complete order 2015


A garage sale is a great way to get rid of unwanted and unused items, allowing you to have a good clean up both inside and outside your home. With a little bit of prior planning and organisation, you could reap big rewards. Here are our top tips to ensure you get the best results from your garage sale:

People come to garage sales for all sorts of reasons, looking for many different things. Items that always sell well are kitchenware (dishes, platters, tupperware, appliances, gadgets, glassware, crockery etc.), books, games, toys, jigsaws (reduce price if pieces missing), appliances and furniture.

Once you’ve chosen all the items you want to sell, plan the best way to display them for maximum appeal.

Place all your items on tables and group similar items together (looks better and is easier to browse). Don’t pile things on top of each other and make sure everything is clearly visible by using signage (which saves answering questions).

Hang clothing up on clothes racks and have a mirror nearby.

If you have a high demand item for sale, place the item in a prominent location that’s easily viewable from the street.  This will drive more foot traffic into your garage.  Even if shoppers don’t end up purchasing this item, they will likely find something else to purchase at your sale.

Create ‘bargain bins’ for smaller items and perhaps a ‘buy one get one free’ offer. People also love free stuff, so perhaps create a ‘freebie box’ full of things like coathangers or other items you want to get rid of.

Providing shopping bags/boxes for people to carry away their items, they’ll be most appreciative and possibly might buy more!

Preparing for your garage sale includes assessing the value of each item and pricing it in a way that’s not going to be too expensive, so that people will want to buy it. Even if you have exactly what people want, if it’s too expensive, they won’t buy it. However don’t underprice - expect people to haggle and price accordingly.

Shoppers like to see price tags on items. Stick on labels work well, otherwise tags or boxes/tubs of bulk priced items i.e. ‘All books $4’

Do all your pricing the night before (or at least all the fiddly stuff) so you’re ready and organised for the day.

As part of the process, you may need to conduct a little research for higher ticket items to determine their value. Check out what similar items are selling for on eBay or Gumtree.

There is no point in having a garage sale if no one knows about it. Spend a little time advertising it so you can make more money on the day.  Put signs up on your local community noticeboard. In creating your advert, highlight what you’re selling, especially any big-ticket items, but do not put your street number, just the street name and suburb. Otherwise you will have people knocking on your door before the actual day!

On the day of the garage sale, place prominent and easy-to-read cardboard signs around your neighbourhood at the key intersections to your house. On main roads, the bigger the sign the better. Balloons will also help attract attention.

You will need lots of small change and notes, the more you can have on hand the better. Don’t be surprised that people present you with a $50 at 9am! You need to be prepared for this by keeping a float made up of coins and notes, as well as back up change. Go to the bank in the week leading up to your garage sale and get plenty of change. Keep your money either in a lockable cash box or preferably in a bum bag, so that your money is protected if you’re distracted by anyone or anything.

NOTE: Keep a record of the original amount in your float so you can calculate how much money you’ve made at the end of the day.

Haggling (or bargaining) is a big part of the tradition of garage sales. Be prepared to bargain, as almost everyone that goes to a garage sale will try to bargain with you. Often people will offer you a price way below what you have something marked for. In this case, you can counter offer, but it’s completely up to you. Don’t forget that your goal is to try and sell everything, so if it means reducing your prices just to get rid of it, then it might be worth it.

Make your garage sale fun as well as (hopefully!) profitable. Involve your children and possibly your neighbours. You could even feed people to make extra money i.e. a sausage sizzle or a cake/lemonade stall, but only if you have people to man it and it’s worth doing. Perhaps play some music (not too loud) so create a nice friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

At the end of the day, some items left may be worth trying to sell through other means like eBay. But for everything else, save the hassle of sorting and packing away what’s left, load it all into the car and take it to your local op shop or charity and give a little back to the community.

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