webpages on improving your garage sale, yard sale, or estate sale for maximizing profits:


# 10Customer Relations:

Treat visitors to your garage sale as potential customers.  How do retail establishments make you feel welcome and more comfortable in buying things from them?  Apply the same principles to your garage sale or yard sale.

Welcome each person into your sale with a smile.  Ask them politely if there is anything that you can help them find.  Make some BRIEF pleasant small talk, and then LET THEM SHOP.

If people like you, they will be much more willing to buy stuff from you, and they will feel more comfortable in asking you to bundle a bunch of stuff together for one price, which is a bonus for BOTH of you.


garage sale clip art
# 9Get People to Your Sale:

The amount of money correlates directly with two things: Good stuff to sell, and having the right people at your sale to buy your good stuff.  How do we get the right people to your sale?  1) Efficient Free Advertising – Tell people what you have at your sale (Covered more in #2 Advertising), and 2) Make sure they know how to get to your sale.

Make sure your SIGNS are clear and have your address on them. This is covered in much more detail on our GARAGE SALE SIGNS webpage.

It is important that your ADVERTISEMENTS give your complete address including the city you live in, and the nearest cross road if you live “in the sticks”.  We also give more clarity in our GARAGE SALE ADVERTISING webpage.


# 8Have your Yard Sale at the Right Time:

Check out our webpages on GARAGE SALE DAYS and GARAGE SALE START TIMES.  Hold your garage sales when people want to go garage sailing.  If you effectively advertise your sale [#2], you should hold your sale on busy garage sale weekends, like Memorial Day weekend, which is the kickoff to garage sale season in the U.S.

If you want to get a crap-load of people to your garage sale, hold it on a busy weekend, creatively advertise it, and hold your sale as part of a neighborhood sale, or niche sale [#4].


# 7Garage Sale Organization and Layout

OK. You have the people to your sale.  Now what?  Make sure that they see all of your stuff, especially the expensive money makers.  We discuss this in detail in our ORGANIZING A GARAGE SALEwebpage.

A very brief tutorial: Create a flow with your tables.  Make sure people have to go by all of your tables before they pay. Have expensive items visible from the beginning, or at the pay table.  Make sure all of your items can be easily reached and prices are visible.  Make sure your layout is SAFE.  Do not have stuff lying around that people can trip over near your aisles. Group similar items together.  This should be common sense, but most yard sales are poorly organized, resulting in low sales.


# 6Display Your Items Attractively

Again, this should be common sense, but I have been to hundreds of sales where stuff is just thrown in boxes, or strewn all over the place.

All of your items should be individually priced, unless they are bundled or large groups of books, etc., that can be put in a 25c box.  Make sure that customers can reach all of your items, and that items for kids are lower so that they can see them and play with them.

Display used clothing at garage sales on hangers.  You will sell 3X as many clothes if they are easily visible, compared to if they are folded up on a table.

Clean your expensive items. Make sure there they are not dusty and crappy looking.  Make your collectible items presentable to collectors.  Put yourself in their shoes.  What makes the items that they collect look cool?  Know your customers and know what is popular. Search eBay completed listings and see what collectors are buying.


#5You are There to Sell!:

Remember the purpose of a garage sale, estate sale, or yard sale is to make your crap someone else’s crap, right?  Make it happen!

Garage sale hosts have to be able to bargain with customers. To make the most profits, you must be willing to accept offers, but you DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THE FIRST OFFER. Watch some TV shows like Pawn Stars or American Pickers. If people offer you a price, that is usually a low-ball price, and they will usually accept a counter-offer halfway between their offer and the sticker price.

If someone offers you a low price, come back with a higher offer that includes more of your stuff!  You are there to get rid of stuff, but you still want to make as much money as possible.  DO NOT BE OFFENDED IF PEOPLE OFFER YOU A LOW PRICE ON YOUR HIGH QUALITY ITEMS.  Act like a businessperson, and be polite, even if you decline an offer.


# 4Promote Interest in Your Sale

Get creative.  Make people want to come to your sale.  What are garage salers looking for?  Cool stuff!!  Make sure they know that your sale is fun to go to and will have good items to buy.  Duh!

Most people decide which sales to go to by searching local free ads(Super Shoppers) and Craigslist.  Make your listing stand out.  Most Craigslist ads are totally worthless and lame.  If you are the one ad that sticks out… guess what… people will come to your sale first, and that is what you want.

Make your title interesting.  Hold a “Niche Sale” i.e. Manly Tool Sale, Mom-to-Mom Sale, Kids Only Sale, or a Theme Sale like Superheroes.  Organize a multi-family sale or neighborhood sale – they will draw people from a long way away.  Offer coffee and doughnuts.  Have a raffle.  Give a percentage of your profits to charity.  If you live on busy street and know a hot woman, have her stand out front with a bikini and your Garage Sale sign.  Don’t you think more people (Dudes) will notice your sale??  Think!! Be creative.


# 3Have Good Stuff and  Make Sure that People Know About It:

Again, know what collectors are looking for.  Research. Understand what garage sale shoppers are looking to buy.  Everybody has stuff that other people want.  If you have a lot of random junk, find more friends that want to join you, until you have a great selection of cool stuff to sell.

Once you have some good content, make sure that your ads market that content to garage sale shoppers.

Make sure that your ad specifies any of this stuff:  Collectibles (a must), old books, video games and systems, electronics, rare records, CDs, vintage clothing, fishing and hunting gear, kids sporting equipment in good condition, scrap-booking stuff, vintage Christmas and holiday decorations, jewelry and anything gold, coins, stamps, trading cards, etc, etc.


# 2Advertise!  (And not a sucky ad):

This is covered in detail in our ADVERTISING A GARAGE SALE page, so I won’t spend a ton of time.

The basics:  Make your ads stand out, as we have already discussed.  Detail all of the quality stuff that you have for sale.  Make sure people can get to your house (use the map function on Craigslist).  We have a sample print ad on the Advertising page.

Even if you are an old lady or old man, don’t make your ad sound like an old person wrote it.  If you are boring by nature, have somebody else write your ad.  Make it sound exciting to come to your sale.  Offer cool stuff, make it fun, even if you can’t stand garage sales.  There are tons of people who look forward to the weekends just so they can go garage sale shopping.

Take a good photo and upload it to your Craigslist ad (Step 3 of making your ad).  Make it something that looks interesting.  A listing with a photo stands out immediately.  Most garage sale ads don’t have pics.


# 1Garage Sale Pricing:

We have developed a GARAGE SALE PRICE GUIDE to help you in getting a feel for average garage sale prices and yard sale prices.

The bottom line?  Garage sale pricing is probably the trickiest aspect of this garage sale preparation process and the aspect that will most directly affect your profits.  It can be hard to balance making money on your items with trying to get rid of quantity and clear some room in your home or garage.

Know your customers.  How much are they willing to spend?  Customers in southern California will spend more on a particular item than customers in the Midwest because the cost of living is higher in CA.

You want to make the most money possible, but DO NOT OVERPRICE YOUR ITEMS.  Nothing turns people off faster than overpriced garage sale items.  If people wanted to pay retail for items, they’d buy them somewhere else, not at your garage sale.

Put prices on your items before the sale starts.  Watch people when they check out your items.  If customers keep picking up a particular item, but don’t buy it, your price is too high.  Lower the price.  And definitely cut your prices to half price on the last afternoon of your sale.

Price your stuff to move, but don’t price it dirt cheap, or people will think you have a bunch of crap. Price conservatively, but don’t give your stuff away.  Be prepared to adjust your prices.


There you have it; the Top 10 Garage Sale Tips for Increasing Profits.  We have compiled these and other garage sale tips and yard sale advice into one printable e-book titled Garage Sale Superstar.  Superstar has been downloaded over 700 times in just two weeks.  Download your copy of Garage Sale Superstar.

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