1. PICKING A DATE AND TIME
Make sure that the date will not conflict with holidays or special events that compete for attendance. The best time to have a garage sale is on the weekend, when most people are off from work. Saturday is the both the traditional and best day since many people spend Sunday relaxing and spending time with the family. The sale should start in the morning around 7-8am and run for 4-5 hours. The majority of people who are serious about buying anything will be up and ready to go very early. In fact, there will probably be people at your house before the posted time.
2. PROMOTE YOUR SALE
It is important to advertise your garage sale in order to attract buyers. Using online garage sale sites such as egaragesales.com.au, an AD in your local paper, street signs and community notice / bulletin boards are great and economical ways to advertise. If you have a local paper that is delivered to every household in your area, advertise in the classified section. Your advertisenment should be short and to the point. Give the address and hours of the sale. There is a part of the population that seeks out garage sales every weekend and they do so by looking online and in local newspapers. If you will be selling any unusual items of interest or anything you think would especially attract people, you should mention it in the ad.
3. SIGNS ARE THE KEY
Putting up garage sale signs around your neighborhood is another useful tool for advertising your sale. Again, keep it simple and to the point. Signs do not have to be eleborate or fancy. In big letters, print "GARAGE SALE". Underneath that, print the address and time of the sale. If there is room, you can list some of the items that will be sold. Put the signs up the night before OR the morning of the sale. Any longer than that and they tend to get torn down or ruined by the elements (rain, wind, etc). Be sure to put the signs up in your surrounding neighborhood, within a mile or so radius.
Remember - please take your signs down after the sale!
Note: Check with your local council or homeowner's association to see if there are restrictions on Garage Sale signs. For example, some neighborhoods only allow freestanding Garage Sale signs. Those attached to street signs may get torn down by the local authorities or incur a fine.
Free Printable Garage Sale signs - get them here!
4. ITEMS SOLD
Almost any item will sell at a garage sale if it is a bargain. Things that you might think nobody would want, will sell. You can sell small items all the way up to bicycles, excercise equipment, furniture and even boats and cars. Some items that usually sell well are tools, computer related items, musical records, cd's and tapes, movie videotapes and books. People tend to buy these items in groups instead of just one. Clothing also is a big seller. The better condition it is in, the higher price you will get. Clothes that are soiled should at least be cleaned before selling - it will turn people off otherwise.
5. SETTING UP FOR THE SALE
The best way to set up your items is to lay most things out on tables. Don't pile things on top of each other so that people have to move stuff around to see it. Make sure everything is clearly visible. Clothing is best displayed when it is hung up. You can string a cord up between two poles and hang the clothes from that or you can buy inexpensive clothing racks from discount stores. Clothing looks its best when it's hanging up and it is much easier for people to browse through what you are selling. arge items should be prominently displayed in front of the tables or on the front of your lawn or driveway. This will attract possible buyers as they drive by. It will also make it easier to move them out if they happen to sell first.
A good rule of thumb for garage sale pricing is to keep most things under $5. To have many smaller items that sell for $1 or $2 is a good idea. This may seem like a small amount of money, but by the end of the sale, it can add up to quite a bit. Of course, higher quality or more valuable items will be sold at a higher price. These would be the larger items such as bikes and furniture. Still, try to keep the pricing as reasonable as possible. In general, nothing should be more than $50. Of course, there are always exceptions, but that is usually the most people are willing to spend at a garage sale and
that would be for a big item.
You should group items by price. Divide the tables into areas for different price ranges and put a sign up letting people know what that range is. Under $2 is a good pricing range, then $2-5, $5-10 and over $10 are some basic guidelines.
Bargaining is a big part of the tradition and excitement of garage sales. You should be willing to bargain, as almost everyone that goes to a garage sale will try to bargain with you. Sometimes, someone will offer you a price way below what you have something marked for. In that case, you can counter offer and maybe more. You are under no obligation to bargain, but it is to your advantage to do so. Remember, your goal is to sell everything. You don't want to be carrying a bunch of stuff back into your house at the end of the sale.
Garage sales can be a lot of fun, a family activity and a great way to make some extra cash. They require only a minimal amount of work and sometimes can reap an impressive profit. So go for it and good luck!