Here are some things to consider when planning a garage sale:
1. Time of year.
Consider the climate where you live. If you live in a place with cold winters, you will want to have a garage sale when the weather is not too cold for shoppers to comfortably browse. If you have the sale when the weather is very warm, consider having cold soda for sale.
2. Garage sale dates.
A good time may be then when is an annual neighborhood sale or an event which attracts people to your town. I find that a holiday weekend (Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends, in particular) may not be the best time.
3. Advertise your sale.
Avid garage salers often plan their route before they start shopping; put your ad there where your community posts their upcoming garage sales – your local newspaper and/or Craigslist, for example. Include dates and times your sale will be open.
4. Have easy to read signs.
When making signs for your sale, make the lettering easily readable from a car. If you post signs from intersections some distance from your home, state on the sign how far away the sale is, or name the neighborhood where you live. For example, ‘Garage Sale, Thurs., Fri., Sat., 9 – 5, 2 miles’ with an arrow. And then be sure to post a sign at each place your shopper should turn. You should also be able to save your signs to use for your next garage sale.
Be sure to follow the regulations of your town as to where and how you can post your garage sale signs.
5. Attractive set-up.
Set up your items so shopping is a pleasant experience. Many shoppers will not take time to look through every item in one garage sale to find something which fits their needs. A well organized sale will help shoppers to easily locate items they are looking for, thus promoting sales.
Signs within your sale are helpful for the shoppers. Separate clothes by gender and size or approximate age, and post a sign for each general group of items (example: ‘sizes infant – 2T’; ‘Boy- sizes 6 – 10’; or ‘Women’s clothes, sizes S – M’; also separate household items, tools, toys, etc.)
I have found it helpful to shoppers to have as many of the clothes as possible on hangers. It is easy to really see the items this way, and they don’t get messed up as easily as clothing stacked on a table. Also, as items are purchased from the hangers, hang more from those stacked on tables.
You are hoping to make money, and the shopper is looking for a good deal; with thoughtful pricing, salesperson and shopper can both be happy. Be ready to consider price negotiation.
7. Have enough cash on hand.
You may lose sales if you do not have the exact change on hand to give to each customer as they make their purchase.
Planning and preparing a well organized garage sale is lots of work; the reward of having a successful garage sale makes it feel like it was worth all the work put into preparing!