12 Tips for Headache-Free Garage Sales

Summer is here. The sprinklers are on, the ice cream trucks are out in full force and the yard sales signs are popping up like dandelions. Time to get all of that stuff out of the garage an put on your annual sale.

Putting on a garage sale can be a daunting task, but being organized and preparing ahead of time can prevent many of the headaches that can come from organizing a sale.

Follow these 12 tips and your garage sale will be smooth selling.

  1. Save The Date. Most importantly, try to pick a date a few weeks in advance and stick with it.
  2. Share the Love. Ask your neighbors if they want to have a sale at the same time to create a bigger buzz and spread around some of the work involved in getting the word out.
  3. One Day Extravaganza. Consider holding your sale just one day between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The best items are gone within the first few hours, don’t waste a second day only to make a few dollars.
  4. Getting the word out. Post signs around your neighborhood and making sure they are visible from the road, add balloons for an added kick. Advertise in the local newspaper. List the sale online with Craigslist. Send out emails to friends and family to get out the word.
  5. The Goods. When deciding which items to put in the sale, be sure to keep your buyer in mind. Ask yourself, would you buy it? If you are not sure and it looks important go on the internet and research it. With clothes, if it is torn, ratty or dirty, get rid of it.
  6. Prep Time. A day or two before the sale, start staging and pricing items in the garage as much as possible. Arrange your items in an appealing way that will draw in buyers.
  7. The Price is Right. When it comes to pricing your items, it’s important to remember that just because you paid a lot for something, doesn’t mean someone else will. Big ticket items should be a fraction of the original price. Clothing should be a couple of dollars apiece or less. If you have some great designer jeans in perfect condition, go ahead and charge $10 or 15, but if they are not selling, lower the price.
  8. Tag, You’re It. Tag as many of the items as you can so people will have a starting point to haggle from. If you just want to get rid of items, you can leave off the tag and let people make offers.
  9. Be Prepared. Be sure to have everything you might need before people start coming to the sale. Fill a basket with the following items: pens, extra price tags, water bottle, gum, a snack, note pad and a telephone.
  10. Change it. Don’t forget to go to the bank and get change the day before.
  11. Be realistic. Garage Sales are a lot of hard work and time, don’t think you will make what you think you will.
  12. Probably half of what you envision is what you will make.
  13. Post Sale. After the sale, be sure to have a plan to get rid of everything that doesn’t sell. If you need a truck to take the excess to your favorite charity, have it there at closing. Load immediately and take it away.

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