How to throw a successful garage sale

I survived.

I made my TV debut yesterday on KATU’s AMNW morning show and I’m happy to report I somehow kept it together and didn’t lose my cookies on live television. Whew! I filmed a piece on throwing a successful garage sale and chatted through 10 of my personal yard sale tips. Since I know many of you don’t live in Oregon, here’s the video for your viewing pleasure.

 10 Garage Sale Tips

1.)    Purchase pre-labeled garage sale stickers and price your items to sell.

  • Pre-labeled stickers make pricing items easy and can be picked up at most local stores like Fred Meyer. Also, price your items to sell and be realistic about what an item might actually sell for.

2.)    Stock up on change for your cashbox.

  • Make sure you have plenty of change before the sale starts. It’s a  good idea to have $40 in 5’s and $20 in 1’s as well as some change on-hand.

3.)    Market your sale.

  • Post a free ad on Craigslist under the “garage sale” section and include all of the sale details as well as photos of a few of the main items you’ll be selling.

  • Make 3-4 simple, but bold signs and place them around your neighborhood. Just include the time and address of the sale on the sign – no other details are needed!

4.)    Watch the weather forecast

  • Sunny weather equals more foot traffic and happy shoppers. If you can, watch the weather forecast and pick a day/weekend that won’t be rainy.

5.)    Organize/merchandise your items just like a department store does.

  • If possible, group like items together. For example, all kitchen items should be in the same area. Shoppers are usually looking for specific items, and this way, they can easily find what they are looking for without having to dig around.

6.)    Have a buddy.

  • Team up with another family or friend. It makes the set-up and the actual sale more fun and it’s also nice to have someone helping shoppers and someone else manning the cash box.

7.)    Expect early birds.

  • A handful of people WILL come early to your sale, especially professional pickers. Decide beforehand if you will sell items to them before the posted sale starting time.

8.)    Stow away cash as you make it.

  • It’s a safe bet that you’ll make  a few hundred dollars at your sale, so just to be safe, don’t keep all that money in your cash box. Every hour or so, place a good amount of money inside, in a safe place.

9.)    Be willing to budge on prices, especially after 2 p.m.

  • People come to garage sales for deals and be mindful of that. Be ready to barter with folks.

10.)   After the sale, reorganize your items.

  • Create two piles

                i.      Items to be donated

               ii.      Items to be stored

  • This way, you’ll feel organized immediately after the sale and you won’t be tempted to put the stuff that didn’t sell back in your garage.

Are you guys planning on hosting a garage sale this spring or summer? They are a lot of work, but it certainly feels good to clean out those closets. And the extra cash is nice too!

7 thoughts on “How to throw a successful garage sale

  1. Mina Said:

    Great job Kirsten! Very helpful tips on my upcoming garage sale :) Thanks!

  2. Kyle Said:

    Awesome job baby! I’m so proud of you!

  3. Jamie Said:

    Such a natural and a pro! Great job!

  4. Angie Z Said:

    Way to go Kir!!

  5. Mary Pat Said:

    Way to go girl! You are a natural!

  6. Pingback: garage sale & cottonwood « my house talks

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