A Few Ideas for Creating a
SUCCESSFUL GARAGE SALE
- Make every item look as good as possible. Shine it
up, clean it up. Put a new bulb in the lamp, a fresh battery in the
flashlight. Have an extension cord handy so you can show how good that radio
sounds or prove that the lamp works. Promise buyers they can return an item
before the close of the sale for a full refund if it doesn’t work when they
get it home.
- Put a price on every item—a lot of people are too shy
to ask if there’s no price listed. Be prepared to haggle in a good-natured
way: everybody loves a bargain!
- Mention a few choice items in any pre-sale
advertising, and use brand names if they make the item more attractive (“Sony
- Signs directing people to your sale should be on
colorful heavy paper and be consistent in color. Make the lettering big
(drivers don’t have much time to make a decision) and clear, with arrows, an
address, and sale time. Place the first signs at nearby intersections, and
make them closer together the nearer they are to your house. Don’t affix them
to telephone poles, and ask permission to place them on trees. Remove them
- Offer seniors and students a discount—say 15% to
20%—and don’t mind if an occasional “senior” or “student” looks about 45.
People love to think they’ve got a special bargain for themselves, and you’ll
sell more unwanted stuff. That’s your goal, isn’t it?
- Offer items like books and CDs on a “buy one, get one
free” basis. Your sales will skyrocket!
- Create a “jumble box” in which everything inside it
is 50 cents or 99 cents. Put non-breakables in the box, because people will
paw through it looking for treasures.
- If you’re selling clothing, a discreet dressing room
would be great, but a large mirror is essential.
- If an item is broken, label it as such and price it
accordingly. Some people find a challenge in making the broken work again,
like watches or lamps.
- Time your sale a week before a local church or
organization is having a rummage sale. Then ship all your unsold merchandise
to that sale. Your unsold items will benefit a good cause and you’ll have
saved yourself a melancholy trip to the town dump!
- Clothes racks are the best way to display clothing on
hangars. If you don’t have one, an unused swing set or extension ladder
suspended between two high points can serve the same purpose.
- Display tables can be plywood on cinder blocks or saw
horses. Just cover them with colorful fabrics, even old bed sheets.
- If you have good furniture or antiques, let local
antique dealers have a look at them before the sale. You might get a better
price for some items—or at least be sure of getting rid of them—and the
dealers might be happy to post your sale flyer in their stores.
- If an item has an interesting history, attach a tag
with a short note. Use such notes to give important information, such as
“table cloth is 30 x 90” or “circa 1935”.
Have more ideas about how to make
garage sales and
yard sales more successful?
Please send them to us at