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Run your own garage sale

Category: home

With the big sales just around the corner, free up some space and make a little spending money with a good old-fashioned garage sale. 

Tis the season for sales… and there’s no better way to prepare than by holding your own! We’ve consulted our marketing boffins and have prepared a list of our top tips for running a successful garage sale. Read on to discover what to sell, how to price things, how to advertise and more. Take it seriously and you might be surprised with how well you do!

What to sell

Almost any item will sell at a garage sale if it’s a bargain. You can sell small items all the way up to bicycles, exercise equipment – even furniture! Some things that sell well are tools, computer-related items and videogames, vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and books. Clothing is a big seller too, as long as it’s in good nick. 

Go through those boxes in your closet or garage and look for things you no longer need. Most of us have trouble parting with things, even if we never use them, so here’s a simple rule to follow: if you haven't used something for over a year, you probably won't miss it.

Set prices and add price tags

If you really just want to get rid of an old knick-knack, price it accordingly. A good rule of thumb for garage sale pricing is to keep most things under $5. Round your prices to the nearest 50c or dollar to make adding up sales easy. For valuable items, a general rule is to price at 1/4 of what you paid or less. Remember, garage sale shoppers are looking for bargains - so if you don’t want to have to pack everything back in your house at the end of the day you’ve got to give people the low prices they’re looking for. 

Using brightly coloured labels will make it easier for your customers to find the price. If you have a lot of similar items that are all the same price (like books or CDs), don’t bother pricing them individually. Put them all in one box and label the box. 

Pick a date and advertise

Garage sales are traditionally held on Saturdays, when most people are free from work and family commitments. Select a date that doesn’t clash with any holidays or special events, and aim to start at 7:00 and run to just after midday. 

Put an ad up online at any free garage sale website and forum you can find. Keep your ad short and succinct, with key information such as the date, time and address of the sale. Share it on your social media, tell your friends and family and invite your neighbours to take part!

The night before, put up signs around your neighbourhood to make sure as many people as possible know about it and can find it. Keep the signs clear and simple. Check with your local council first whether there are any restrictions around placing garage sale signs around your suburb and remember to take them down after the sale!

Be prepared

The best way to set up your items is to lay most things out on tables. Make sure everything is clearly visible. Hang balloons from your tables or letterbox to catch people’s eyes. Clothing is best displayed when it is hung up. String a cord up between two poles to hang the items, or bring a clothing rack out from inside. Large items should be prominently displayed in front of the tables or on the front of your lawn or driveway. This will attract possible buyers as they drive by. 

Make sure you’ve got lots of change. The day before, head to your bank with a few notes and ask them to break them down for you. Also, try to have some plastic grocery bags on hand to put sold items in.

Recruit some helpers for the sale - it's important for security and convenience. With a few people manning the sale, you can take a bathroom break when you need one and keep things from getting too messy.

On the day

Greet your customers with a friendly smile as they arrive. Be willing to bargain, as almost everyone that goes to a garage sale will try to bargain with you. Offer buy-one-get-one deals or bulk discounts. Give last-minute deals on the things left over before you pack up. Do everything you can to make the sale. 

Whatever you don’t sell, take to your local opportunity shop. Then head to Stockland and treat yourself for a job well done! 

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