We just had an epic two day garage sale last weekend. It was the first time I had ever hosted my own garage sale. I was so thankful for all your comments about how to have a successful garage sale, and I used many of your tips.
Our garage sale had items from 3 families and our grand total of profits was around $600! We were so excited. Of course I would rather not figure out my hourly wage, because we definitely put in several loooonnnggg days, sorting, pricing, setting up and selling – but it brought my heart a lot of joy to know that not only were we de-cluttering our house but we were making some money on our clutter.
Here are my top 5 tips from my garage sale experience.
- Tag Team It – I can’t imagine undertaking this garage sale without a few friends who also contributed their items and helped with all the preliminary work, set up/tear down and spent long and sweaty hours waiting in the garage for customers. I would definitely have lost my resolve for day #2 without garage sale buddies. Another bonus to having a multi – family garage sale is that you have more items to advertise in your Craigslist post.
- Use Color Coding – I was so excited to find price stickers that were pre-priced. We bought some at Lowes and at Target in 3 different colors. One of my garage sale buddies happened to have flouresecent paper the same color as the tags, so every family got a certain color to price their items. I had pink stickers, then when customers checked out with an item with a pink sticker that price would be written on the pink paper, if the customer had an item with a green sticker the price was written on the green paper. This way it was visually simple for us when we were checking out customers who bought items from different sellers.
- If you build it, they will come….EARLY! I was warned hard core garage salers will show up early, I just didn’t think they would show up when I was showing up…ha, ha….as in when I was opening my garage door and moving the first item onto the lawn. We had at least 3 customers show up 1 hour early. I asked them if there was anything specific they were looking for, and then politely but firmly told them they would need to come back when we opened. On Friday we opened at 8 a.m. and had people checking out as early as 7:30. On Saturday we opened at 7 a.m. hoping to beat the crowd, and we definitely beat them, since we didn’t have our first customer until about 8:30 a.m. Anyone else have this happen?
4. Weather Back up Plan – Living in South Texas, I didn’t give any thought to a rain out plan…. ooooppps….about an hour into our garage sale on Friday morning the rain started coming, and we had about 2 hours where it came and went, and came and went. Since our garage sale was more of a lawn sale, I started to panic a little. Fortunately, we had some large painting plastic drop cloths which we were able to use to cover and uncover, and cover and uncover about 5 times that morning. Good thing I am from Washington state!…a little rain can’t scare this Northwest girl, no matter how unexpected.
- Look for opportunities to bless! Throughout the 2 days my garage sale buddy and I both felt different moments where the Holy Spirit was prompting our hearts to give certain customers a good deal or accept their offer without haggling. These were people I have never seen before, I didn’t know their stories or if they were in need, or maybe just needed an unexpected blessing. But I know that although it was sometimes a little painful for my flesh to give my stuff away when I didn’t really know why, we made some people’s days and were obedient, and that was a lot more important than our final profit number.
I would love to hear from my garage sale pros if you can relate to my experience at all? Any unexpected adventures – such as rain on a 100 degree day?