How to Make More Money From a Garage Sale

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For some people, a garage sale is an opportunity to really clean house and get organized, and for others it is pure drudgery. But one goal that most share is the desire to make more money from the garage sale, and these tips show you how.

Things You'll Need

  • Price tags
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Garage sale signs or colored poster board
  • Black permanent markers
  • Cash
  • Prepare your items for sale. Whether it takes dusting, stain removal or a tightened screw, a small time investment will pay off. If you really want to sell dirty or damaged items as is, price accordingly. Discount worn or dirty items as much as 40 to 75 percent; otherwise, the items will typically not sell. Worn-looking clothes should be kept separate from those in good condition.

  • Price your items to sell to make more money from a garage sale. Price items competitively--compare online if needed--rather than based on what you paid for an item or your attachment to it. Many people will not try to negotiate and simply pass on overpriced items. By day's end, you may be compelled to take an offer lower than a reasonable price.

  • Discount prices after the first day and add a sign showing your percentage off. This will better move hard-to-sell items and those that have been overpriced.

  • Advertise your garage sale heavily, and provide clear directions and plenty of directional signs. If thrifty shoppers have to work hard to find your sale, they often pass.

  • Make more money from a garage sale by reaching a broader audience. Use online and off-line free or paid advertising. Don't overlook Craigslist, local bulletin boards and newspapers. Use brightly colored construction paper and large block letters and numbers, or use commercial garage sale signs.

  • Display your garage sale goods in a way that attracts customers from the roadside. Spread out items from your garage onto your driveway, including both, if possible. Position a variety of attractions outside (furniture, clothes, housewares, tools, electronics) unless you're aiming to attract a singular audience, such as parents of small children. If clothing or toys block the view from the inside, spread these items out if you have more to sell.

  • Rotate goods to fill in large gaps as your sale thins out. Avoid mixing smaller, higher-priced items such as jewelry amidst a table of low-priced craft items that people, otherwise interested, are likely to overlook. Group items together by type, rather than price. Position at least a few in-demand, higher-end larger items such as furniture, appliances and electronics where they can be viewed from the roadside.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure that you have plenty of change and bills to break a $20 a few times over. Many sales are lost from lacking the proper change. Optimally start out with $100 in $5 and $1 denominations.
  • Make more money from a garage sale by pricing items clearly; often shoppers are hesitant to ask.
  • Encourage one or more neighbors to join, and have a multifamily garage sale to attract more customers.
  • For safety, keep only $50 or less on your person or in the till. Lock the rest safely in your house.

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