How to run a garage sale in 5 steps

Tracey Warren

Tracey Warren is an Adelaide-based Professional Organiser

With the Garage Sale Trail coming up on October 24, we thought it made sense to go over some garage sale basics courtesy of our decluttering and organisational expert Tracey Warren. If you’re more of a shopper than a seller, enter our Garage Sale Trail contest to win a VIP garage sale experience.

Here’s what Tracey has to say.

Garage sales are a great way to:

  • Make money
  • Declutter
  • Have fun!

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you to organise one at your place:

1. Pick a date

GoGet Garage Sale Trail This year’s Garage Sale Trail is on Saturday October 24th. The benefit of doing your garage sale during the Garage Sale Trail is that there is a lot of buzz and activity, and you can list on their website. However, if that date doesn’t work for you, there’s nothing stopping you from holding your sale on any day.

2. Declutter

  • Establish a “landing spot”; somewhere out of the way to stockpile the items you would like to sell
  • Work your way through your home (don’t forget the shed) to find things you no longer wish to keep. You may be surprised by the amount of excess stuff you have!

3. Advertise

  • Major newspaper on the day of sale – include suburb, street name, start time and brief details. Note: the house number should not be included in the ad. This is to prevent bargain hunters from ignoring the start time and arriving too early.
  • Social media
  • Local letterbox drop

4. Prepare

Garage Sale

  • Enlist helpers. You will need at least one helper, but if you are planning a large sale, 3-4 helpers would be great.
  • Price everything! If people have to ask, they might not bother. Make it attractive for people to buy multiple items, e.g. books $1 each or 5 for $4. This type of simple pricing also makes things easier for the seller; rather than having to label every individual item, you can label a group of items with one eye-catching sign.
  • Select a site. If possible, place yourself undercover to provide shade and protection from rain.
  • Borrow some tables to spread your goods out on if you don’t have enough. A neat display will make it easier for customers to see, and therefore buy. Clothes racks are also useful; they make it easier for customers to browse.
  • Stockpile carry bags and newspapers to wrap fragile items.
  • Change – you will need 3x $10 ($30), 4x $5 ($20), 15x $2 ($30) and 20x $1 ($20) = total $100. It is best to keep the money in a bum bag. A cash box may go missing at a busy garage sale if you’re not sitting on it!
  • Electrical items: Be ready to demonstrate that any electrical or battery powered items you are selling are in working order.
  • Signs: prepare clear, easy to read signs in advance. Some brightly coloured balloons attached to the front of your property will help customers to find you easily, and may attract passers-by to come and have a look.

5. Other considerations

Serving refreshments at a garage sale will keep customers longer

  • Joint sales with neighbours/family/friends: a great way to get helpers and offer a larger selection of goods, which is enticing for buyers.
  • Selling refreshments: customers like this, and they are likely to spend more time and money at your sale.
  • Security: accepting cheques is not recommended. Lock your house and shed so that no one can gain access while you are distracted. Keep an eye on your goods and the customers – not everyone is trustworthy.
  • Haggling: You can expect to experience at lot of this at a garage sale.

Tracey Warren is an Adelaide based Professional Organiser. She helps individuals, families and businesses to gain freedom from clutter and disorganisation. You can call Tracey on 0423 694 452 or visit her Facebook page.

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