20 garage sale tips

Garage sale or yard sale, however you call them, may (or may not) be a great way to get rid of your stuff. I did a few and I want to share my tips to make yours successful.

  1. Location is key. Living in an apartment, it's obvious it's not something I can do at home, it's a shame because I live on a big boulevard. My parents do live in a busy street which is also good.
  2. Timing is important. In my hometown, they have dedicated weekend for them: Victoria Day weekend in may and Labour Day weekend. They also offer free advertising in the local newspaper. This gives a great visibility. Most site tell us not to pick holiday weekend, but I don't think it affected much our sales.
  3. Be aware of your city's regulations. In my city, you can host one at anytime, in my hometown it's only those 2 weekends. Also be aware of the signage restrictions.
  4. Don't expect to make hundred or thousands dollars, you're setting yourself for disappointment. A lot of other blog claimed you could make about $500, in my dreams.
  5. Prepare in advance. When decluttering, put the items that you don't want/need anymore but still work and is in good condition aside. Even better, put on price tag on them right away. Then put them in boxes in a place they won't be a nuisance.
  6. Check the items before putting them in the "sale" box. I found $20 in a purse I was about to sell for $3! Check that the DVD or CD is indeed in the box.
  7. I do my own price tags with card stock paper that I cut in tags (with a paper trimmer) punch a hole in them, then I tie a string in and voilà!
  8. I also used neon coloured starburst I got at Dollarama. I used them for items I had a lot of, like: "Books, ¢50 each"
  9. I will stress this: put prices on everything! As an introvert, it would kill me inside to ask someone for the price: what if it's too expensive, I will be so embarrassed to put it down? Also if you are busy or someone else is helping you, it makes things so easier.
  10. Don't over price. Some may like to haggle but others (like me) will just be deterred by an higher price. You wanna get rid of the stuff don't you?
  11. I try to put round prices. Some little things might be 50¢. That way I only need ¢25, $1, $2, $5 and $10 in change. Go to the bank beforehand! I had $20 in change and I was fine.
  12. Keep your pets inside. Some people are afraid of dogs or are highly allergic (like me) and don't wanna be near them.
  13. Stage your items nicely and in a way people can browse easily. I hanged the purses on a coat stand. If you have clothes, use a clothes rack to display them (but be aware adult clothes don't really sell well, I personally donate them)
  14. Display the more interesting item in front to lure people in.
  15. Always keep your money near you. You never know who might try to steal. Some suggest a fanny pack, but I like those old Tupperware craft box it's easy to separate currency.
  16. Re arrange your table to keep it attractive as items sells.
  17. Have grocery bags saved in advance. I know it might be hard if you shop only with re-usable bag. We didn't get much people asking for bags either. You should have boxes if you sell bigger items or item in lot.
  18. If you don't have lots of stuff, team up with other people or go to a community garage sale.
  19. I like to start the sale at about 9 am. I end it at 4 pm or a bit earlier if there's no traffic
  20. After the sale is over, don't forget to take down any sign you put up