We’re so close to being through the dead of the summer heat in Florida. This opens the door to more outdoor activities like rollerblading, biking, dog parks for the pups, and…GARAGE SALE SEASON. Ben and I hosted our first garage sale last year. As we plan for a second one, I’m revisiting the list of lessons learned from the first go around.
Are you planning a garage sale anytime soon? Read on for what worked for us and what we’ll plan to do next time.
Plan for the weekend well in advance.
While this may seem like a no brainer for most, some of us think we’re capable of planning a garage sale in three short days (hi, it me). The intention of this ambitious event was to tack onto a larger neighborhood garage sale weekend. While we pulled it off, Ben and I could have benefitted from more planning time for sure.
Determine how you’ll communicate prices to customers.
I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of tagging individual items with colored stickers, but as our garage sale progressed I immediately saw the what-could-have-been benefit had we gone that route. Let me tell you – five people coming up to you at once with questions about prices for items is not it 🥴. It’s worth the time on the front end to make sure prices are clear and concise so you’re not rambling off random totals. For our next garage sale, I plan to use colored stickers then hang up a key reflecting what each price is by color. It’s something the customer can easily reference and leaves the guesswork out of it for me. Phew.
Organize your product tables.
Make it easy for your customers to shop by categorizing similar items on the same tables. Keep clothes with clothes, tools with tools, home essentials with home essentials, you get the point. It’s inevitable that you’ll have at least one table of miscellaneous “why the heck did we buy this” junk, likely similar to the junk drawer you have in your kitchen.
Advertise your garage sale on community boards.
I didn’t think of doing this until the day of our sale and by then it was too late. Find community boards that are local to you and advertise the heck out of your garage sale’s time and date ahead of time. Tell family and friends too – you never know who might stop by and repurpose something you’ve deemed no longer needed.
Use your slow times wisely – try to reshuffle and reorganize items.
Nobody likes their garage sale experience to feel like their sifting through endless tables and racks of disarray. Leave that kind of shopping experience to Forever 21. Take advantage of the slow times at your garage sale to reorganize items. Customers are constantly sorting through and moving things – so, fix it. Nail the “welcome to my organized driveway shop” aesthetic and make those sales. 👏🏻
Try to tack onto a neighborhood garage sale weekend.
This was our biggest traffic driver that weekend and the reason why I rushed to put our garage sale together. If the audience was already going to be nearby, I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity for sales. No neighborhood garage sale weekend coming up? No problem. Try to coordinate a day with your neighborhood friends to host garage sales. It’s smaller scale, but the more options there are for shopping the more traffic you’ll pull.
Hagglers are inevitable, but try to remember why you’re really hosting the garage sale in the first place.
There is a fine line between successfully haggling with a customer and losing a sale over a few bucks. I’m not saying settle for a laughable price when it’s offered, but also remember why you’re having a garage sale to begin with. It’s likely to get rid of stuff you don’t need. Focus on the bigger picture and make deals for the customers where it makes sense. This mentality will save you in the long run. Remember: whatever you don’t sell has to be lugged back into the garage once the sale is over.
Share some of your best garage sale tips below in the comments.