Plan Your Garage Sale Like a Pro

Setting up your garage sale can be such a hassle because it's more than just putting up a table and greeting customers. There is plenty of preparation to be done, but if you want to be a garage sale expert, there are a few ground rules to keep in mind.

Have a Purpose and Maximize Profits

Knowing the reason for the garage sale may seem like common sense but it's all a part of the planning process. If you're moving or just need some extra cash, it's probably a good idea to put items to the side early. More than likely you'll need a simple to use inventory software app for your phone or computer. This will help you keep track of all the items you have and give you an idea of how much you can make. Electronics that are barely used with the original box and manual can be worth a little more but prepared to do some haggling. If you have some really nice items, you may want to take them to a consignment shop or sell them on eBay; you can get better prices for them. Any textbooks, you can find go to local used text book store or put them up on Amazon if you see the prices are worth it.

Advertise According to the Rules

Some neighborhoods have strict rules about advertising for anything. Chances are you'll need a permit to have a sale so it's a good idea to get that done the minute you've picked the date. Some allow you to place flyers around the neighborhood while others only allow one or two signs on the lawn. Don't try to get around local laws; if you try to tell yourself that no one will ever know, that's usually a signal that you'll get caught. When it comes to offline advertising, you are limited in certain ways. You can make up for that by asking certain businesses, like the local grocery store, if you could put up a flyer on the premises.

Don't forget online options. You may want to stay away from Craigslist on account of the potential danger but you can try where people search for local garage sales by map. If you're really serious, you can do Facebook advertising. It will cost you a little money but you can target your advertising or even do sponsored posts with item pictures. With your online inventory software, you can make notes as to which items you used in advertising to help you get an idea of which item attracted more customers. That way, you can plan for your next garage sale with more know-how. So neighborhood rules aside, you still have plenty of options.

Make It a Welcoming Experience For Shoppers

There are people who do nothing but hit garage sales early. These are the ones looking for their treasure. It's a good idea to do the pricing ahead of time, at least the night before, and get your tables ready by 7am at the latest. It's a good idea to have some cash and coins on hand to make change. A good guideline is to have at least $20-$40 in one-dollar bills on hand, depending on the size of your garage sale. You can even have some fresh coffee ready for the morning shoppers; it's a great way to build rapport and can lead to better sales. If you've done your advertising well, you should get a strong turnout. Make quick notes of which items sold and log them at the end of the day in your online inventory software program.

If you're still having a problem planning your garage sale, do a little local research and find out when the largest employer in the area pays employees, then have the sale that weekend. Getting people when they have extra money to spend is one of the best ways to make the most of your opportunity.


Krista has developed a passion for operational strategy via KPI management, streamlined processes, implementation of automation systems, and scaling Asset Panda. When she isn't attempting to help take the company to new heights, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, playing golf, cooking, and a good glass of wine.

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