Raking In The Dough: How To Run A Successful Garage Sale

Raking In The Dough: How To Run A Successful Garage Sale

Got some preloved stuff lying around your home? Looking to turn your clutter into cash with a good old-fashioned garage sale?

Some prior preparation could help you pocket a decent amount of money. And that’s certainly better than sitting alone in an empty yard with nothing but your boxes of crap and a broken heart. Like this:

Unsuccessful Garage Sale

Follow these tips to boost your chances of running a successful garage sale.


Choose the Best Time for Your Garage Sale

Trying to choose a date for your garage sale is much like choosing a date for your wedding. Rain is a problem, and people can get crazy in the heat (cue single women diving on each other to catch the bouquet).

While weather forecasts aren’t entirely reliable, you should still look up the chances of rain before you lock in your weekend of choice. Thunderstorms have a weird way of keeping shoppers away – and the strong winds will leave your carefully arranged box of porcelain cat statuettes scattered all over your driveway. Meow-ch.

As for the best time of day? For the greatest results, you’ll want to set up camp from dawn to dusk. Or at least from mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

Top tip: Plan your garage sale around the school holidays, when families have time to loiter around your front yard (and parents are dying to get their kids out of the house).


Get the Word Out

Advertise Garage Sale

The best way to attract buyers is to get promoting. Not sure how to advertise a garage sale? Try placing an ad in your local paper and putting up signs on community notice boards around your neighbourhood.

And shout all about it on social media. Facebook isn’t just for adorable dog memes, y’know! Do a quick search of ‘garage sales [your suburb]’ to see if there’s already a page/group for front yard entrepreneurs in your area.

Top tip: You can also stand at the front of your home shouting the details of your garage sale through a megaphone. But while this might be effective (might), it could also land you in lockup for being a public nuisance. We can’t be held responsible for this.


Price Your Items

People go to garage sales on the hunt for a bargain. You might think that Snoopy cookie jar is adorable (and you’re right). But it’s pretty unlikely that anyone is going to pay more than $5 for it.

When it comes to pricing garage sale items, you’ve got to be reasonable. Ultimately, you want to get rid of your preloved stuff, so be sure to keep your prices sensibly low to make the sale. It should still add up to be a handsome sum in the end. *fingers crossed*

Top tip: Organise items by price range to make it easier for the real bargain hunters (you know, the ones who try to talk you down from $1 to 50c). Clearly mark tables with signs such as:

  • $2 and under
  • 3 for $10
  • Make an offer you cheapskate*

*Insulting potential buyers may not result in a sale.


Prepare Your Yard

Preparing for Garage Sale

If your yard is overgrown with neck-high grass or unruly hedges, your garage sale won’t look very enticing. Plus, you know what they say about long grass.

While there’s no need to run out and hire a professional landscaper, a general tidy-up is a must to set the scene for your garage sale. Get out the mower, the chainsaw, the electric beaters – whatever you need to tame your yard and get it looking the goods.

Top tip: While dogs are incredible and we should honour them in every way, stepping in their poo is never a good time. If your pooch is prone to dropping one on the front lawn, be sure to get scooping before your garage sale to avoid any smelly missteps.


Create a Vibe

While your cheap castoffs are the star of your garage sale, it doesn’t hurt to create an atmosphere to draw people in. There are a few simple things you can do to create a welcoming and happening vibe at your garage sale. Why don’t you:

  • Hang some fairy lights
  • Embrace your inner Pinterest addict and get crafty with an eye-catching sign
  • Play some music
  • Have some fun by donning a colourful wig
  • Hire a flying acrobatics team.

Top tip: Serving lemonade or cold water is a great way to win over potential buyers, emotionally manipulating them to give you their money.


List Unsold Items Online

Selling Clothes Online

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t sell everything at your garage sale – there’s always the internet!

Listing leftover stuff on eBay will help you reach a wider audience. And this means more chances of making a sale, especially if it’s a niche item.

Top tip: Can’t be stuffed cleaning your yard, changing out of your pyjamas, and putting down your glass of red? Well, scrap the garage sale idea altogether and sell all your stuff on eBay. Your best bet is to start with smaller items such as clothes, books and DVDs to save on shipping costs.


Read some more tips on holding a garage sale and selling online in this handy article.

Need to clear out the garage first? Consider moving all that stuff into a storage unit instead. Discover our affordable, flexible options here and book today. Otherwise you can grab some boxes from our box shop here.

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