What is the first step to making your garage sale a success? The first step is to stop reading about it online. You are going to be offered countless books and pamphlets about successful garage sales that you should order. If you really care that much about the garage sale, maybe you are holding a garage sale for the wrong reason. The primary reason people organize garage sales is to clean out their houses, not to get rich. If you want to make a profit more than you want to clean out the garbage, you should start hawking your things on Ebay. At garage sales, it is customary to haggle, so expect people to haggle and bargain with them. You shouldn’t stick to your price at any cost (pun intended).
A smart thing to do is to have your sale be part of a multi-family one. If you have several garage sales in the same area, this helps create a lively market-like atmosphere; so, when prospective clients drive past your house and see all the commotion, they might stop to check it out. Especially if you have placed clear, legible signs everywhere. Neon colors work especially well. Do not forget the signs and make sure you have a sufficient number of them so people who start following them don’t get lost. There is one tricky part about having multi-family garage sales – you will be likely to shop at each other’s sales. Take care not to go overboard with this, because you will spend the money you have earned and get your house full of junk again.
I cannot stress how important signs are. You have to post signs near all the major streets and intersections. Do not ever put up small signs, because they are hard to read. The letters should be at least 7 inches big. After the sale is over, make sure you take the signs down. You should be able to remember where you left them, so that you do not have people coming to your house long after the sale has ended.
It is understandable that your belongings were a mess, rolling around in your garage, basement, attic, whatever. However, the point of a garage sale is not to take everything out in heaps as it is and plop it down before your unsuspecting clients, thereby putting them off. It is important to display everything neatly. Make sure your things are organized and easy to look over. Do not just toss everything chaotically.
This should be an obvious one, but it seems that it isn’t because people are still trying to sell stained T-shirts and the like. Back when Clinton was president south of the border and the Monica Gate scandal was all the rage, there was a joke about what the least successful garage sale would be – Monica’s used dresses.
Finally, some tips involving extras – it would be nice to have a refreshment stand, some mellow music that encourages hanging around and browsing the stands (but not too mellow, you’ll never get rid of them), and at least fifty dollars in change.