Every year, on the second Saturday in August, there’s a buying and selling bonanza going on in people’s garages, yards, driveways, and even community club houses, all across these good ‘ole United States! It’s called National Garage Sale Day and it’s just a few days away. Don’t wait until the last minute to get organized – a fatal mistake if you want to have the most successful garage sale you can.
I talked about this in my previous blog, 3 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale.
- Be sure to advertise
- Organize well in advance
- Price every item
Garage sales are big business. According to the website StatisticBrain.com, U.S. garage sales generate nearly 4.3 million dollars each week. Start organizing now so you can get your share of that. It doesn’t take much to set-up and run a successful garage sale, but it does take planning and effort.
First, commit to actually having the sale. National Garage Sale Day is a great day to host your garage sale because there will already be lots and lots of garage sale shoppers on the road going from sale to sale. (Note: this does not negate the need to advertise – in fact, you need the biggest, best ad you can afford because you want people to come to your sale first before hitting everyone else’s, so place your free Garage Sale Ad now). If you are at all wishy-washy about having the sale then stop before you even get started. If you’re not fully committed then chances are you will not dedicate the amount of time you should.
Now, the real work begins.
Here are a few tips to setup your garage sale for the best results:
- Decide what you are going to sell. Don’t leave any nook or cranny untouched. From your garage to your closets, from your basement to your barn, from your tool shed to your attic, don’t miss anything.
- Bring it all together to one spot, a “staging area”, if you will.
- Clean the items! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a garage sale and it looked like someone just dug their treasures out of the ground. Ugh!
- Determine if electrical or battery operated items work or not. This is important because you can ask more for a working item. Have access to an electrical plug so shoppers can test an item and feel confident they bought a working item.
- Group like items together i.e. tools, toys, appliances, furniture (just like a department store does).
- Bundle certain items together to sell as a set. For example, got a stapler and a box of staples? Put them together in a sandwich baggie and price them as a single item.
- Plan out your “sales floor”. You want to be sure shoppers can maneuver through your treasures easily.
- Get the necessary tables, shelves, racks, etc., to conveniently display your items in advance. Don’t wait until Saturday morning at the crack of down to pull them out. They may be in need of a cleaning, too.
- Make a bank run by at least the day before and make sure to get lots of smaller bills and coins. The last thing you want is to lose a sale because you couldn’t make change for a $5!
- Buy price stickers. A lot of people like blue painter’s tape which they tear into strips.
- Do some research on average pricing for your area. Keep in mind, you want to price to sell! Garage sale shoppers are there for B-A-R-G-A-I-N-S so don’t expect to get what the item may actually be worth. A good idea is to shop some garage sales on the weekends prior to yours to see what the going rates are.
- Fix your completed price stickers to your items well before the sale. You want everything done before you nod off the night before the sale so all you have to do the day of the sale is put your treasures out.
- Wake up early on the day of the sale. A nice touch is to make a donut run and have free donuts for people who stop by your sale. If you do this, make a large “Free donuts” sign and put it in a very visible location. However, put the donuts in a spot where the shopper has to come through your merchandise to get to them. Set-up your sale and be ready for a hectic but fun-filled day meeting all kinds of people!
I hope you find these garage sale tips helpful. If you decide not to host a sale yourself, then be sure to be shopper instead and go Garage “Sailing”!
National Garage Sale Day is Saturday, August 9th!
Don’t forget to check out this week’s special Garage Sale-themed PennySaver for all of the local garage sales in your area. Also, download the free Actable™ App for iPhone or Android, and scan the special masthead for a surprise!
Jim Sampson is the Customer Support Manager at PennySaver USA, and is also PennySaver’s resident “Garage Sale Expert.” PennySaver USA is California’s leading resource in print, online, and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, local coupons, classifieds, and business listings.