Garage Sale 101: Tips to Make Your Garage Sale Successful and Profitable
If you’re looking for an easy way to make extra money, or want to replace an appliance or a piece of furniture, then you should consider having a garage sale. Having a garage sale is a tried and true way of making extra cash; it’s beneficial to sellers and buyers.
Don’t worry if you’re having a yard sale for the first time or want to make yours more profitable; we have some tips to get you started:
How Much Money Does the Average Garage Sale Make?
Selling your stuff is an excellent way to earn extra money and de-clutter. While a garage sale won’t make you rich, it can help you get enough money to buy a new appliance such as a TV or a dishwasher. In addition, if you hold your yard sale at a perfect time, such as summer, you stand to make decent pocket money.
Research has shown that you can make an average of $500 to $1,000 if you put some thought and planning into your yard sale.
The amount of money you make on a garage sale heavily depends on what you are selling. Electronics and kitchen fittings in decent conditions will fetch more than a couple of old rickety furniture and some trinkets
The key to making the most cash is doing things right and coming up with unique strategies, such as these:
Don’t Price All Your Goods
You might be tempted to have a price tag for every item on sale; however, don’t do this because you won’t make as much money. A buyer might be very interested in an item you think has a lower value, and they might be willing to pay much more for it. Let the buyer name the price, and if it’s much lower than you anticipated, you can say no.
Additionally, pricing is time-consuming, tedious and can make you postpone the sale. You are most likely to have a garage sale if you know that you can put everything into the garage and open it up for buyers. People can also switch your stickers around, tricking you into selling an item for less than you wanted.
Make Browsing Easy and Relaxing
Buyers should find items without too much hassle; therefore, group all similar items together. For example, group your electronics, your kitchen items together, and so on. Additionally, set up a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere by playing soft music and selling essentials, such as water.
Start Your Sale on Friday Instead of Saturday
You might think that Saturdays and Sundays are the best days for sales because most people don’t work weekends. However, serious buyers go to sales on Fridays. They are also least likely to negotiate prices on a Friday because they understand that you have two additional days to sell your inventory.
There is also less competition if you hold a yard sale on Friday. There might be around five garage sales in your area during the weekend, and buyers won’t have the opportunity to go to all of them. However, holding a sale on Friday will compel them to come to yours.
Although people work on Fridays, they can still stop at your sale on their way to work or after dropping the kids off at school.
Pay Attention to Yard Sale Signs
Some of the best ways of advertising your sale include doing so on certain websites and social media. However, even if you advertise online, you still have to put up a few signs to direct potential buyers to your exact location.
More prominent signs aren’t necessarily better because they flap in the wind. You can use 15*15 neon poster boards when advertising. Additionally, enlist someone to check your signs a few times during the day because they can fall, or other people having yard sales might take them down or cover yours up with their own.
Are Garage Sales Legal?
It is best to know whether garage sales are legal in your country before holding one. Here is what you should know.
Are Garage Sales Legal in the UK?
Garage sales are legal in the UK; you don’t need permission from your local council when organizing a garage sale in the UK unless you plan on having several sales throughout the year. However, it’s crucial to let your neighbors know that you’re having a yard sale to minimize any disruption.
Are Garage Sales Legal in the US?
Garage sales are legal in the US; however, before you decide to have a garage or a yard sale, do extensive research on local, state, and federal laws, permits, and taxes. Additionally, check with your city or county to ensure compliance with the rules and procedures of dealing with COVID-19. Many localities have set up specific COVID-19 procedures for conducting garage sales and applying for permits.
Are Garage Sales Legal in Canada?
Garage sales are legal in Canada; however, everyone holding a garage sale should ensure that their products, whether used or new, are safe and meet current regulatory requirements. Additionally, Canadian laws state that you can only sell items in excellent condition; therefore, you should discard damaged ones.
Additionally, before selling any product at a garage sale, it’s prudent to check with Health Canada and the manufacturer to find out whether it has been recalled or if the problem has been corrected. Do not sell a product that was recalled if manufacturers didn’t fix the problem.
Before holding a garage sale in Canada, it’s essential to think about safety. It is illegal to sell or give these products away:
- Baby walkers
- Lawn darts with elongated tips
- Infant self-feeding devices
- Polycarbonate baby bottles with BPA
- Jequirity beans or anything made with jequirity beans
What Permits Do I Need to Hold a Garage Sale?
Before having your garage sale, it’s best to research and establish whether you need any permits or if you’ll be required to pay income taxes on the profits from the sale. Here is what you should know about garage sale permits in the US, UK, and Canada.
What Permits Do I Need to Hold a Garage Sale in the US?
Having one or two garage sales in a year doesn’t make you a business; however, you might be subject to local regulations and taxes depending on the state where you live and have that sale. Therefore, before setting out items for your yard or garage sale, it’s best to understand if you need local permits or remit income taxes.
Local Permits and Licenses for Garage or Yard Sales
Business owners in many counties and cities are supposed to get a business permit or license before opening a business. Although a garage sale isn’t technically a business, some localities include them as businesses, and whether you should get a license or permit for a yard or garage sale depends entirely on your locality.
However, these are some standard regulations regarding garage sales in the US:
- Sellers should spread the number of garage sales out over the year.
- It’s advisable for sellers to limit the number of signs meant for a garage sale.
- Size and placement of garage sales signs- These will depend on the restrictions of your local authority.
- Sellers should move sale items indoors at night.
- Most states limit the number of garage sales per year to two.
- Some local authorities restrict the number of consecutive days for holding a garage sale.
Some cities and towns might not be that strict regarding garage sales; however, check with your locality before advertising any garage sale in the newspaper. Some localities might also require a special activity permit, limiting the number of participants and/or vehicles.
A city official might visit you and request to see your garage sale license if you have several sales in the year. However, this scenario depends on your city’s regulations; therefore, it’s best to check them before having regular garage sales.
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Here are some examples of garage sales regulations in various states in the US:
City of Naples, Florida
If you live in the City of Naples in Florida, you require a permit to hold a garage sale. You can obtain your permit by appearing in person at the Community Development Building located at 295 Riverside Cir Naples, FL 34102, or the Finance Department located at 735 8th St S. Naples, FL 34102. A potential garage seller must complete all applications at the office.
You can only have one garage sale permit in a year, valid for three consecutive days. There is no fee for a garage sale permit.
Oklahoma City Garage Sale Permit
You can have two garage sales in a year if you live in Oklahoma City and obtain proper permits. A single permit is valid for three consecutive days, and the sale must be held between 8 am and 6. p.m at the address listed on the license.
You cannot put up garage sale signs on traffic sign poles, medians, utility poles, or other public rights-of-way. If you opt to put a sign in front of your house, it shouldn’t be more extensive than twelve square feet.
The city’s regulations allow you to sell any personal property in the garage sale, except motor vehicles. Additionally, you can’t sell consignment items, new merchandise, or resale items.
Grove City, Ohio
If you plan to hold a garage sale in Grove City, Ohio, you will need a permit. You can apply yours in person at City Hall or call them. The approval process takes two business days, and you will receive your approved permit via email. Unfortunately, the City can only issue two garage sale permits for a single address during a year. However, a single permit is valid for one garage sale.
In addition to the permit, all sellers must adhere to the COVID-19 protocols stipulated by the City regarding garage sales and outdoor retail sales. Additionally, sellers can put up yard sale signs; they can’t put them up on utility poles, public property, street, and stop signs.
Orange County, Florida
You will need a permit to hold a garage sale if you reside in Orange County, Florida. However, the permit is not free; you will pay $ 14 for a homeowner garage sale permit and $14 plus $0.50 for each home participating in a community garage sale. Additionally, you will have to pay $ 4.50 for each off-site directional sign.
City of Dallas, Texas
You can only send a garage sale permit request via mail and email if you live in Dallas, Texas. Additionally, you will have to make a payment of $25 if you’re making a 2nd permit request within a period of 12 months.
It’s best to send in your garage sale request at least two weeks before the sale date so that your request can be processed promptly.
State of California
You’re not required to hold a seller’s permit when you hold a garage sale and sell used items in California. However, you will need a seller’s permit if you have more than two garages sales within 12 months.
What Permits Do I Need to Hold a Garage Sale in the UK?
Garage sales aren’t as popular in the UK as they are in America. However, people living in the UK are embracing them slowly. You don’t need a permit from your local council when organizing your garage or yard sale; however, you might need to get one if you’re planning to have multiple sales throughout the year.
Additionally, it’s best to let your neighbors know that you’re putting up a sale to minimize any disruptions.
What Permits Do I Need to Hold a Garage Sale in Canada?
You might need a permit to host a garage sale in Canada. Additionally, many municipalities govern how you display signs for the sale and other events. Here is what you should know about garage sale permits in Canada:
In Brantford, Ontario, you can only host three garage sales per calendar year. You will require a permit for each of the sales.
According to the bylaws of Hanover, Ontario, you will need a garage sale permit before a garage sale, or you risk being fined.
If you live in Belleville, Ontario, you will require a garage sale permit at the cost of $2. You will apply to the City Treasurer of the City of Belleville or any other person designated by him.
The Town of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, also requires you to get a permit to host a yard sale or face a possible fine. Additionally, the town classifies a yard or garage sale as a “special sale,” and getting your permit in advance will cost you $10. However, it will cost you $50 if you obtain it on-site.
If you reside in Hawkesbury, Ontario, you will require a permit to host a garage sale at the cost of $10 for two consecutive days. However, the city offers free garage sales twice a year at the end of May and October.
If you reside in the Town of Champlain, you’ll require a permit before hosting a garage sale. However, the first garage sale of the year is free; therefore, you don’t need any permit. After your first garage sale, a permit for each subsequent sale within the calendar year will cost you $30.
You don’t need to get a garage sale permit if you reside in Ontario, Canada. However, there are regulations regarding where you can post your garage sale signs. Additionally, the city offers a complaint line for residents to report anyone that isn’t adhering to the bylaws when hosting garage sales.
In addition to the above regulations, you need to understand that it’s an offense to:
- Sell items other than personal property in a garage sale.
- Hold a garage sale for more than three consecutive days.
- Fail to obtain a garage sale license.
- Hold a garage sale at a different address from the one indicated in the permit.
- Hold a garage sale on a street, sidewalk, or any other public place.
- Hold a garage sale when prohibited.
- Fail to display a garage sale license.
What Are the Best Things to Sell in a Garage Sale?
Most people usually have no clue of the kind of priceless junk that’s lying around their homes. Therefore, if you’re a seller, you have the potential of making a lot of cash by hosting a garage sale. However, before hosting a garage sale, you should understand what items will sell in minutes and which ones you’ll be stuck with.
Buyers at a garage sale are savvy and can spot a good deal from miles away; therefore, it’s crucial to understand your target market so that you can make decent cash from your garage sale. Here are some popular items worth big money at garage sales.
You can make some decent money at your next garage sale from an artwork that’s taking up a lot of storage space. But, of course, yard sale shoppers are always for unique artwork that could be worth something.
Large furniture is perfect for catching the eyes of potential buyers; additionally, furniture is also a highly desired garage sale item. Creatives can see something special in your less desirable chests and bookshelves and remake them into storage and coffee tables. Kitchen appliances like grill smokers and fridges can also fall in this category.
If you can’t stand the amount of space that picture frames are taking in your home, you can clear out your family portraits and sell the frames. You are likely to attract DIY lovers if you showcase the frames in large boxes.
Some games are no longer in production; therefore, if a moving sale forces you to sell some of your old items, you should consider old games. Savvy shoppers can pay as much as $75 for old games.
Additionally, board games and puzzles are enormous currently. Therefore, people are always looking for ways to keep their families entertained at home. Although several states are loosening their restrictions regarding COVID-19, people are still choosing to stay home because of loss of income and the need to protect their families.
There is always a market for antiques. People are always looking for kitchen gadgets, old dishes, and serving platters to use as unique household decorations and not everyday tools. Therefore, if you have vintage dishes sitting at your home, consider including them in your next garage sale.
Cold Drinks and Snacks
Buyers at your garage sale will get hungry and thirsty at some point. Even if they aren’t interested in anything else, you can still make a couple of bucks by selling cold drinks, water, and snacks.
You probably have a lot of books on your bookshelf if you’re an avid reader. If you want to get rid of them, you can sell them for less than $1 at your garage sale, especially if the books are available at any dollar store.
Basic exercise equipment and free weights are likely to be scooped up quickly during a yard sale; however, it might take longer to sell elliptical machines and older treadmills. The good thing is that there is always a person in the neighborhood vowing to get healthier.
Clean the equipment and price them well if you want to sell them. It is best to throw away any equipment that might be in questionable condition.
Potential customers are always searching for unique jewelry that transports them back to another time. Additionally, vintage jewelry is back in style; therefore, you should consider selling your old necklaces and brooches for that extra buck. Shoppers can melt the jewelry down and remake them into something new or polish them up.
However, before selling your jewelry, it’s best to understand that some people might be willing to pay more for it if it’s truly vintage. Therefore, examine clasps and pins on the jewelry you’re selling to help you date them.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who hasn’t gone on a camping trip in a long while, then you should consider selling your camping gear. The good thing is that you can back a sizeable portion of your money back if it’s in good condition. Shoppers understand that these items are usually in good condition even after being used a few times.
Home Décor Items
People go to yard sales to hunt for unique home décor items; therefore, if you need to get rid of some home décor, selling them in a garage sale might be the fastest way of doing so and making some money. It is best to place the items together and display them as a set to sell them quickly.
You should consider selling kids’ clothing at your next garage sale. Boys’ clothing and not infants’ clothing should be a top consideration during these sales. The clothes are most likely to sell fast, especially if you price them reasonably.
What Should You Not Sell at a Garage Sale?
While you can make a couple of bucks by selling some cool stuff at your garage sale, there are some things that you should skip. Here are some of them:
You shouldn’t try selling broken appliances, even if you reduce the prices significantly. While someone can fix broken machines, it’s not usually worth buying broken electronics and appliances.
Finding a designer blush or eyeshadow palette at a garage sale seems like a good bargain. However, all skincare products and makeup have recommended shelf lives, which are shorter than you’d expect. Additionally, used makeup products are unsanitary even if they haven’t reached their expiry date. Used cosmetics spread bacteria; therefore, it’s best to dispose them once you’re done using them.
Dirty Clothing and Used Undergarments
You shouldn’t sell things like bras, socks, bathing suits, and underwear at a garage sale once you’ve used them. If you want to sell unused undergarments at your next garage sale, ensure that they have their original tag or proof that they’ve never been worn.
Your travel finds might mean the world to you; however, they might not mean as much to a buyer. For example, souvenirs hardly sell well at garages sales; therefore, consider selling them online in a niche selling platform if you can find an audience for your product.
You might think that selling a used mattress at a garage sale is a good idea because new ones are expensive. However, people hardly buy used mattresses because they might harbor bedbugs, which can cause havoc in their homes.
Outdated electronics such as VHS will barely sell at a garage sale because most aren’t practical today and are already overflowing at thrift stores. However, you can make some good bucks if you’re selling a vintage collectible.
You can recycle your old TVs and computer monitors at an electronics recycling location.
Older bike helmets models might not meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission helmet standards; therefore, you shouldn’t sell them to unaware buyers. You can still sell the actual bikes though.
Unsafe or recalled goods
Confirm that the items you’re selling don’t pose any potential hazards or haven’t been recalled.
Where Should I Advertise My Garage Sale and Get People to Come?
You can only have a successful garage sale if people know about it! Good marketing of the event contributes to more than half of the success of a great garage sale. When you should start advertising for your garage sale is entirely up to you.
However, you can decide to do some tease advertising as early as two weeks before the event. For example, you can start doing print or online advertising a week before the sale and put up physical signs at least three or four days before the sale.
What Makes a Good Garage Sale Ad?
Before you start advertising, it’s essential to understand what will make your garage sale advertisement stand out. Here is what you should know:
- Your advertisement should tell people why they should come to your garage sale.
- Be honest about the condition of the items, including any flaws, missing parts, and parts that don’t work.
- If you can include photos, find interesting ones that will attract buyers.
- Do not just list the items; describe and sell them.
- Include a map if you can; however, don’t pinpoint your home, just the street because doing so will make it easier for early birds to find you.
- If you’re selling clothes, consider including their sizes, colors, styles, and brand names.
Where to Advertise
Finding the right advertising platform will determine whether people will come to your garage sale or not. You can try advertising on these platforms:
Social media is a great place to let your friends and friends of friends know that you’ll be hosting a yard sale. You can also give a preview of what will be on sale by creating a photo album and adding the enticing items for sale, and then post them on Facebook. In addition, you can use Instagram or Twitter to post garage sale signs or photos of items on sale.
You can start teasing on social media at least two weeks before the sale; however, ensure that you market the strongest a few days before the sale.
If you live in a big city with an active Craigslist page, you should consider advertising your garage sale there. Many people usually turn to Craigslist to plan their garage sale routes; therefore, it’s essential to have a clear, compact advertisement that contains all the necessary information. Such information might include your address, the dates you’re holding the sale, and the times the sale will be on.
You can also include directional information such as landmarks or the neighborhood name to make finding the sale easier. You might also want to have enticing shots of the possible bestsellers and run the ad a few days before and during the sale.
You’re going to need many street signs if you want a successful garage sale. Place your signs on the street with the most traffic, and post signs with unambiguous arrows all the way to your garage sale. Ensure that the signs are big and contain clear, readable signs.
Ensure all the signs have the same material, so they match. Additionally, keep the signs as simple as possible and avoid cluttering them with unnecessary information. You can also add “attention-getters” such as pinwheels and balloons to your signs to get the attention of motorists.
You can place your garage sale ad on community message boards in your local store, grocery, coffee shop, or college.
Frequent garage sale shoppers will most likely search the local paper for garage sales in the area. Therefore, it’s crucial to invest in this marketing method. You can schedule your newspaper ad to run a day before the garage sale and continue running through the days of the sale.
You can only include vital information such as when and where the sale will be and a few essential items that will be sold. If your local paper has an online website listing version, consider adding your ad there because many people search online now for such events.
My Garage Sale (MGS)
You can find MGS on both Android and iOS. The app lets you browse locally to find garage sales that are taking place in your area. You also get notifications when sales are close by, or you can browse to see what’s available.
How Do You Price Items for a Yard Sale?
You cannot have a successful garage sale if you have high or unclear prices that will most likely drive potential customers away. You need to determine the prices upfront, and they need to be attractive to persuade potential buyers. Here is how you can price items for a yard sale:
Check Other Yard Sales
Although your yard sale might only be a day or two long, it’s still necessary to carry out competitor research. Competitor research might seem intense; however, it only entails window shopping at other garage and yard sales in town and checking their prices and stock. However, be keen not to buy any more items that will clutter your space.
For example, if a garage sale sells shirts for $1 each and people are buying them in bulk, that is a good sign that you should price your shirts within the same range. On the other hand, if you raise the prices to $2, you risk losing money when people buy only two shirts instead of five or ten.
Follow the 10% Rule
An unspoken rule in the garage sale world is that you never charge more than 10% of the retail price. So, for example, if you bought a product for $40, you shouldn’t charge more than $4 for the item at your yard sale. However, if the things are of high quality and come from luxury brands, you can move the prices up to 20%. However, this rule helps you keep prices low enough to get many sales.
Check Prices Online
When setting the prices for your garage sale, do not think about what they mean to you. Shoppers don’t care about the price you paid for your stuff; all they care about is whether your prices are a good deal for them.
You can do some research to establish how much buyers are willing to pay for items. For example, you can check listings on sites like eBay or Craigslist to find the prices of high-value items like furniture or vintage clothing. If you have pricey merchandise such as jewelry or antiques, you should consider appraising them before setting a price.
Everyone is looking for a bargain at garage sales; therefore, don’t assume that you can sell valuables for their market price. However, you can print out the record of an eBay listing for a similar product and tap it to your lower-priced merchandise to show buyers that they’re getting a good deal.
Prioritize Quantity Over Quality
When it comes to garage sales, you will have to prioritize quantity over quality. However, if you have high-quality items, consider selling them on an online marketplace or through private selling because you’re most likely to fetch a higher price.
For example, if you have a stack of books, consider pricing them between $0.5 to $1 and watch people pick them up. If you have too many different prices, people will most likely buy only a few items that stand out.
You Can Price New Items Higher
The exception to the 10% rule is if the items are unworn and have tags on them. In such scenarios, consider charging 30 to 40% of the retail price. The items might be new; however, they don’t have a return policy; hence, you cannot charge the total cost. However, because they are new or unused, you might be able to get a little more for them.
You can keep the items in a different place, away from the bulk items. The arrangement and organization of the things will determine whether you’ll have a successful garage sale or not. Label the clothes or items as never used or never worn to differentiate them from the other items at the sale.
Haggle Where Necessary
You’re the owner of the garage sale; therefore, you’re the one who sets the price tags and can change them as you see fit. If a buyer offers a lower price, you can counteroffer them to ensure that the item is finally out of your house. However, don’t haggle at the beginning of the sale because someone might come in and pay the total price for an item.
Determine the Sale Pricing by Category
Every item you sell at your garage sale will fall into one of a few general categories. Common categories at yard sales include:
- Books: $0.50 -$ 2
- Shoes: $1 -$10
- Clothes: $0.25-$1
- Furniture: $10-$50
- Accessories: $0.25-$1
- Décor: $0.25-$5
- Video games: $5 -$10
- Movies: $5-$10
- Toys: $0.25-$5
- Dishes: $1-$5
How Do I Get People to Buy My Garage Sale Items?
It’s best to understand that you can’t sell everything at your garage sale or make money if you have overpriced items. People go to garage sales for deals; hence, if you’re not offering any, you’re likely to have minimal sales despite how nice your items might be.
Price your items at a reasonable price and even go lower as you approach the closing time. Here are some tips on pricing to ensure that you get people to buy your garage sale items:
- Allow buyers to give you their best offer because it’s better to get something than nothing for the items. Additionally, people might be willing to offer much more than you would have asked.
- If you have price tags, tell buyers that everything is half the price indicated.
- Give buyers a better deal for buying in bulk. For example, if you’ve discounted toys to a dollar each and have a buyer willing to buy ten pieces, let the buyer know they can purchase extra five toys for fifty cents more. Buyers are always ready to buy more items when they know they can get a bulk discount.
How Do You Find Bulk Garage Sale Buyers?
Finding bulk garage sale buyers is a sure way to make more money at garage sales. Here is how you can do it:
- Make a quick list of all the items you have, or take a picture of the entire garage sale.
- Create an ad and place it on strategic locations both online and offline.
- You can add your address, picture, and phone number if you don’t mind texts and calls from potential buyers.
- Set a price for everything and explain that the bulk buyer must take all of it. If you’re targeting bulk buyers, you don’t want to sell individual items or split them up with several people. If you’ve set the right price, someone will be willing to purchase all the items.
- Consider what you’ve not put up for bulk selling. If what is left is inexpensive or small, you can charge $10 to $30 for everything. The key is to set the prices low to ensure that you sell everything. After all, you need the cash and not the items.
- Sell your items on a first-come, first-served basis. Do not hold them for anyone.
- Put a time limit on how long your items will be on sale. People are most likely to flock to the sale if they know that they might run out of time.
- When buyers arrive, ensure they understand which items are part of the garage sale and which ones aren’t. Then, they can pay first before collecting the items.
How to Clean and Prepare Your Items for a Garage Sale
Preparing for a garage sale is a process; however, you’re likely to get more results if you do it well. Here is how to prepare for a garage sale:
It’s best to start early preparations if you’re thinking of holding a garage sale. You can begin at least two or three months ahead of your desired date to ensure that you put together everything that you want to sell in the next garage sale.
It’s also best to group all items on sale and store them in the garage or a spare bedroom. Additionally, start pricing the items and printing garage sale signs ahead of time.
Gather Up All the Items You Plan to Sell
You can gather up all the items you plan to sell by going room by room and looking for items you no longer use or want. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of everything you haven’t used for a year. Then, you can place the items that you want to sell in boxes or large garbage bags and store them inside a garage or a rarely-used room in your house.
It’s best to group the items by theme or category at this stage because it will be easier to price them and set them for display during the garage sale.
Think about what went wrong and what went right during those sales if you’ve had garage sales before. If you’re having a yard sale for the first time, talk to other people to understand their mistakes and get some of their best tips about having a garage sale.
Determine what you want to do at the current garage sale based on the information gathered from people or previous sales. If you’re going to do better, then it’s advisable to write some notes down.
Collect All Yard Sale Necessities
You need several items when preparing for a garage sale to make the process simpler. Here are some things you might need during a garage sale:
- Chairs; You will need chairs in case shoppers want to sit for some time.
- Poles and ladders: To prop/hang items off the ground.
- Trash cans: Garage sale shoppers will bring snacks, soda cups, and water bottles with them. Therefore, having a place to leave their trash means that they can shop for longer without their hands being too full. Additionally, you might need a place to throw old price tags if you frequently re-price items on the spot.
- Money organizer: You will need a place to hold all the cash during the garage sale. Consider getting a fanny pack, coin bag, cash box, a waist apron, or a cross-body purse to hold your money during the sale.
- Petty Cash: Petty cash will come in handy during your garage sale; therefore, ensure that you have some with you before the big day.
- Display signs: Having display signs during your sale will make it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for at the sale. Prepare the signs way ahead of the sale to make your work easier.
- Extension cords: It’s best to have extension cords if you’re selling electronics at the garage sale. Extension cords will make it easier for buyers to try out electronics at the sale before purchasing them.
- Tables: You definitely need tables at your garage sale. However, you don’t have to buy new ones if you don’t have enough for your garage sale. Instead, you can turn crates, cardboard boxes, or Rubbermaid tubs upside down and use them as tables during the sale.
- Scissors: A pair of scissors is always handy, and you never know when you’ll need one.
- Clear packing tape: You can use packing tape to secure things in place on the day of the garage sale.
- Cleaning supplies: You can use cleaning wipes to wipe down dusty and dirty items quickly. You can also opt for magic erasers to clean more deeply in all the crannies and nooks.
Clean the Items
You are most likely to sell your items if they are cleaner. You don’t have to break your back when cleaning because you can opt for magic erasers during the cleaning process. During garage sales, magic erasers work best on:
- Hardcover books
- Cleaning out all the tiny nooks and crannies on plastic items such as lids, coolers, handles, chairs, etc.
- Removing soot from candle holders and candle jars.
Cleaning wipes are also helpful in wiping down almost everything at the sale.
Wiping or cleaning your items before and during a garage sale makes them look newer than they are; therefore, you’re likely to sell them at a reasonable price.
How to Display Clothes at a Garage Sale
Figuring how to display clothes at a garage sale can be pretty challenging. Clothing is one of the most sought-after items at garage sales; therefore, it’s crucial to organize and display the pieces in an appealing manner.
Here are some of the ways you can display clothes at a garage sale to ensure that you get the highest amount of money for them:
Use a Clothing Rack to Display Them
Displaying clothes on a clothing rack is probably your best option at a garage sale. Clothing racks keep clothes off the ground and make it very easy to sort through most of them. Additionally, using a clothing rack makes your display look more organized, and you can organize the clothing inside your house and roll it out quickly into the garage once the sale starts.
Place the Clothes in Plastic Tubs
Using plastic tubs is an excellent way of displaying clothes during a garage sale. You can sort the clothes by gender and size and use different plastic tubs to display them. Although tubs are great, you might be forced to re-fold the clothes at some point of the sale because tubs can be a bit harder to get through, causing the clothes to become unfolded pretty quickly.
Use a Makeshift Clothing Rack
If you don’t have an extra clothing rack hanging around, you can create a makeshift clothing rack to use for clothes display during your garage sale. You can use anything from old ladders to trampolines to display clothes.
Place the Clothes on the Ground
You can also display clothing at a garage sale by placing it in piles on the ground. If you opt for this method, you might want to use a sheet or blanket between the clothing and the ground to ensure that dirt and grass don’t get on the clothes.
Display the Clothes in Folded Piles
You can display the clothing in neatly folded piles and place them on a table. Displaying garage sale clothes on a table keeps them off the ground and prevents buyers from having to bend over in uncomfortable positions to inspect them.
When you’ve established how you’ll display clothes at a garage sale, you should determine how to organize them to ensure that potential buyers access them quickly. You can arrange them using the below suggestions:
You can separate the clothes by gender if you’re selling both boys’ and girls’ clothing at the garage sale.
If you’re selling sets of clothing, consider folding them neatly together or placing them together on a hanger. This option is beneficial with infants’ outfits, which can sometimes come with several matching pieces.
By Clothing Type
Another way of displaying clothes at a garage sale is organizing them by clothing type. For instance, you can place the dresses together, shirts together, and pants together. Such a display will make it easier for buyers to find a specific type of clothing at the sale.
Organize By Size
It’s a good idea to separate clothes and identify them by signage if you’re selling clothes of different sizes at the sale.
How to Display Jewelry and Eyewear at a Yard Sale
Finding the right way of displaying jewelry and eyewear at a garage sale could increase your sales. Here is how to do it:
Displaying jewelry at a yard sale
If you plan on selling jewelry during your next yard sale, you should find creative ways of displaying it. You can try some of these methods:
Try Rummage Displays
Humans have an instinct to rummage for hidden treasure; therefore, if you want to sell jewelry at your next yard sale, you can consider putting it in a treasure chest or some sort of a rummage container. Suitable rummage containers include small trunks, baskets, trays, exciting boxes, and grab bags.
If you’re keen on purchasing rummage containers, you can get them at craft stores, dollar stores, second-hand stores, and imported-trinket stores.
Keep Sets and Pairs Together
Another way of displaying jewelry at a yard sale is keeping sets and pairs together and showing it in an easy way for customers to handle. For example, you can display them using sandwich bags, muffin tins, jewelry trays, or hang them on a jewelry stand.
It would help if you considered having a mirror near your jewelry display for customers to try on the jewelry.
How to Display Eyewear at a Yard Sale
If you’re a lover of sunglasses, you probably have several that you no longer use or need. You can get rid of them and still make a couple of bucks if you include them in your next yard sale. In addition, proper display of your eyewear will make them look classy and new; hence, likely to attract the attention of several buyers. Here is how you can display eyewear at your next yard sale:
Use an Old Photo Frame
If you have an old photo frame lying around your home, you can upcycle it and turn it into something useful. Buyers will applaud you for your creativity and are more likely to stop and see what you’ve got. Additionally, upcycling is eco-friendly; hence, you can still make your money while being mindful of the environment.
If you want to use an old photo frame to display your eyewear, you’ll have to use some wire and some eye hooks to secure the wire into place. You can opt for some colored ribbon or string if you want to get artistic or if you’re out of wire.
Canvas and Ribbons Sunglasses Holder
If you’re artistic or want to get arty with your eyewear display, using canvas and ribbons will make your presentation stand out. The solution is simple and effective and turns some colorful ribbons and a simple blank canvas into something spectacular.
You can experiment with a range of colors and different-sized ribbons because the different thicknesses and widths will create a sense of depth and dimension.
Use a Coat Hanger
You’re having a yard sale to make extra cash and eliminate some items from your house; therefore, you don’t need to spend a lot to do this. For example, using a coat hanger to display eyewear will not cost you a penny. All you need is a triangular wire or wooden hanger with a bottom bar. Then, you’ll hook the eyewear onto the bottom bar.
You can display the hanger on your garage wall using a coat hook or a nail. If you don’t have a hammer handy, you can opt for a sticky back coat hook.
Coat Hooks and Wood Display
Metal coat hooks are the perfect size and shape to rest the bridge of your sunglasses. Additionally, they can be attached to anything you want; however, plasterboards and wooden surfaces are the best. You can pin them to a wooden board or your garage wall to create a simple and beautiful display.
Does Adding Extra Information Stickers on Yard Sale Items Help?
Extra information stickers give additional information about the status of your garage sale items. Potential customers need to know the actual condition of the items before they can commit to buying. For example, it would be unfair to purchase an oversized money item such as a cooker only to find some missing parts.
Adding extra information stickers detailing the actual condition of an item can help shoppers trust you. They will feel that you’re not just out to make a quick sale or dispose of an item. Additionally, factual information about the condition of an item will make customers make an unbiased decision about whether they want to purchase your item or not.
Whether you’re having a moving sale or a yard sale, adding extra information stickers on big money items such as electronics will help enhance your reputation. Here are some examples of additional information that you can add about the condition of your sale items:
- Four gas burner Ariston electric oven, in mint condition with one leg missing.
- A Bosch 800 Series French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator with a missing gallon door storage bin.
Don’t be afraid to include the actual condition of your item, and a buyer might be interested.
What Is the Best Month for a Yard Sale?
If you’ve gone through your house and found that you have things to sell, the next step is deciding the best time and place for your yard sale. The best month, day, and time for holding a yard sale largely depends on your location. Here is what you should know:
Best Month for a Yard Sale
If you live in an area with a warm-weather climate, then you probably understand that garage sales are popular all year round. However, this isn’t the case in most places, including the US, which experiences colder temperatures during the winter months.
In general, you can hold your yard sale in springtime, especially early spring when potential shoppers have cabin fever and are itching to get out of their homes.
Summer is also an excellent time to hold a yard sale, especially if it isn’t too hot. Additionally, people have more time to peruse, and you might make incredible sales.
Although people tend to ignore holding yard sales during fall and at the end of summer, they can be successful because there’s less competition and the weather is nice.
What Is the Best Day to Have a Yard Sale?
It’s always a good day to check with your local area for the most popular day to have a garage sale; however, Saturdays tend to be quite popular. The problem with holding your garage sale on a Saturday is that everyone else is having theirs on the same day; hence, there is stiff competition to attract buyers.
You can decide to hold your garage sale on weekdays when serious garage sale customers are looking for bargains. However, you are most likely to get fewer casual buyers than having a sale during the weekend.
Some people also prefer holding their garage sales on Friday afternoon or early evening at firmer prices than regular Saturday prices to see what they can get. The idea behind doing this is that they believe that people might not want to miss out by waiting for better prices on Saturday. Other people hold a one-day garage sale, put firm prices in the morning or the first few hours, and the prices become more ‘negotiable’ as the day progresses.
Sundays are not as profitable as Saturdays; however, they attract diehard customers, especially those looking for particular items.
What Time Do Most Garage Sales Start and How Long Do They Last?
If you have a small amount of quality garage sale items, then you can start the sale in the morning for about three or four hours. For example, you can opt for 7 am to 11 am or 9 am to noon.
You can also decide to have a yard sale for three or four hours in the afternoon. Hosting a garage sale in the afternoon means that you can sleep in and have less competition because most people usually opt for the early morning. However, an afternoon garage sale presents its share of problems, such as; customers might have less money to spend.
Additionally, an afternoon garage sale might only be feasible if the sale’s location is hidden until the actual start time because dealers might start knocking on your door very early in the morning. It’s best to indicate the exact sale start time in your flyers, signs, and ads so that people who come to the sale in the afternoon don’t think that they’ve missed the good stuff because the sale has been going on all morning.
If you have a group sale or a big sale, consider starting early in the morning and closing at around 4 pm or 5 pm. The duration will give you a better chance to sell as much as possible and capture the attention of many casual buyers during the day. While a big group sale could last for two or three days, it’s best to leave it for experienced yard sellers because it requires adequate planning.
It’ always best to check with your local authorities to determine any yard sale dates and duration restrictions.
Should You Inform Neighbors About the Yard Sale?
It’s a good idea to let your neighbors know of the date and time you’ll be hosting the sale. Additionally, it’s crucial to determine if they’ve planned any party or event for the exact date and time so that parking doesn’t become an issue.
Letting your neighbors know of your planned sale is essential because they might have some tables to loan you or want to join in or have their sale on the same day as yours. In addition, you’re most likely to attract more buyers if there are two or more garage sales near each other.
Some Advice on Having a Sunday Garage Sale
A Sunday yard sale might not be worth it unless you’re selling specific hard-to-find items. But, then, you might spend most of your time sitting and waiting for people to arrive.
Most people might skip a Sunday yard sale, especially if the garage sale started on Friday or Saturday, because they fear that the best items might be gone. However, a few people might make the Sunday trip to buy a few things that they thought were overpriced when they were there on Saturday. However, they might want rock-bottom prices for the items.
Sunday yard sales are very successful at the start of yard sale season in March or April or depending on where you live. People are usually eager to visit yard sales to shop again and to be out there.
If there are a lot of homes for sale in your neighborhood, then a Sunday yard sale might be a great idea because Sundays are typical “open house” days.
More Tips on Choosing an Appropriate Yard Sale Date
It’s important to note that yard sales held at the beginning of the month tend to do better than those held at the end of the month. Therefore, try to schedule the sale near the 1st or 15th because those are paydays for many potential shoppers.
Although a yard sale held on a Saturday in early spring near the 1st or 15th of the month from 7 am to 11 am tends to do better for most people, it might not work for others due to several reasons. It’s, therefore, best to understand the following before settling on a date and time for your sale:
- Your location
- What the weather is like
- Whether you can hold your sale with a neighborhood yard sale or a community sale.
However, picking a yard sale date that coincides with your neighborhood or community yard sale might hurt you or help you due to the following reasons:
- People might feel broke or “shopped-out” by the time they get to your sale.
- On the other hand, if you have a good selection of high-quality stuff, you might be at an advantage because people might start at your sale and then go to other sales afterward.
- You can take advantage of the free advertising that other yard sellers are doing.
How Much Petty Cash Should Be On Hand at a Yard Sale?
You need to have plenty of petty cash at hand at your yard sale to make trading move faster. Here is how much petty cash you should have during a garage sale:
Have at Least Two Rolls of Quarters
The amount of petty cash you should prepare for a yard sale depends on the amount of stuff you’re planning to sell. Prepare at least two rolls of quarters to start you off because there might be a lot of haggling. Additionally, some bids might fall down to a quarter of a dollar.
It’s also advisable to have at least two rolls of 50-cent coins for the same reasons indicated above.
Prepare a Lot of One Dollar Bills
Prepare a stack of fifty $1 bills because you’ll probably use them a lot when giving back change. It’s best to prepare the notes at least two days before the sale so that if you forget, you can still get the change on the day before the sale.
Five and Ten Dollar Bills Will Come in Handy
Although yard sales tend to attract many casual buyers, they also attract some people who know exactly what they’re looking for. When an item catches the eyes of such people, they don’t hesitate to splash some more cash. Local pawn shop owners or employees are such people; they will come with more money than your typical yard sale shoppers.
It’s best to prepare at least twenty-five-dollar bills and fifteen ten-dollar bills to ensure that you cater to them.
Understand the Purpose of Your Yard Sale
The purpose of some yard sales is to clear all items as fast as possible. If your yard sale is this type, do not put a price tag on every item; you can opt to arrange the most presentable items along the walkways and wait for shoppers to spot them. Do not prepare more than $100 in petty cash during such sales.
On the other hand, if you want to make as much money as possible during your yard sale, you will invest more time organizing it. Organizing entails putting a price tag on most items on display and ensuring the prices allow enough room for bargaining. Therefore, it’s best to avoid round numbers during such sales and opt for tags like $ 25.50 or $10.75.
If you want to handle such a larger yard sale, consider preparing at least $200 in petty cash.
Ensure That Shoppers Pay Before Leaving
It’s advisable to put a sign at the entrance of the yard sale that reminds shoppers to pay for all items they want before leaving the yard sale. You can also opt to install a cash-only sign to clarify that you’re not accepting cards and checks as payment methods.
Is It Safe to Use Venmo for a Garage Sale?
Mobile payments have made cash-only garage sales a thing of the past. Additionally, you can sell more items at a garage sale if you accept mobile payment options or cards at the sale. Here is what you should know about cashless payment options at a garage sale:
Should You Accept Cashless Payment Options at a Garage Sale?
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have always been looking for some of the most sanitary ways of making payments, such as mobile payments. So when the coronavirus pandemic kicked in, more consumers opted for mobile payment options to protect themselves from contracting the virus.
Buyers can now fund their mobile wallets through their bank accounts or use credit cards and pay via their mobile devices. PayPal and Venmo are popular e-wallets, while popular mobile payment systems include Apple Pay, Square, and Google Play.
Here are some of the reasons why you should accept cashless payment options at a yard sale:
You can increase your chances of making a sale by giving your clients the flexibility and convenience of using credit cards and mobile payment options. The cashless payment option is also great when you have a few ticket items, which an average garage sale shopper won’t have enough cash to purchase.
Additionally, accepting cashless payment options will most likely bring in more customers. Be sure to let potential customers know that they can use digital wallets or credit cards to make payments at the sale. This unique feature is most likely to pique their interest and drive more people to your garage sale.
Accepting cashless payment options is also secure for you because you don’t have to have a lot of cash during the sale or go to the bank to get many bills in small denominations for change.
Easy to Use
You shouldn’t be worried about how to accept cashless payment options at your garage sale. Using cashless payment platforms is easy, and you most likely have the necessary equipment to get you started. All you need is a tablet, smartphone, or laptop to help you out.
If you’re using an e-wallet such as Venmo, all you have to do is give the shopper your Venmo user name or the phone number and email associated with your Venmo account. You can also give the buyer your Venmo scan code in person, via text, email, or AirDrop (for iOS only).
Physical Card Options Can Boost Your Sales
You can also accept physical credit card payments when you purchase a card swiper. Buying a card swiper allows you to plug it into your smart device and is also a great way to accept cards without using a digital wallet. All you have to do is download the app, plug in the swiper, and start accepting credit card payments.
Accepting credit cards at your garage sales is excellent for maximizing sales and boosting your exposure. This feature is beneficial if you conduct garage sales regularly.
Mobile Payment Transaction Costs
If you plan to use mobile payment options during your next garage sale, you should understand that each payment option has its set terms and transaction fees. Examples of such fees include:
- Venmo transactions are free if both the buyer and seller have Venmo accounts. However, you’ll incur a 3% fee if you use Venmo to pay by credit card.
- Apple Pay allows iPhone or Apple Watch users to pay for their transactions using a secure chip found in those devices.
- Google Pay and Samsung Pay function like Apple Pay.
- Zelle partners with banks to allow customers to send money directly through their accounts.
- Square charges a 2.6% plus 10 cent fee for each transaction using swiped cards and a 3.5% plus 15 cent fee for manually keyed-in payments. The manually keyed-in payments carry greater risk because a physical credit card isn’t involved in the transactions—square charges the fees to merchants, not consumers.
Although some cashless payment options attract transaction fees, sellers should accept them at garage sales because people hardly cash anymore. Therefore, a seller has to sacrifice the minimal transaction fees or risk not getting a sale at all.
Tips for Garage Sale Shoppers Using Credit Cards
If you’re a garage sale shopper considering paying with your credit card, you should have the following tips in mind:
- You won’t incur any fees as a shopper when using the above platforms to pay for your garage sale items. However, the garage sale proprietor or merchant will incur any costs.
- Sellers may encourage you to pay using funds from a mobile wallet since it’s advantageous to them. They might convince you to pay by debiting funds from your e-wallet or bank account instead of using a credit card. Therefore, if you like to bargain, you can negotiate a slightly lower price because you’ll be saving them some money on fees.
- Credit cards offer the best protection against fraud.
- Although mobile payments are convenient, they can also pose potential security risks. You can protect yourself by locking your device, exercising caution while using public Wi-Fi, and being alert to malware.
What Is the Difference Between a Garage Sale and an Estate Sale?
A garage sale and an estate sale have some similarities, such as; you can expect to find a lot of household items, old appliances, and several other valuable items. However, there are some differences between a garage sale and an estate sale. Here are some that you should know:
A garage sale is the sale of a person’s unwanted household items. Such a sale is usually held in the driveway or the garage. Sometimes a garage sale might be known as a yard sale when the seller has too much stuff to sell that it spills over into their front lawns and yards.
You should expect to find a lot of unwanted children’s clothing, sports gear, kitchen utensils, and toys. Sometimes homeowners might also want to get rid of furniture; however, don’t expect to find a lot at a garage sale. However, garage sales can be pretty unpredictable, and you can find some really good items if you dig deeper.
If you want to attend a garage sale, you’ll often see yard sale signs around the neighborhood directing you where to go. One of the best parts about garage sales is negotiating. Most sellers usually want to get rid of stuff; therefore, they will listen to your offer. Consequently, it’s best to put your negotiation skills to use and try getting the best possible deal.
An estate sale is the sale of items from an estate of a person who’s dead; It can also include selling items from a foreclosed or abandoned home. Estate sales can be held by living family members of the deceased trying to eliminate unwanted items. However, most of them are usually run by companies hired by living family members to help ease the burden of selling an entire home full of possessions.
If you’re looking for a variety of items that have been collected over a lifetime, then estate sales are perfect for you. You can get vintage clothing, antique furniture, fine china sets, and other unique pieces. Most things in a home are usually up for sale during an estate sale; therefore, you can peruse each room in the house and choose any items you would like to purchase. Then, if the things are small and movable, a buyer can come back to the front of the house or downstairs with them.
Most large items in an estate sale are usually marked; however, not everything has a set price. Estate sales are often most pricey because of the high-quality items being sold.
How to Get Best Deals From an Estate Sale
Many estate sales usually run for three days, i.e., from Friday to Sunday, and most of them advertise well in advance. Keep in mind that the nicer the neighborhood, the more excellent the stuff you’re most likely to find inside the home.
Sometimes the advertisers can put pictures of big items online to help you get a sense of the available goods on sale before stepping inside the home. If a professional company runs an estate sale, keep these rules in mind:
Arrive at the Location Early
Arrive at the location early enough, and you’ll most likely receive a number to wait in line. You’ll get a number because they don’t want many shoppers in the home at one time due to security reasons; therefore, the company handling the sale will call shoppers in by groups of numbers.
Unlike garage sales, the set prices in estate sales are not up for negotiation. Actually, sometimes there might be bids for higher-priced items such as antique furniture. You might be required to fill out a bid slip, and the person with the highest number will be contacted later to collect the item.
Take What You Want When You Spot It
If you spot something you want at the sale, pick it up immediately and take it with you because other shoppers are likely to snatch it by the time you come back around.
Shop Last Minute
If you want an excellent deal from an estate sale, consider going on the afternoon of the last day. During this time, you’ll most likely find marked-down items.
In summary, the significant difference between garage sales and estate sales is that garage sales are for old and unwanted items, which the homeowner no longer uses. On the other hand, estate sales are more formal, and their primary purpose is to get rid of a late family member’s entire estate. You can check out garage sales or estate sales if you’re trying to find a good deal on some unique and exciting items.
How to Hold an Online Garage Sale
Hosting a garage sale is one of the best ways to get rid of unwanted stuff and earn some extra cash; however, moving stuff that doesn’t sell and being at the mercy of unpredictable weather can be pretty annoying. Additionally, some states have restrictions regarding garage sales due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luckily, technology has made things a little simpler; therefore, you can hold a virtual garage sale and get your hands less dirty. Online garage sales have gained popularity over the years due to their effectiveness and practicability.
Although selling stuff online seems like a good idea, it’s not always safe because you might be conned, especially if you’re a beginner. Here are some tips about holding an online garage sale to get you started:
Why Should You Move Your Garage Sale Online?
Technology has made life simpler; therefore, you can use it to your advantage when hosting garage sales. These are some of the reasons why you should move your garage sale online:
Bad Weather Resilience
One of the benefits of hosting an online garage sale is that you don’t have to worry about the weather. You don’t have to worry that people will not show up because of sudden rain or whether it will damage your stuff.
If you want to get rid of stuff from your home, you can do that online. All you have to do is take several pictures, select the relevant categories, and set up an online meeting when someone shows interest.
Less Worry about Putting Unsold Items Back in the House
When you put your items online, you won’t have to worry about physically moving them to your garage or yard. This also means that you don’t have to worry about unsold items once the sale is over.
Additionally, hosting a virtual garage sale means that your stuff will be seen by a wider community and not just your closest neighbors who might be passing by or those that visit your yard sale signs. Therefore, you might be able to get a wider audience and get rid of more stuff.
Online Garage Sale Tips
You now understand some benefits of moving your garage sale online; however, you might not know how to begin. Here are some simple online garage sale tips to get you started and help you sell most of your stuff:
Organize Your Items
People are most likely to be interested in your items if you organize them into categories. Be realistic when organizing your stuff because people will not want to buy everything that you have. Sort out your items and identify stuff that people are most likely to buy, such as newer clothes, vintage furniture, or toys.
Find an Online Platform to Host the Sale
Once you’ve sorted all the items you want to sell, you should find an online platform to host your sale. Many platforms can host your online garage sale; however, it’s best to avoid social media platforms because they aren’t the most secure way to handle your things. For example, you might find a town or a neighborhood-specific page to hold a sale on social media; however, it might not be safe due to the social dynamics of social media, which can lead to several abuse cases. In addition, the rules of most social media platforms are a bit laid back; hence, people aren’t checked as rigorously as they should be.
Some popular platforms for online garage sales include VarageSale, which is short for Virtual Garage Sale. All you have to do is create an account, find your town, and list your items on the site. Although VarageSale is a great online platform for your online garage sale, it hosts very many sales for several neighborhoods across the US; therefore, people from your area might not find your sale.
Research What Your Items Are Worth
Some of the items you want to sell could be more valuable than you think. You can check other online sites to find out how many similar items are going for. If you have specialty items, you can contact collectors to find out what they believe your item is worth.
You can search online to find out whether there are any collectors clubs near you. When you find some, members might be willing to answer your questions about specific items or appraise them. For example, an old book or your vintage toys collection might be worth a couple of bucks.
Take Good and Well-Lit Pictures of the Items You’re Trying to Sell
Once you’ve decided to hold an online garage sale, ensure that you take good-quality pictures to help you sell the items. Avoid taking blurry, grainy, or dark photos of the items because it will make them look older, or buyers might be less interested.
Ensure that the picture is clean, and you can also place it against a backdrop to ensure that it pops. If the item has any cosmetic flaws, such as a small dent or paint is coming off a small area, ensure that you take a picture of the spot to help buyers know exactly what they’re getting.
If you’re selling clothes, get a mannequin to use to show the clothes you’re selling, or you can find someone to put it on to show how the clothes look like on someone.
Although you don’t have to be a professional photographer to participate in a virtual garage sale, take high-quality photos that will help you sell your items much faster.
Write Detailed Item Descriptions
Proving some details about the item you’re selling is an excellent practice for online garage sales. The description doesn’t have to be a novel; however, telling potential buyers about the item you’re selling and the reason for selling it can be pretty helpful.
When holding online garage sales, the most important thing is to use the correct tags and categories for the items you’re trying to sell. Doing this will make your stuff visible to anyone within your neighborhood who’s looking them up.
When writing the item descriptions, ensure that you capture everything that might interest a potential buyer, such as the item name, size, color, measurement, model, etc. Of course, relevant information to include in your description will depend on the item you’re selling.
Some prospective buyers might want more information about the item you’re selling, such as whether it is from a pet-free or even a smoke-free home and why you’re getting rid of it. When they ask for such information, give honest answers because a lie might negatively affect your online reputation.
Also, note that you should include that in your description if you’ve hardly used an item and it’s basically new. A barely used or touched item could be perfect for a potential buyer, and it could fetch quite a reasonable price for you.
While social media platforms might not be great for hosting garage sales, they’re great places for advertising once you have set up your virtual garage sale. You can find your local groups on social media and link your online garage sale there.
Best Ways to Deal With Bargaining Buyers at a Garage Sale
Many buyers at a garage sale will probably haggle so that they can get good deals. Your goal at a yard sale is to make some money and get rid of items you no longer use; therefore, be keen to listen to bargaining customers and see what they can offer. Here is how you can deal with bargaining buyers at a garage sale:
Always Be Kind
Be kind from the word go. For example, a buyer might offer a meager price for an item; however, don’t criticize them. Instead, listen to find out if they can increase their offer price and negotiate gently with them. Be gentle and remember that you are dealing with a person. Laugh, be honest and be agreeable.
Additionally, keep the negotiation super relaxed because you don’t want the buyer to feel pressured. For example, if they insist on offering a meager price than what you had in mind, you can turn them down without insulting them or being unkind.
Avoid Negotiating on Price Alone
You can negotiate on other factors and not the price alone. Let the client see other benefits that they can derive from the item you’re selling, and be prepared to use them in the negotiation. For example, as you discuss the help of the product, the buyer might open up about what they’re looking for.
Ask Some Questions
Do not repeat your bottom line severally and fail to listen to the buyer. Instead, ask questions and listen to understand what the buyer is looking for. Find out what they are looking for at the sale and how you can give them an item that meets their expectations.
Keep the Negotiation Going for as Long as Possible
You might have several customers at the yard sale; however, be open to a back and forth discussion with a prospective buyer. Instead of shutting down the debate, have an attitude that demonstrates that you’re willing to listen to their offer.
The client will see that you’re willing to listen to them, and they might be mindful when bargaining.
Be Transparent About Your Dual Needs
Conversations tend to be more productive when both sides are open about their needs. So, instead of being firm about prices with no explanation, please discuss with the potential buyer to understand their needs and your needs.
Know When to Call it Quits
You might want to get rid of all your items and make some extra money; however, it’s best to know when to call it quits. For example, if the price offered is too low and the buyer is unwilling to increase it, you can politely shut down the discussion and wait for the next offer.
How to Make Extra Money on Your Garage Sale
Yard sales allow you to make a decent profit and reclaim valuable space in your home. You can also make extra money from the sale and keep customers browsing for longer by selling food at the event. However, is it safe to sell food at a garage sale?
Selling food at a garage sale is acceptable in most places; however, this depends on where you live. In addition, some towns and cities require you to have a license or permit before selling food at a garage sale. So, before you sell food at your next garage sale, check with your local city council to find out if you’ll need a permit or license before you can sell food.
Can I Sell Food at a Garage Sale?
Selling food at a garage sale is an excellent way of making extra money because people will always be attracted to food. But, unfortunately, they are also likely to get tired and hungry when finding unique items and antiques found at yard sales.
Customers are most likely to spend time at a yard sale that has food instead of one that doesn’t. Selling food at a garage sale allows you to raise your profits because you can sell various food items to hungry clients looking to grab some quick snacks and lunch.
Do I Need a Permit to Sell Food at a Garage Sale?
While you can sell food at a garage sale, you should understand what permits and licenses you need to get to sell food legally.
Most states will require you to have a permit before selling food and drinks at a garage sale due to health and sanitation purposes. People need to know if proper sanitary measures were adhered to while preparing the food.
Additionally, you should only handle food from a fully-screened booth and have a wash area nearby for hand washing and utensils cleaning. However, you might not require washing facilities and a fully-screened booth if you’re selling packed items such as drinks in pouches or cans.
Sometimes you might not need to comply with some of the requirements mentioned above. An example of such an instance is when you’re selling food donated by any permitted food facility or a local restaurant. In such a case, if any of your customers have problems with the food, then the donors will be answerable to them. However, it’s best to remember that only food items from permitted food facilities are allowed at yard sales and not food donated by individuals.
Some states allow the sale of food at garage sales, especially homemade items, without obtaining permits and licenses. This act is known as cottage law, where you can prepare food and sell directly to customers without worrying about putting extra washing facilities or health inspectors. Check if your state has this law because selling food at a garage sale would be pretty straightforward.
What Food Should You Sell at a Garage Sale?
If you’ve obtained the necessary licenses and permits, or if you do not require them, you can sell the following foods at a garage sale:
- Homemade treats such as hotdogs and sandwiches
- Sweet treats
You can sell anything, as long as it looks and tastes good and is prepared in sanitary conditions. If you decide to sell open food such as sandwiches, you will need to secure permits and comply with requirements, such as having a wash area. If you choose to sell packaged food that will remain sealed until it’s sold, you won’t require extra facilities; however, this still depends on the state you reside in.
Before you decide to sell food at your next garage sale, it’s best to understand that people might opt not to buy it, especially if they don’t trust where it comes from or how it was prepared. Do not get offended when you receive such reactions from a customer because it’s only a natural reaction. If you plan to make extra money at your next garage sale by selling food, keep the mess to a minimum by choosing foods that are easy to eat.
Can You Sell Baked Goods at a Yard Sale?
You can sell store-bought or homemade baked goods during your next garage sale if you have the required permits. However, sales are not guaranteed because of customer trust issues. Customers might be reluctant to buy from you because they don’t know you or are unsure of the process involved in making the goods.
However, this issue shouldn’t stop you from selling baked goods during your garage sale because someone might be interested in the treats. Additionally, people who know you, such as your neighbors or friends, might drop by and buy your pastries.
What Snacks Can You Sell at a Garage Sale?
Snacks are lovely during a yard sale because they’re easy to eat, and a customer can look at your items while eating a snack. Here are some snacks that you can sell at your next garage sale:
- Lemonade: It’s a perfect beverage for a yard sale, especially during a hot summer. If you want your kids to participate, ensure that your locality allows kids to sell food items.
- Fruit slices: You can sell apple or watermelon slices when you’re hosting a garage sale during summer.
- Homemade cookies: Cookies can be such a hit during garage sales. However, ensure that you indicate ingredients, especially if they contain allergens, such as nuts.
- Muffins: You can opt for store-bought or homemade ones.
- Hamburgers and hotdogs: These would be a hit if you’re confident that you have a tasty burger patty recipe.
- Other beverages such as soda, coffee, and bottled water.
You can sell a variety of foods at your next yard sale; however, this will depend on whether you need a permit or not.
What to Do With Unsold Items after a Garage Sale
You might find yourself with boxes full of leftovers after you complete your garage sale. Taking the items back in the house is not an option because de-cluttering was one of the reasons for holding the garage sale. Here is how you can deal with unsold items after a garage sale:
Donate Children’s Stuff to a Local Daycare or School
If you have leftover children’s books, clothing, and toys, you can donate them to a children’s center or a local daycare. These institutions will appreciate your donation because they can always use the extras. In addition, if you donate the items to a non-profit center, you’ll get a receipt for tax purposes.
Arrange for a Thrift Store Pick Up
You can quickly get rid of your leftovers by organizing a thrift store pick-up. You can call a thrift store a week before your sale and schedule a pick-up the afternoon your sale ends. Many thrift stores will pick up your leftovers for free and give you a receipt for taxes.
Consider Selling the Leftovers at a Virtual Sale
Take some good photos of the leftovers, include a brief item description, and have a virtual garage sale. Selling the items online is a fun way to eliminate some of the unsold garage sale items. Remember that taking bright photos and having a good description will help sell the items fast.
Donate Women’s Accessories and Clothes to a Local Women’s Shelter
Women’s shelters always require clothes and accessories for women. You can donate any gently used shoes, clothes, and handbags to a local women’s shelter. Your donation will change lives, and the women at the center will be thrilled to have the items.
Donate to a Local Church Hosting a Rummage Sale
Find a local church that’s hosting a rummage sale; they might accept donations even from non-members. Donate your unsold items to the church so that they can price them appropriately and sell them at their sale. The money made from such a sale is often used to help members of your community.
Take Some Clothing Pieces to a Local Consignment Shop
If some of your unsold items are clothes from a well-known brand, consider taking them to a local consignment shop. Some shops will buy directly from you or take the items in on consignment. Consignment helps you make some cash on your leftovers and ensures that they’re out of your house.
Toss or Recycle Unusable Items
If you’re struggling to figure out whether you should toss or sell your items, then it’s best to ask yourself two mandatory questions; does the item work properly? Would you consider giving the item to a family member or a friend as a gift?
If the answer is no to both questions above, you should consider recycling or tossing the item. You should throw items that can’t be taken to a recycling center or put in your home’s recycling bin. Such items include broken glass, ceramics, and photographs.
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You can place recyclable items into your home’s recycling bins or take them to a local recycling center. Most non-working household items such as lights, batteries, or broken electronics are recyclable.
Whether you’re having a garage sale in NZ or looking for garage sale tips in Australia, the tips above should get you started. Additionally, always remember that creating a perfect shopping environment will make it easier for potential customers to stay longer and browse through your items.
Above all, remember to have fun and interact kindly with shoppers because you don’t know who will show up at your next garage sale!