I LOVE garage sales. I once lived in a neighborhood that hosted an annual garage sale each spring. It ended up being a social time for all us as we opened our garages and set up our sales. One of my neighbors and I discovered that it was easier on both of us if we hosted a garage sale together. We could take turns watching the kids or grabbing lunch.

If you’re considering putting on a garage sale, the best advice I can give you is to plan ahead and to begin gathering your sales items a few months prior to your actual sales date. Here are a few other tips to help you:

  1. Set the date of your sale; find out when other neighbors may also be hosting a garage sale.  You’ll increase your traffic if you time your sales on the same date.
  2. Consider doing a sale with a neighbor or friend.  Many hands make light work.  You can split the cost of advertising, hours working the sale as well as providing joint childcare for little ones.
  3. Advertise in your local newspapers; distribute flyers and yard signs.  Be sure to check with your city on any ordinances regarding placement of signage.
  4. Launder and mend all clothing before pricing it for the sale.  Pin together two-piece outfits.  Masking tape adheres best to clothing – include price and size.  Don’t forget winter such as coats, boots and mittens.  Children’s school and Halloween costumes are also good candidates for a garage sale.
  5. Children’s books and toys (especially those happy meal toys from fast-food restaurants) seem to sell well.  Involve your children in cleaning and preparing toys for the sale.  Offer to share the profit from the toy sales as an incentive for them to part with items they’ve outgrown or have become bored with.
  6. Go through all of your closets.  If you haven’t worn it during this season, you probably aren’t going to wear it next year.  Get rid of it!
  7. Pricing tips: Masking tape works better than fancy sale tags. If you’re co-hosting the sale with a friend, put your initials on each price tag.  If you’re unsure on what to price an item and it’s in excellent condition, charge 1/3 the price you paid for it.
  8. Have battery-operated items outfitted with working batteries; an outlet available for any electrical items. An item is more apt to sell if a buyer can actually try it out first.
  9. A cash box for the sale should include enough denominations to make change for a $50 bill.  If you will not be accepting personal checks at your sale, post a sign at the cash table stating your policy.
  10. Stock up on small plastic bags and grocery sacks.  People are always appreciative of being able to walk away with their purchases in a bag, versus trying to hand-carry them.

© Audrey Thomas