Dana White, of A Slob Comes Clean, was in studio with us (via Skype) and shared some garage sale insights on our show WARNING! Garage Sales May Be Habit-Forming. Dana knows a LOT…maybe a little too much? 🙂
Here are 5 tips to help YOU have a successful garage sale.
Tip #1 – Know if a garage sale is right for you!
Garage sales are not for everyone. Spending hours setting up, borrowing card tables from friends, making pricing decisions and sweating out in the heat while people rifle through your discards may not be for you.
On the contrary, if you have a goal (Tip #2) and the time to have a sale then having a garage sale may be perfect.
If you are debating whether having a garage sale or donating everything is right for you read Dana’s post Having a Garage Sale or Donating It All – A Declutterer’s Dilema.
Tip #2 – Have a clear goal.
You are not having a garage sale to get rich. Here are two goals for having a garage sale. Choose one.
- To get rid of your clutter
- To raise money for a cause
After filling her home with garage sale bargains, Dana’s goal was now to declutter her home. She sold all of her “clutter” in the process. Her main goal when having her garage sales was to GET RID of everything.
Our friend Kym’s goal is to make money to buy her two girls’ school clothes. She has a room in her basement that holds her garage sale items. A couple times a year she has a sale and uses that money to fund her daughter’s stylish attire.
Chelle’s daughter, Sydney, and a group of high school students had a garage sale to raise money for their mission trip to the Peru. I’ve seen many sales raising money for churches, baseball teams or other causes.
Tip #3 – A Garage Sale should be your LAST resort.
A garage sale is not your chance to set up a boutique in your driveway. BEFORE your garage sale you should try to sell anything you think might be “worth something.” Check ebay, craig’s list and the resale and consignment stores. Don’t wait until your sale is over to find out that the consignment store wouldn’t take the baby clothes that didn’t sell or that your grandma’s tea cup really isn’t worth anything. Putting items into your sale should be your last option.
SECRET: Use eBay’s completed listings to find whether your treasures are “worth something” NOT the auction. You can see what actually sold and for how much. Here’s how to find the completed listings.
Tip #4 – Price cheap and use categories to help you achieve your goal.
People that shop at garage sales go to find great deals. Price your stuff CHEAP so you get rid of it, thus making more money. Before you have a sale shop some garage sales so you know what a good price is!
Using categories is a great marketing strategy (yes, use marketing strategies at your garage sale!) to create excitement. Be sure your descriptions and pricing signage is clear. Dana used the example “All baby clothes size 2T are $ .50.” Or, all books: $.25, all shoes: $ .50.
Tip #5 – Prepare Your Mind.
Having the right mindset will help your sale be a success. Keep your goal – to get rid of everything or to raise money for a cause (not get rich) – in the front of your mind. This allows you to barter, price cheap, and think kind thoughts towards the people that come to your sale. Why do you need kind thoughts?
- You know those people that come at the crack of dawn knocking on your garage door before the official start time? They are your biggest fans and your new friends. Ask them to spread the word about your sale.
- You know those people that swoop in and buy 25 baby items that you priced cheap and you KNOW they are going to take them to their shop and resell them at a higher price and make a lot more money than you did? It is okay! They are part of your success. They have a lot of work ahead of them – hanging them, pricing them, paying overhead, manning the shop or paying someone to do it. Thank them and be thankful that you are free from the stuff!
- You know the person that will come and buy something of yours and then repaint it making it look fabulous and resell it? Be okay with it! You don’t have to purchase paint, research, store it, list it, deal with the inventory, maybe not get it to sell, etc. Refocus on your goal and be thankful there are people out there wanting your stuff!
Here’s to your successful garage sale! Now, jump over to Dana’s blog and read her series – Garage Sale Tips and Tricks From the Girl Who Knows Too Much...she really does!