Garage sale tips to boost your money

top 8 garage sales tips

So you have a garage that looks like a rubbish tip, you have things to sell, and you need money? Well then let’s get your garage sales underway with these top garage sale tips!

1) Have an outcome.

You need to have a solid outcome for your garage sale, you must KNOW what you want to achieve through it. Are you looking to buy that new pair of jeans? Or are your goals more grandiose… do you want to take a big trip across the state and stay in a nice hotel? If you have the latter in mind, you’d better have lots of valuable junk in your house AND you’d better not get sentimental about selling it! Garage sale tip number 1: If you haven’t used any particular item in the last 6 months and/or don’t expect to use it regularly in the future, SELL IT!

2) Advanced planning.

Seriously guys (and gals), what good is having a garage sale if no one knows about it? That’s right!
Don’t make this rookie mistake. As any good event planner knows, you absolutely MUST start letting as many local people know about your event as early as possible. So tip 2: Advertise your garage sale AT LEAST 3 weeks before the actual date, and KEEP DOING IT until the day arrives. It’s also worth having prepared an area where things can stay dry in the event of bad weather! These are your products and you have to keep them in good condition if you’re going to make the most money out of them.

3) Product presentation.

To make money you have to invest some TLC (tender-loving care) time. Part of this time and a good tip, is to ensure your garage sale items are at the minimum DUST-FREE and clean. This alone can add another 10% value onto bigger items such as hi-fi speakers & electronics, along with wooden furniture pieces. If you can give them a quick polish then all the better! Shiny means ‘like new’ remember!

4) Have  ‘loss-leader’ set of items.

Now, this goes contrary to what a lot of folks do (and why so few people stop by to check out their garage), but will actually be of real use to you in your garage sale. The aim here is to ATTRACT CUSTOMERS. How is this done?
Well, hopefully you have lots of low-cost items such as mugs or plates; armed with these items, make sure you put big price labels on them and in big marker pen write ‘$1′ or ’50 cents’ on them. Place these cheap, enticing products at the very front of your display. This will get many people who walk down the street interested and they will pop over to check out anything that suits them (and here’s where you sell them the real money-making goods).

5) Community selling.

Ideally you know your neighbors. Now, if you’re the leader-type, you can walk over to your neighbors one evening and tell them about your amazing garage sale day and INVITE TO JOIN IN with their own sales. This way you can get all your neighbors advertising toward the same date for you and really increase the number of potential customers to your street and your particular lot. The only potential downside of this tip is that your neighbors may have far cooler stuff than you, and despite more customers, all your stuff will be overlooked. On the other hand, you are guaranteed your neighbors will turn up at least so the day won’t be a complete waste.

6) Promote. Promote. Promote. Like Don King!

Get on social media, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter… take photos of all your items quickly and post them out. See if anything is in high demand! Don’t restrict yourself to selling on the garage sale day itself. That’s a key garage sale tip. Ask your friends how much they would pay for what you have, get their feedback, then have a pricing strategy ready for the day.

7) On the day – SELLING THE PRICE.

Here’s a biggie. THE MOST IMPORTANT of garage sale tips out there. And a subject I have dedicated an entire book to called Tipping The Sales. This book covers everything you need to know about the practicalities of selling in everyday situations and more. If have have a few dollars / pounds / yen / euros then go check it out as you should easily make back the money in seconds using it. A few pointers though…
a) In negotiations, you can start high and go low, but you can’t go high if you start low. If you want to sell for $6, you’d better start at £12… or if you’re in China, start at $18!
b) If you give someone enough reasons to buy, they will want to buy. Ask the person what they like and why, find out how much they have to spend if they find something really amazing… then meet their needs with suitable items you have.
c) People interested in buying only back out if you say NO to something (e.g. the price is $15… they ask if they can pay $5… you say NO, they walk away. OR you could say YES and get $10. OR you could say it’s a little less than you could bare to part with it for, but you’ll throw in a mug free (a $1 item) to soften the blow and give them more value.
d) Enthusiasm sells. The more the customer buys into you, the more the customer will be willing to give you his hard-earned cash. So tell him your story and he will return such a noble gesture with his business.

8) Timing.

Garage sale tips are useless unless your event is at a suitable time. Look at other garage sales and think about when your target audience will be available to attend – this will normally be a weekend afternoon.

Ok, so there you have it, some core ideas for your garage sale.
I’m sure there are many more garage sale tips out there, but honestly, these are the ones that matter most.

So get started with the planning and try to incorporate all these garage sale tips to make your sale the most profitable yet!
Let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear, and if you have any questions feel free to comment :)

– until next time.


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