If you had asked me a few years ago if I could make $1000 at my garage sale I would have laughed out loud and told you there was NO WAY! Lucky for me…I was wrong!! 😆 I just made over $1000 at my garage sale last week and I was so excited!
So I figured I would share with you how my garage sale philosophy has changed over the years and the tips that helped me make $1000 at my garage sale!
How I Made Over $1000 at My Garage Sale
Location is the Most Important Aspect of a Successful Garage Sale
Let me give you some background on my garage sale history. I have had many sales in my adult life and most of them were complete flops. I had most of the sales in my small town of less than 1500 people. There were not enough shoppers to make my sales very successful and it really didn't matter what I was selling.
I finally realized that I needed to have my garage sales in a better location…bigger town. My in-laws moved back to our area a few years ago and bought a home in a very nice city south of Wichita. It is my favorite place to go to garage sales and there are never any shortage of shoppers in this city. I had also talked with my cousin who used to live there and she always had the best outcomes with her garage sales while she was there.
So…I asked my in-laws if I could have my sale at their house. They agreed and it worked out perfectly.
I know that you may not live in the perfect garage sale town, BUT….you probably know someone who does! Don't be afraid to ask a friend or relative if you can have a sale at their house. They will probably say yes and even want to add some stuff to the sale.
My biggest mistake was having sales in a tiny town year after year with the same dismal results!! Once I moved my sale to a bigger “venue” it made all the difference. You can't sell anything if no one comes by to buy it!
Pick the Right Time to Have Your Sale
I had my sale during the city-wide garage sale. I have heard pros and cons of doing a sale during the city-wide sales weekend….but I think the pros outweigh the cons.
There will be a LOT more people shopping garage sales during a city-wide event. It is just a fact…many people will drive from other towns to shop when they know there will be a lot of sales to choose from.
There will probably be sales on the same street as your sale…or at least in the same neighborhood. The advertising these other sales did will also help your sale get more traffic.
In our area the city-wide garage sales are typically help in May and June before the intense heat of the summer hits. I don't think that sales held in July and August do as well because it is just so darn hot!
Be Flexible if Needed
You may need to change your sale dates based on WEATHER.
That is a huge factor in Kansas and I was watching the forecast closely for my sale last week. We had great weather the first day until just after 5 pm. We tore down minutes before a thunder-storm broke. The next day it was cold, but dry and people were still out shopping!
I was willing to move the sale back a week if it had been rainy though. There is just no point in going to the trouble to set up a garage sale if no one is going to get out in the rain to shop!
Advertise Your Sale with Signs
You need to do the very basics of advertisement by putting up garage sale signs pointing to your yard sale. This step really can't be skipped!
You should put up SEVERAL signs so that your sale can be easily found. Bright colored signs work great and it isn't necessary to put a ton of info on the sign. The address and dates are the most important. Don't forget to get your signs after the sale so you can reuse the signs!
Advertise Your Garage Sale Online
You also need to get your sale listed online! There are websites specifically for garage sale listings now and it is free to list your sale. You can even add photos for free of items you are selling.
I also listed my sale on some area Facebook Buy, Sell, Trade groups and it helped a lot. I had a bunch of people mention that they had seen my listing in the group.
Craigslist also has an area for garage sale listings and I know that I use it when I go out to sales.
Be Detailed in Your Advertising
One thing that many people miss is giving details in their advertising. You need to give the address of the sale, the times and days of the sale….but you should also give a very detailed description of what you are selling.
I listed out what size clothing I had available, what sex, what brands. I listed shoes sizes, brands. I tried to list all bigger items I had and anything else that was at all “special”.
Many people will do a search for a specific item they are looking for and by listing out what you have for sale it can bring your listing up for them!
Have an Organized Garage Sale
I have been known to leave a garage sale without really looking if it is totally disorganized.
I hung up 98% of the clothing that I had for sale and sold a TON of it! I organized the clothing by size and gender.
I had LOTS of tables…most were makeshift, but it doesn't matter as long as people don't have to sort through items on the ground. You can buy the lightweight easy to fold tables and use them over and over for parties and yard sales!
I put bigger items closer to the street for easy visualization for people driving by.
Price Items to Sell
We are moving soon and I needed to get rid of a lot of stuff. I had already been forbidden from bringing anything back home after the sale, LOL!
I priced my items to sell. Most of my clothing was $1 per hanger. The most expensive thing at my sale was a nice full-size electronic keyboard for $40. I didn't make the $1000 by selling lots of furniture and large pricey items…it was almost all made by selling items for around $1 each!
Be Willing to Negotiate
I was also willing to take less on a lot of things and make deals. Some shoppers just cannot bring themselves to pay full price for anything at a garage sale….and I knew that I wanted to sell as much as I could even if it meant taking a quarter less for something!
If you are not willing to negotiate on most items I think you will lose out on a lot of sales. You can't expect to get top dollar for most things at a yard sale. People are there to find a great deal!
I think it is important to try and price every item at your sale. If you have a table and everything on that table is the same price…make sure you have a clear sign on the table.
There are people who WILL NOT ask what you want for something….they would rather just leave and not buy it. It isn't worth losing a sale when it only takes a second to just price each item.
Don't Put Out Junk
Now…let me preface this by saying…vintage is IN. Some items that are old may sell.
I am talking about broken, stained, ripped, etc. I was careful to just toss clothes that were in horrible condition or toys that didn't work. People will notice if you have decent quality items or not. If you do they will keep on browsing…if not…they may bolt.
Allow Early Shoppers
I will admit that early shoppers kind of annoy me because I am running around like a crazy person trying to finish setting up. Nevertheless….I had made over $100 an hour before my sale was even supposed to start.
So, try to be friendly to early shoppers and let them know they can look around even though you are still putting items out. Why miss sales just because you may be OCD about start times, LOL!
Stay Open Late
This one is hard for me to do because by 5 pm I am BEAT and ready to close up shop! BUT…I know that staying open even an hour late can bring in more shoppers. A lot of people don't get off work until 5 pm and would love to stop at your sale on their way home. Plus since many sales end early…there will be less competition.
If you plan to stay open late be sure to advertise that on your signs!
Have Lots of Stuff to Sell
I think it is a no brainer that bigger sales do better. If you don't have a ton of stuff to sell then ask friends and family members to go in on the sale with you. When you can advertise a 3 or 4 family sale…it will bring in more shoppers!
When I drive up to a tiny sale…I just don't even want to exert the energy to get out of my car sometimes. When I see a big sale…I am jumping out of my car and zipping over!
Luckily for me I had a TON of stuff to sell this time. I have done multi-family sales before though and they usually do very well.
Get Your Kids Involved
My kids knew they had to go through their rooms because we are moving soon. I told them that they could sell some of their stuff in our sale and get the money for it. Money will typically motivate a lot of kids! My children were no exception and were excited to make some extra cash.
You can also have your kids sell bottled water, pop or even do a small bake sale to bring in even more cash.
These were the tips and tricks I used to make $1000 at my garage sale. I would love to hear your best strategies for a successful garage sale! What do you love to buy at garage sales?
Be sure to check out my other money-saving post ideas!