Out with the old: 24 tips for holding a successful garage sale |
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Out with the old: 24 tips for holding a successful garage sale

by Jillian CariolaPublished: April 7, 2014Updated: June 14, 2018

If you are trying to get rid of pre-loved items by holding a garage sale, you can keep things organized with these surefire tips.


How to hold a garage sale MyProperty Philippines second hand items yard selling

Holding a garage sale is a very effective (and profitable) way of getting rid of stuff you no longer need, especially if you’re about to move to a smaller home and would like to scale down on possessions to avoid clutter. Even when you are simply renovating or redecorating your current home, you want to sell items that might deviate from the design you have in mind. But with all kinds of people clamoring for a good find, things might get a little out of hand. Here are a few helpful suggestions to keep things running smoothly.

Before the sale

1. Gather all the items you’ll be selling and place them in one area of the house. This will help keep you and your family members from mistakenly selling things that you actually still want. Be sure to check in pockets, zippers, boxes, etc. for money, receipts, or any important items you want to keep.

2. Price each item right. Overpricing can turn off potential customers and pricing too low will have you selling at a loss, so be careful. If you are not sure how much to sell an item for, visit online second-hand selling websites, find products similar to yours, and get their average selling prices.

3. Choose a time and date when you know you’ll get a good turnout. Weekends are always good, but make sure it’s not during long weekends, when people usually schedule vacations. Also, make sure there are enough family members or people at home to look after the garage sale; if not everyone can be present at the same time, ask which people are free on which date so you can take turns.

4. List all of your items so you can keep track of the things you’re selling. Make sure to also note how much items are priced.

5. Put together a box containing paper or plastic bags, newspapers, bubble wrap, markers, tape, ribbon or string, scissors, calculator, and other items that will be essential during the sale.

How to hold a garage sale MyProperty Philippines second hand items
To keep track of what your sales, list all of the things (or at least the big-ticket items) you're selling. Photo via Depositphotos

6. Put signs on your yard and all over the neighborhood. Hang up your signs a few days before the sale so people know when and where to go. If you live in a gated community, ask the village’s homeowners association if you can affix a sign on the gate or the community bulletin board, where residents are sure to take notice. To reach out to friends who might be interested, create a Facebook event to let them know about your sale.

7. Warn your next-door neighbors ahead of time about your garage sale so they won’t be alarmed by the crowd or noise coming from your home.

8. Just because you are selling second-hand items doesn’t mean your home has to look aged, too. It is still essential to make a good impression to attract buyers to your sale, so make sure you clean the area where you will be displaying the items for sale, be it the garage or the front yard.

9. Be sure to tie up your dog in another part of your home so as not to scare off customers who are not particularly fond of them.

10. If you will be setting up your garage sale in a secure area, such as a gated garage, you can start setting up tables and displays a day before the sale, especially if you plan on starting the sale early the next day.

During the sale

1. Give each family member a copy of your inventory, and check with each other every so often to find out which items have already been sold.

2. Put out chairs and benches where customers might sit while waiting for their companions who are rummaging through the displays or as you prepare their purchases or change. Having a place to hang out will also keep them from going home right away and perhaps give them more time to reconsider before leaving behind the items they keep eyeing.

3. In case of a particularly hot or stuffy day, it would be ideal to bring out a few stand fans to keep the air circulating, especially once the crowd starts growing.

4. Put on some music. Making the place lively is sure to attract people and invite them to keep looking around instead of leaving immediately.

5. If you are selling electronics or appliances and there are no wall sockets in the immediate area, it would be better to lay out an extension cord where you can test them. This will keep you from having to bring the buyer into the house with you, and will allow you to stay with the items on sale if you are on guard by yourself.

How to hold a garage sale MyProperty Philippines second hand items yard selling
Keep an eye on the buyers, but don't hover. Photo via Depositphotos

6. Be sure to have lots of change on you. Many people come to garage sales carrying large bills, and opening the sale with no petty cash will only slow down the selling process.

7. Assign one family member as security; their task will be to monitor the entire place and look out for people who seem suspicious.

8. Lock all the doors, and give each family member a key to only let in people who will be looking at for sale items that are inside your home. In the commotion, you never know if someone might suddenly slip through and take something that’s not for sale.

9. During lunch hour or anytime all family members have to temporarily step away from the sale, close the garage door to keep the merchandise safe. If buyers want to look at your display, let them knock or ring the doorbell.

10. If you are holding your garage sale over a number of days and would like to follow a strict schedule, enforce specific opening and closing times. This will keep people from showing up while you are still having breakfast, or staying well past dinner time.

After the sale

1. If any customers left their phone numbers to be contacted in case the item they want is still available, don’t forget to follow up with them. This would be a good time to slash the price to convince them to finally buy the item.
2. Go online to selling sites and create listings for your remaining items for sale.
3. Donate the remaining items to charity. Even if you don’t make money out of every item on sale, knowing that you’re helping out is a reward in itself.
4. Don’t forget to take down your signs so people won’t mistakenly show up after the sale. This will also lessen garbage around the community.

How to hold a garage sale MyProperty Philippines donation boxes
Donate your unsold garage sale items instead of holding on to them. Photo via Depositphotos

It doesn’t matter if you’re not selling your home; a yard sale is still a good way to earn money on things you're not using anymore, especially if you’re looking to replace some of your old things and are a little short on cash.  Don’t be upset if people start to haggle; that’s part of the whole process. Try to offer a fair trade every time for a win–win situation.


Main photo via Depositphotos

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