How to host a Profitable Garage Sale
Post ads in the local newspaper, on Gumtree and with signs taped to street posts in your area. The better advertised your garage sale is, the more likely it is people will show up. Be specific about where it is – if your garage is more accessible by using an alley beside or behind your house, note that in the ad. Then tie balloons to your mailbox and wait for customers. It’s ok to be incredibly strict on what time your sale begins, to avoid too many people knocking on your door before 6am… because yes, that absolutely happens.
Sort the trash from the treasure
You may need to rope in a friend or two for this task. Sort through everything you’re looking to get rid of with a critical eye and decide whether each is trash or treasure… that is to say, is it likely someone would purchase it? It’s completely reasonable to have a basket of ‘free to a good home’ items, as these act as an extra incentive for people to buy other items. Anything left over from the free box can be donated to your local charity shop before your move.
It’s a garage sale and it’s important to remember that these items have been loved and used for many years. Trying to sell something at a price too high will leave buyers cold as they know a brand new equivalent won’t cost them too much more, but you also don’t want to price too low and miss out on snagging a few extra dollars. Compare what you’re selling on Gumtree and eBay to get a good idea of how to price items, and let potential buyers negotiate… better to get rid of an item at a slightly lower price than later find it a burden.
Play it safe
Try to organise your kids to sleep over at another friend’s house the night before a garage sale and invested in a lockable money box. While you’re unlikely to see any in safe suburban areas, garage sales can often attract unsavoury types who may make young children feel uncomfortable. We also recommend locking pets inside your house for the duration of the sale and ensuring your house is locked up, so that no one enters it without your knowledge.
Before your garage sale, hit up the bank for some coins and smaller notes so that you’re prepared to make change for those customers who only show up with large denominations on the day. Make sure you know exactly how much change you had in your make shift till before the sale, so that you can accurately split any earnings if you’ve shared the sale with a friend.