7 Garage Sale Planning Tips to Maximize Your Profit


7 Garage Sale Planning Tips to Maximize Your Profit

Clear your clutter with these yard sale tips and ideas

Garage Sale Planning Tips to Maximize Your Profit
Garage Sale Planning Tips to Maximize Your Profit

Creating a successful garage sale is all about the planning. These garage sale tips will organize your sale ahead of time, so you'll be ready to sell your items to a large customer base.

When planning for your sale, there are three important aspects to remember: date, location, and advertising. Picking the perfect date for a suitable location will increase the number of organic customers, while advertising will reach those outside of your neighborhood for a larger group of shoppers.

These tips to maximize profits to create the best sale possible. Try these yard sale tips when planning your next sale.

The Perfect Date is Important

To have a great garage sale, you must pick the perfect date, or more realistically, a few perfect dates. Garage sales are typically held from late spring to early fall. There are pros and cons for planning your sale during peak weekends. You'll receive more traffic of those who bounce around sales, but unless your wares are better than all of your neighbors', customers are less likely to purchase a lot at any given sale. If you want to avoid the garage sale rush, try holding your sale in late April before most sales have started.

Pro tip: When planning for your yard sale, keep at least two consecutive weekends available so you can easily re-schedule your sale in case of inclement weather. 

The perfect date also means having your sale on the best days of the week. Saturday is always the safest bet as most people don't work and can shop at their leisure. A multi-day sale will invite more customers, so try expanding to Friday or Sunday to gain extra shoppers. 

Pro tip: Always start your sale early in the day. Most shoppers will attend before noon and customers will become more sporadic in the afternoon.

Location, Location, Location

Location is just as important as the date of your sale. The ideal location for a sale is near busy streets where drivers can quickly peruse your items from the road. If you live in a rural area or in the middle of a complicated housing division, think about teaming up with a friend or family member and host a joint sale at their home. You will have a better location and can advertise as a multi-family sale which will drum up extra customers.

It Pays to Advertise

The only way people will attend your sale is if they know about it. There are three great ways to advertise your garage sale: newspaper, online, and signage.

  1. Use the Newspaper.  While you will probably have to pay a small fee for a newspaper advertisement, many older shoppers will plan their routes according to what sales are listed in the paper. Make sure to include important information like your address, neighborhood, big-ticket items, and times and dates of the sale.

  2. Don't Forget about Online. Advertising your sale on Facebook and Craigslist will add customers to your sale and gives you the opportunity to include pictures of your items. If you have nicer items, some who find your photos online may be willing to drive farther for your sale.

  3. Have Proper Signage. Proper signage will ensure spontaneous shoppers attend your sale. The more signs you have, the better. Post them around your neighborhood and at busy intersections. Remember to include your address, dates and times of your sale, and directional arrows that will point customers to your sale. 

    Pro tip: Drivers have to be able to read your signs from the road. Make them bright with large, bold letters. Include minimal information so they can read it all in just a few seconds.

Organize Items

Before your sale, organize your items based on categories. Shoppers are more likely to browse through an organized sale than one where the items are randomly placed.

Pro tip: Price all your items individually. This will let shoppers know how much an item costs without having to ask and will keep you from having to remember what you wanted to charge for a specific piece. Be negotiable with prices though. Remember, you're trying to get rid of items, so be more willing to haggle at the end of your sale.

Other Tips

  1. Have Adequate Change. Make sure to start your sale with plenty of ones, fives, and quarters. Chances are your first customer will pay for a $1 item with a $20 bill.

  2. Consider Accepting Debit, Credit, or Paypal. Most people do not carry large amounts of cash with them, so they won't be able to purchase a lot at a cash-only sale. You can request a free credit card reader at Square that plugs into your smartphone or tablet. Square charges a 2.75% processing fee for each swipe, but you'll gain more customers by offering to accept credit or debit. You can also have customers transfer money to your Paypal account; just make sure to check that the purchase processes.

  3. Check Limitations. While uncommon, some communities have banned garage sales. Check with your municipality and neighborhood association to make sure you can host a sale at your home. You don't want to be shut down halfway through your sale.

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