Organising a successful garage sale, plus the ultimate garage sale printables pack

To continue on from sorting through your clutter and deciding between selling or donating your items, I’m going to move forward and share with you some of my garage sale tips.

I have had quite a few garage sales over the years.  The first was when I decided I was happy with 3 children and knew I would have no more.  At that stage my brothers were not married and no close friends were having kids and we needed a bit of extra cash so I put on a monster garage sale.  We had everything baby, cots, porta cots, prams, strollers, clothes, Tupperware, office chairs, old gaming consoles, I had a big clean out.  I also sold my maternity clothes and clothes that I knew I would never wear again.  Our neighbours hosted a garage sale on the same day so it was a great street event.   Since then we have run a garage sale every 2 years.  I think I am now garage sale’d out, I have a niece that I can hand clothes down to now and for the odd thing I find I no longer need I am happy to put it on gumtree or donate to charity.

garage-sale-tips

Garage Sale Printable Sign Pack

I have created the ultimate GARAGE SALE PRINTABLE SIGN PACK. The key to a successful garage sale is to be organised. This pack includes a checklist which will help you organise a garage sale along with signs to advertise and place around your items for sale and I’ve included an editable flyer, so you can leave details on the local community notice board.

click here to purchase - blue

Preparing for a garage sale

  • The best day to run a garage sale is on a Saturday and pick a date that allows you enough time the day before to prepare
  • Don’t run it over a long weekend as you may lose some customers as they will be going away
  • Ensure that you have enough tables so everything is at waist height and easy to look at
  • If you don’t have enough consider turning boxes upside and storing on top of the box just to get them off the ground
  • Don’t sell dirty items

Advertise

  • Contact your local newspaper a fortnight before just to ensure you meet deadline, I have found the ad’s have been beneficial and worth the price of bringing in a lot more customers.
  • Put an ad on your local community board (I have included an editable flyer in the garage sale pack, see image below)
  • Tell your neighbours you are having a sale, they may have one along with you which means you can go halves in the newspaper ad and they can help you put up the signage

Signs

Put up signs to give direction to your garage sale.  Personally I don’t find the need to put addresses on the signs, as motorists should have their eyes on the road and not reading small details.  Arrows on a garage sale sign are enough.

Please look up your council regulations, never put signs on or over street signs, you will be fined.  Also ensure you remove the signs the next day, if council has to remove them you will receive a fined.

How I made our signs

When I ran my first garage sale I used the black and white version of the signs below, taped them onto cardboard, then spray painted the edges of the cardboard in bright pink spray paint, nailed them to a stake then hammered the stake into the ground of all intersections from my house to the main road.  It was really effective, pity I don’t have a photo to show you, but honestly they stood out from the rest of the signs, so nobody could get confused.

I have included both coloured and black & white versions of signs in the pack

Setting up

  • Set up and ensure everything is priced the night before.
  • Price items with either: all items on this table are $___, individual spot stickers on each item or I also liked to use masking tape as a price sticker as its easy to tear.
  • Keep all items you will have outside securely in your garage overnight.
  • When setting up in the morning, put your garage half way up and do not let anybody in until you have completely set up.  You will find some people so eager to get in and buy things before your ready, that it then gets hectic and unmanageable.  I kid you not we had about 10 people waiting for our 6am garage sale one year.
  • Put clothes on hangers if you can, it’s easier for people to sort through.  Previously I used a broom resting on top of two chairs.  You can hang kids clothes from hangers on a clothes hoist.
  • If you have a lot of clothes consider offering to fill a bag for $10.  Buy 2 ornaments get one free.
  • I’m not an expert on how much items should sell at a garage sale, it’s honestly a guessing game, but I usually price items between 50-70% of what it cost me to buy.  However it really does depend on the quality of the item, if it is in impeccable condition you could only reduce it by 20-30% off what you originally paid for it.

What is your best garage sale tip?

I’ve included tracking pages in the pack in case friends give you items to sell for them, along with an extensive checklist

Loads of different signs have been included. These red ones below can be folded in half and sit tent like on top of the table.

Table signs, to clearly label for the busy lookers

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Moving-Home-Planner-and-checklist-1

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6 comments

greger May 9, 2013 - 7:17 PM

rgergergegrger

Reply
Susan May 10, 2013 - 7:35 AM

Hi Kat, I recent had my first Garage Sale. It was part of a new local council initiative caled “My Super Street Sale”. The whole suburb was involved, and we had over 30 houses involved! We had free advertising and flyers and there was maps with all the participating houses marked so we could be found. A great idea.

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Nicole May 10, 2013 - 9:41 AM

My tip – dont include your house number in the ads, just the street name and then ‘Signs out at 6am’ or whatever time – we have had people knocking on the door at 4am and jumping the fence to get in first. We keep everything out of sight until ready to go and put the signs out when we are happy for people to come in.

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Genevieve Casucci May 10, 2013 - 10:24 AM

Brilliant! I needed this 2 weeks ago when I did my first one, but you’ve inspired me to do another with the stuff that didnt sell, and this time to join forces with a neighbour. We made $500 on a long weekend from our Garage sale. Some of the money went back to the kids as most of the proceeds were from their old toys, the rest has been our “flutter fund” used on incidentals like school lunch orders, excursions, car park change etc. Even though it took ages to de-clutter and set up for the sale, it was SO worth it.

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MarcioWilges November 2, 2015 - 1:27 PM

Garage sales are an awesome way to help declutter your home especially when house removals are looming on the horizon. The less things that move, the cheaper the whole operation will be!

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Sandra Roe March 20, 2017 - 9:24 PM

Hi Kat, I have held garage sales over the years. Some were very successful but not all were as successful as hoped.
I want to venture into advertising on the local sites but have difficulty setting up the ads. I have taken photos but have difficulty
taking them from my Smart Phone to my PC. I have to learn how to do this I know.
Then the major problem (for me as I am 74 and cannot do things I once could do), is actually getting the advert onto the site.
Do you have any ideas for me to achieve this. No family lives nearer than 150 Ks so i cannot get the younger generation to do it for me. Please consider how an older lady can carry this off?
Any help would be appreciated. Bye, Sandra Roe

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