For Sale: Hosting a stellar garage sale

By April Tisher

Garage sales, yard sales, tag sales and rummage sales. It seems it depends on what part of the country you are from determines what you call them, but the concept is all the same. Take the things you currently own, but no longer need or want and sell them to others. It is a great way to make some extra cash and declutter your home at the same time. While some may point to online yard sales on social media as the new way of selling outgrown baby clothes or those tennis racquets you never use, in person garage sales are still very much a popular thing!

When planning a garage sale, location matters — a lot. If you live in an area that does not get a lot of traffic, ask if you can go in with another friend who may live in a more popular area for garage sales. Or consider renting a table or booth at a community or church sale. You will also want to be sure to go to the bank the day before the sale to get cash to have on hand for making change. Invariably the first person in line will have an item worth $.50 and pay with a $20.

When selecting a day to host your sale, make sure to select a time at which the whole family is available to help. You will need someone dedicated to the money. You do not want to get distracted answering questions or helping someone and lose track of other merchandise or your money. It is also helpful to have someone who can help move larger items to the cars of shoppers or to bag smaller purchases.

Kimberly Depue is a local garage sale guru. She hosts at least two of her own garage sales a year and frequents garage sales around town to find the best deals. Depue offered some of her own top tips on having a successful sale.

  • Pick the right time. Depue said she likes to have a sale mid-fall around October and again in the spring around late February or early March. She prefers it not be near a holiday and likes either the 1st or the 15th of the month to coincide with many paydays.
  • Prep and price! Depue said she sets her tables up in the garage ahead of time Then on the morning of the sale she can move the tables out ready to go. She also puts price stickers on everything in advance to limit the amount of questions she receives about price and haggling. As far as haggling goes, she won’t entertain it early in the day, preferring to wait until after 10 a.m. to consider lowering her prices so that her items have a chance to be sold at asking price. For clothing she recommended making signs indicating across the board pricing; i.e “All tops are $3.”
  • In the past Depue used to always list her sales on Craigslist, but she said she finds these days there are so many garage sales occurring in her area that just putting out signs the morning of generates a lot of traffic on its own. She does not, however, put signs out the night before to cut down on early bird traffic.
  • Have small children take part by having a cookie and lemonade sale during the yard sale! Kids love to help in this way, and who can resist cookies from a kid?

All in all, be prepared to make some money and have some stuff left over. If you are not prepared to make it a two-day or even two-weekend sale, then go ahead and take what is left over to a charitable source of your liking!