Like millions of consumers across the country, you probably realize that you have far too many possessions. According to a recent study, the average American spends nearly $700 a month on nonessential items.1 That adds up to a whole lot of goods we aren’t using and can even reduce the amount of living space available at home!
Hosting a garage sale can be a great way to help you earn money while decluttering your space. Garage sales are virtually free to host, but make sure you don’t need a license or permit. You shouldn’t expect to sell everything, but with the right setup, location and timing, you can make some real money.
While books dedicated to the art of decluttering and the craft of minimalism have been taking the bestseller’s lists by storm, this post can help you get the most out of a sale when your items are ready. Read on for nine tips on how to host a successful yard sale.
Market Your Event
Advertise in your newspaper, garage sale database and local event board, and don’t forget about Craigslist. Your event will likely be more successful if you make the effort to let people know about it. Holding your sale during a neighborhood-wide event can easily guide more visitors your way.
Location Is Everything
Your garage sale should be welcoming and easy to find. Don’t make people second-guess if you’re actually having a sale or cram everything inside a sweaty garage. Host your sale in a neighborhood with heavy foot traffic, and consider moving your items to the yard to avoid confusion. Hang a few brightly colored signs around the neighborhood for your event and greet people as they arrive.
Get the Timing Right
A two-day sale on a Friday and Saturday helps ensure a wide variety of people can attend. Most garage sales occur during the spring or late summer, so don’t wait until the weather gets too cold or too hot. Research events in your area to determine the most appropriate hours, and be ready to go at your advertised time.
Presentation Is Important
If the items you’re selling look dirty, they probably won’t fly off the shelves. Clean, wipe down or dust your items before they’re put out so everything looks more appealing.
Skip (Or Seriously Scale-Down) the Clothing
Clothing for adults is a hard sell at most yard sales. Don’t expect to unload your closet in one event. Trendy or flashy pieces might catch the eye, but they likely won’t be good choices for a garage sale to the general public. Too many racks of clothing stuffed to the max can easily overwhelm your visitors.
If you must sell clothing, limit yourself to a small selection of high-quality ensembles in an easy-to-navigate display. You may be able to unload designer or upscale pieces to consignment shops or other resale organizations for a better price than you could at a garage sale.
Accept Multiple Methods of Payments
Accepting credit or debit card payments is easy with a low-cost service like Square. Furthermore, you can take digital payments through services like Venmo or PayPal. Opening yourself up to digital or card transactions eliminates the excuse of not having enough cash and can be a major convenience to your guests.
If you’re getting visitors but aren’t seeing many transactions, your prices may be too high. List your prices on a “best offer” scale, and let shoppers know you’re willing to haggle.
Sell in Bulk
Offer a bulk discount for hard-to-sell items like books, games, movies and music. A great price is hard to beat, and you’ll have the opportunity to get rid of more stock.
Accommodate Your Guests
Handing out cool drinks can entice visitors to your garage sale over a slew of others in the area. If you’re selling electronics, have an outlet available for testing your items. Just try to put yourself in the mind of a visitor, and your conscientiousness will likely pay off with more items sold.
After your event, it’s a great idea to donate your unsold items to local charities. You’ll still be getting rid of your unwanted items, and the items are already out of your home.
1TD Ameritrade. (January 2019). The new basics survey. Exploring the non-essential must haves for the lifestyle of today. Retrieved March 7, 2019, from https://s1.q4cdn.com/959385532/files/doc_downloads/research/2019/New-Basics-Survey.pdf