Garage Sale Season: A Few Tips to an Organized Sale

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The weather begins to get warmer; the days become sunnier and longer, it must mean that summer is on its way which means garage sales. The idea of having a garage sale is stressful for many people. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start and how to get organized. I have put together a few tips on how to get started, ways to be organized when you decide to have your own garage sale this summer.

-First, gather all the items you want to sell into one space. Do not be worried about organizing them in any way at this point, just get them all together. This is the time to go through the closets, cabinets and boxes. Anything you want to get rid of, grab it and set it aside. Even if you are not sure if it is sellable, put it in an area. When you begin this organization process, you can sort out the garbage.

-Make a list of your categories. Some examples are kitchen, women’s clothing, books, toys, etc. When you have decided on what categories apply to you, start going through your piles. If you have extra boxes or bins it may be easier to keep things separate. If not, then just make sure there is enough space between the stacks that they won’t get confused. Remember that well-worn clothes or broken toys are probably better thrown out, because they most likely won’t sell. People are looking for bargains and expect used things, but they don’t want to be digging through garbage.

-You will need a few supplies as well. Pricing stickers, pens, markers and poster board are the most important supplies.  I like to color code my pricing stickers for the different categories. This makes it easier when it comes to deciding on prices for things. You will also need something to keep your change in. Many people choose to simply keep the cash in their pocket. This is fine; however, it isn’t quite organized enough for me. I prefer to have some sort of container or envelopes to keep the cash and change in.

-The next step is pricing. This is another part of garage sales that can be stressful and overwhelming. The main thing to keep in mind is to keep your prices low but fair to yourself. You have to make money, but people have certain expectations for prices at a garage sale. I generally try to keep prices under five dollars. If something is brand new or practically brand new, then you can price it a little bit higher, be prepared to negotiate prices on almost everything.

-When the time comes to make your signs, be sure to decide your dates and times right away. Clearly mark the hours of your sale on the signs. Many garage sellers get an early start, and you don’t want people showing up at your house before you are ready. It is your sale, you have to be the one to decide how long you want to sit outside waiting for people. I will usually take two days out of a weekend and run the sale from about eight or eight-thirty until five or so. Most people won’t be looking for garage sales in the evenings, so five is a safe time to call it quits for the day. Make sure you plan plenty of time that morning for your set up. You want to have everything set up before your posted start time, because there will be a couple of people that will show up early no matter what.

-Also, make sure you go to the bank the day before and get change. If you can a hundred dollars in change is a good idea. You will lose sales if you do not have the right amount of change to give people. Twenty is all right if that is all you have, make sure you get singles, fives, quarters, nickels and dimes as well.

With these few steps, you can keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed, there is no reason your sale should not be successful. Be willing to negotiate. Keep things separated. Keep your prices low. Choose your hours. Most importantly, greet your shoppers with a smile and have fun!


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