Organize a Garage Sale

Need a little extra cash? Then organize a garage sale as a great way to turn your clutter, , unwanted household items and out-grown clothes into cold hard cash. However, it’s important when planning your garage sale to make sure you don’t accidentally sell something you really want.

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Yard Sale Planning Step One

The first step to organize a garage sale is to check with your city about any ordinances or laws governing holding garage sales. Some municipalities make you purchase a permit, which you must place in a prominent location, so the code enforcers can see it. Others limit the signage: numbers of signs, size and placement.

Additionally, some have laws governing how many times a year you may have a garage sale at your location. So learn the garage sale ordinances of your area, before even starting to organize a garage sale.

Tell Your Neighbors

Rather than competing with your neighbors and their garage or yard sales why not get them involved in yours? The bigger a bash it is, the more traffic you’re going to have.

Try to find a day that your neighbors can work with also, then have everybody put their things in the same place. If you can get the people on either side of you in on it everybody can put their items there and it becomes one huge yard sale.

The more sellers you have the more people you will attract.


Divvy Up the Tasks

Rather than have a  lot of people running around trying to do the same job, assign people to different tasks. When you organize a garage sale, give people specific tasks like managing crowds, answering questions, or handling the cash box. You might even provide entertainment like juggling if you have someone with that talent in your group.

You’ve heard the saying; too many cooks spoil the broth right? If you do a good job organizing you won’t have that problem.

How to Avoid Confusion and Delays

If you’re planning on selling electronics, or anything that needs to be plugged in, make sure you have extension cords and an outlet(s) handy. People don’t like to just take your word for things. If you can prove something works you’ll be able to sell you items for a greater value.

The same goes for your battery operated toys and appliances. Have new batteries available for people to test out the items in question. Don’t forget to have the right screwdrivers handy to open the battery compartments.

One mistake that people make when they organize a garage sale is to make sure they have plenty of change. Not being able to give out the right change can cost you some sales. Be sure to have a plethora of coins as well as small bills.

Pricing Suggestion

People get frustrated if they can’t figure out what an item costs. Buy different colored stickers and designate each color a different dollar amount.

In other words, blue means a dollar, red is seventy-five cents, and so on.Post signs that show your color coded system so people can easily see what an item costs without having to run around and find someone to ask.

Maybe even have one color for items you are willing to negotiate if you are unsure of a price you’re willing to accept.

Another way to price is to have a $1 table, price all clothes one price, tools for another, etc.

Warning: Don't set your prices too high or be "too proud" of your stuff, because a lot of shoppers will turn and walk away, figuring you really don't want to sell your stuff, or that you are trying to sell used stuff as "new". Starting with prices too high will hurt you in the end, and you'll end up repacking and putting into storage those things you were hoping to sell.

Yard Sale Advertising

When you organize a garage sale, you want to use every avenue possible to ensure shoppers find you. With the coming of the internet, smartphones and GPS, customers now have numerous ways to find your sale. However, it’s up to you to take advantage of putting notification of your garage sale out where people will see it.

In addition to placing an ad in your local newspaper, you can place a notification on your local Craigslist.

Next place your ad on the online website, Yard Sale Treasure Map, a free yard sale planning tool, or Garage Sale Finder, which is also free. Both of these incorporate a mapping feature, so that garage salers can plan their route.

Sale Day

To help shoppers find you, you need to make  roadside signs. Some of you may have the luck of location while others will need a series of signs leading people to your location.

You will probably have to compete with other garage sales so try to pick out a bright paper for your signs. Hang the first one on a busy street where everyone will see it, then leave a trail of signs from that one leading to your house. You might even use balloons to mark the destination of the garage sale.

If you use bright colored poster board people will be able to follow your signs without reading them. It’s a lot like following a trail of breadcrumbs,.

Note: Garage sale day is NOT the day to sleep in; garage salers are early birds. If you have signs out, you need to make sure you are up and at 'em bright and early. Nothing is more aggravating for shoppers that to follow signs to a location, only to get there and find the tables covered and no one around.

A Final Note

The key to a successful yard sale is organization more than anything. When you organize a garage sale make sure you pick a day when the weather forecast says your area should be dry and not too cold.

That means if you have to wait a month or two it will be worth it. Very few people are going to be out looking for garage sales in the rain. The wait will be well worth it.

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