Having a garage sale is a great way to get rid of things that are cluttering up your space while making some extra money at the same time. It could be a simple one day sale, or even 2-3 days long. When hosting any sale, it’s essential to ensure that all merchandise is organized and accounted for. Organization is especially vital to hosting a successful garage sale. Most people don’t have enough free space in their homes to spread everything out that they have collected to sell. Don’t worry, there are a few steps you can take to organize the items you want to sell without overtaking your whole house.
Start collecting your garage sale items as soon as you realize you want to have a sale. It will be easier to tackle a little bit at a time, rather than trying to go through your entire house right before the sale. Focus on one or two rooms at a time, and store anything you want to sell in labeled bins or boxes. If you can, try to categorize your merchandise into groups as you go through each room in your house. Keep different boxes for home décor, toys, clothes, books, kitchen supplies, etc.
If you’re having a hard time deciding what to sell, ask yourself 3 questions:
- Would you buy this item again in a store today if you didn’t already own it?
- If you regret selling it, can it be easily replaced?
- Do you care who buys it/what will happen to it? If the answer is yes, you’re not ready to part ways with it yet.
Think about prices once you decide what you will sell. It can be helpful to price your items at the same time you put them in groups so you don’t have to go through everything twice. This will save you a ton of time on the actual day of your garage sale. You won’t have to worry about trying to figure out your prices or sorting everything out as buyers are arriving. On the day of your sale, it will be easier to see how many tables you’ll need for each category. To learn more useful strategies for deciding what to sell, click here.
Basic Pricing Tips
Labeling Price Tag Ideas: Use white or neon price stickers for each item, and make sure you price everything that’s for sale. If an object doesn’t have a price on it, many customers won’t bother asking you the price. Don’t miss an opportunity for a sale, and make sure that everything has a price sticker on it. Use tie on price tags if stickers don’t work on everything you have. To save even more time, consider purchasing pre-printed price stickers.
Deciding On A Price: If you’re having trouble deciding on your prices, think about how much you would be willing to spend on an item if you saw it in someone else’s garage sale. Consider the quality of the item, not just how long you have had it or how much you originally paid for it. Be aware that many customers will want to negotiate prices, write “firm” on any tags of items that you’re not willing to change. If you have several people or families joining in on your garage sale, label each seller’s specific price tags so you know who gets the money from each sale.
Caution: be careful not to price too far in advance if you are using price stickers. Even removable price stickers can become difficult to remove if they are stuck on a surface for too long. Try to wait a month or two before your garage sale before putting on price stickers. With clothing, it’s best to put the price stickers on the tag. If you lay clothes out in the sun, it’s possible that the sun could lighten up the article of clothing. When you place a price sticker on clothing, you don’t want it to reveal a dark spot.
Prepare for the First Day of Sales
We recommend having one person who is responsible for handling the money. It is easier for customers to pay you when they know who to give their money to. Plus, it’s also an effective way to keep track of the cash flow on your end. It’s a good idea to have a marked cashier’s table prepared with any supplies you might need throughout the day.
Cashier’s Table Supplies
- Cash (Start with at least $100 in cash- a $10 bill, $50 in 5’s, $30 in 1’s, and $10 in quarters, feel free to adjust based on your sale)
- Money Box
- Notebook (for keeping track of items if you have multiple sellers)
- Permanent Markers & Pens
- Extra Price Stickers
- Plastic Grocery Bags
- Boxes & Paper or Bubble Wrap (for heavy or delicate pieces)
- Extension Cord & Batteries (for testing electrical items)
Once you have gathered everything you need and organized all of your merchandise, you are ready to sell! After you are done organizing, focus on advertising your sale and nailing down last minute details.