Monday, April 17, 2017

5 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

If you've been following along with me, you'll know that my Minimalist Vacation project is in full swing and I'm becoming a minimalist and selling the things I'm getting rid of to fund a vacation next month! My husband and I decided that this Saturday would be a great day for our first of two yard sales. Mostly because we had stacks of boxes of things to get rid of and I was ready to see it leave our bubble! I have to say that this is probably one of the very best yard sales I've ever personally had. We made $333 on all small items! If you look in the sidebar on the right of the screen you will see that I've now made over half of my goal of $1000! I'm so pumped about that I can practically hear the waves crashing already!

There are a few things we did to make this sale a success and I wanted to share with you what worked for us that helped us get such a large amount of money on smaller household items and clothing.

1.) Signage
This is probably the biggest one. You can't sell a whole lot if you don't have enough people show up. The key is to make sure the signs are legible and clearly state the facts. We used a full poster board for the main road leading into the subdivision and put "Yard Sale" in big letters along with the address and the times along with an arrow pointing in the right direction. At every turn, we had another sign that was about the size of half a posterboard with the same information. At one point, one of the shoppers complimented us on our excellent signs and told us it made it so much easier to find us! My husband is to thank for this and we stayed busy ALL DAY! We did share the event on the local Facebook yard sale group, but that's about all the marketing we did. Some put it in the local papers and Craigslist, so I couldn't imagine what would've happened had we done all of that.

2.) Organization

People don't know if they want something if they can't see it. So, making things easy to spot is key. I organized the sale into areas: clothes, accessories, office, kitchen, home decor, technology, books, movies, and music along with a small box for kids items (we didn't have much in that area). When people picked through the areas, we would go and rearrange the items so they were all easy to see. Because of this, I noticed people who were looking for specific items knew exactly where to go and usually found something they wanted.

3.) Variety

Along with organization, we had so many different things. It didn't matter who showed up, there was something for everyone!  Since we're significantly pairing down all our stuff, this made it easy to have a variety for the sale. But if you find yourself only having only a few groups of things, perhaps find a friend who would be willing to work together to do a sale. Multi-family sales are great at having a variety!

4.) Price

Sometimes when we value something, the price we ask for it ends up being a little more than the average person would want to pay for the used item. Understanding the original price of the items is great, but also understanding what people are willing to pay for it is important. If you search for garage sale price lists on Pinterest, you'll find several very helpful guides about how to price items. Keep in mind that some people may also try to negotiate a lower price. In that case, use wisdom.

At the beginning of our sale, a man came by and offered me $20 for a box of over 50 DVDs. Knowing I could get that amount by selling them online, I turned him down. He acted like I was crazy. However, over the rest of the day, I made about $20 off that box selling them off one by one. At the end of the sale another man came by and offered me $20 for the rest. I accepted his offer. Had I jumped the gun too soon, I would've only gotten half of the total I made off that box of DVDs!

5.) Day and Time

I don't know a whole lot of Friday yard sales that work well. Most people are working. I find Saturdays are the best. Also, people who frequent yard sales come out early and are done by mid-afternoon. We elected to have ours between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Yet, people were still showing up well after 1. I think the next one, we may try staying open until 3 p.m.

Another important factor is weather; if it's hot, you may not have a whole lot of people show up in the afternoon (which is the hottest part of the day). If there's rain, you can just forget about it! A partly cloudy day in the 70's and 80's is best with a light breeze. Saturday gave us the perfect weather and we succeeded because of it.

What about you? What are some things that have helped you have great yard sales in the past?


  1. Wonderful tips! Yard sales are not really a thing here in Finland but if there ever is one, I'll remember these. Thank you for sharing!

    ♥ Jasmin N
    // Little Things With Jassy

  2. Interesting...never organised one or participated before

  3. I'm planning to do one in June! So excited. Thanks for the tips. Hoping I can make some money with my old junk!

  4. Majority of people show up between 10 a.m -3 p.m These are great tips you have.

  5. Great tips! But i've never organized a garage sale, because I throw old junk directly. Thanks for sharing <3 -

  6. I have always been a bit sad that we don't have yard sales where I live, they sound fun!

  7. Thanks for the reminder! I need to hold a garage sale's been a long time so I enjoyed reading these tips!

  8. very interesting and relevant information