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Checklist for Successful Garage Sale


Price Your Items Appropriately

  • Be realistic when pricing your items. Check out other garage sales to get a feel for prices. As a general rule of thumb, start pricing at 30% of retail, but be prepare to discount prices -- if you really want to get rid of the item.
  • Label all items with self-adhesive price tags. Use different color labels for each family, or highlight with a color marker, if more than one family is involved in the sale. For joint sales, keep a log of all items sold, according to your color codes.
  • Be prepared to bargain with your customers or reduce the price, if you really want to get rid of your items.


Set Up Your Items For Display

  • Make sure that all items are clean and in good shape.
  • Arrange display tables for easy access and viewing. Make it attractive.
  • Group similar items together in one area. Make it interesting.
  • Rope off an area or put up a "Not for Sale" sign for those things you want to keep.
  • Hang up clothes in a temporary rack and sort by size.
  • Provide an electrical outlet, if necessary, for customers to test appliances and electrical tools.
  • Display books, CD's, videos, and record albums with spine up for easy readability.
  • Set up a "freebies" box for items you wish to give away.


Tips to Generate Sales

  • Greet people who come to your garage sale and engage them in conversation.
  • Encourage shoppers to return during a two day sale. Post signs to say that new items will be added daily or that prices will be reduced on the second day.
  • Have a silent auction on expensive items. Ask customers to submit bids along with their name and phone numbers. Put in a reserve bid, if you wish.


Success on Sale Day

  • On sale day, put up signs at strategic locations to direct customers to your sale. Tie colored balloons or ribbons to attract attention. However, be aware of local bylaws regarding postings on public property.
  • Involve your kids. Let them set up their own table for their personal items.
  • Ask your family or friends to help with the sale, collect cash, or just to give you a break.
  • Have plenty of change on hand for sale day. Most people come with $5, $10, and $20 bills.
  • Have a calculator on hand to total up purchases.
  • Have grocery bags and newspapers on hand, in case you need them.
  • Above all -- have fun!!!


Kim M. Fong


(We would love to hear how you made out in your garage sale, or any additional tips you can offer. Drop us a line!)

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