Garage sales are an excellent way to finally get rid of some clutter — those roller blades that have been in the back of your closet since the 90s perhaps — and make a little money while you’re at it. It’s also a fun summer activity that you can get the whole family in on. Take one weekend for the big clean-up, when everyone pulls out everything they’re willing to part with, and the next for the big sale.
In addition to getting the kids involved in de-cluttering, they can get a little lesson in entrepreneurship by setting up a lemonade stand or bakery table to entice the neighbors during the sale. And nothing brings the neighborhood together like a good garage sale.
In fact, pooling your resources with one or two neighbors can be a good way to bring in extra foot traffic and make it even more of a party. Just be sure to come up with a way of keeping your items and money separate — color-coded price tags, for instance. If you remove the tags and keep them in an envelope as you make sales, just add up the tags at the end and divvy up the profits.
Read Related: How to Make Money with a Garage Sale
To be successful, garage sales need plenty of shoppers so advertising during the week leading up to the big day is key. It’s important to give specifics in your ads: date, day, start and end time and rain date. If you’re serving up some snacks be sure and mention those too because everyone loves snacks! Put up plenty of signs in your neighborhood and post your sale on sites like Craigslist, gsalr.com, Garage Sale Finder and Yard Sale Search. All free by the way! Social media is another great way to spread the word.
Smart pricing can make the difference between having to take boxes of leftovers to Goodwill, or other charity, and an armload. People love to feel like they’re getting a bargain and haggling is part of the fun so price items to sell with enough padding that you can drop the price without feeling conned. You should also clearly label everything so prices are clear and easy to find. This is important — you can never have too much change. Get lots of ones, a nice stack of fives and tens and a few rolls of coins. These days anyone can accept credit cards too, even at neighborhood garage sales. Square or PayPal Here readers both attach to your tablet or Smartphone. The reader and sign-up are free; Square and PayPal take a small percentage of each sale.
Looks are everything. The best garage sales have major curb appeal. Don’t just throw random piles of junk on tables; make a pop-up front yard boutique. This means you need to thoroughly clean everything pre-sale. Create little sections like toys, tableware, men’s and women’s clothing, etc. Make it look pretty and easy to negotiate. If you have a really nice set of dishes, put together a sample place setting. If you’re selling furniture, set it up in a way that allows buyers to imagine it in a room.
And remember, it’s always nice to make a little money but the real purpose of your garage sale is to get rid of things so don’t go crazy haggling, have fun and take the opportunity to get to know your neighbors!