Enjoy Garage Sale Success!


Summer is the time for relaxing, camping, enjoying evenings out on the patio, and of course garage sales! Garage sales may seem easy but they do take some planning and you will need to put in some effort to make them successful. Despite the work involved they are a great way to rid your home of clutter and unwanted items all while making a little extra cash. Plan to go through every corner of your home looking for items that you would like to sell. Now is the time to be honest with yourself! If you haven’t used an item for a year or more chances are that you do not need it. Obviously sentimental items would be an exception to this rule but try to stick to it with all other items. It is far more rewarding to free up space in your home than to surround yourself with “stuff”.

The first step of a successful sale is having clear signage. Passer-by’s need to be able to easily find your sale without too much effort. Otherwise, they will simply give up and carry on to the next sale. It is important to keep your signs consistent with each other. This is especially true if there are several sales going on in your area. A lot of info is really not needed on the signs. Anyone driving by just needs to know what direction to go in and what time it starts.

Once you have traffic heading to your sale your next step is to grab the attention of those driving by. Place some of your nicer items for sale out front. This will entice them to stop in and have a look at what else you have for sale. It never hurts to have a “free” box of stuff right from the start. Bargain shoppers will love to stop and search for potential treasures.

When deciding on prices for the item try to be reasonable. A garage sale is an opportunity to rid your home of unwanted clutter. If you price items too high they will simply not sell. And that obviously defeats the purpose of having a sale in the first place. Also, have the prices clearly marked and be flexible. Offering discounts for multiple items is a way to get more stuff off of your tables. If you are having your sale inside your garage, ensure that it is adequately lit. Shoppers need to be able to see those prices!

Remember that dusty and dingy items will not sell. People like to know that they are getting a bargain. Somehow, seeing a dirty item feels less like a bargain and more like they are doing you a favor by purchasing it. It may take a little extra time to clean every item but it is time well spent.

Have a rule that nothing brought out of the house goes back in! An hour or so before the end of your sale mark everything as free (with the exception of big ticket items). At this point, all of the “good” stuff will be sold and your goal is simply to get rid of the rest! Anything that remains after the sale should be donated to a charitable organization that can re-sell it.

A few other helpful tips include having a fair amount of cash on hand to make change for your customers, keeping your tables organized (home décor all together, tools all together, etc), and of course being friendly and inviting to all shoppers. It is amazing how far a warm smile and welcoming attitude can go towards making your sale a success!


Helen Harder

Helen Harder

CENTURY 21 Grande Prairie Realty Inc.
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