Consumer Savings Tips

Garage Sale Tips: How to Attract Shoppers & Make More Money

With spring upon us, you may be feeling the desire to clean and clear the clutter. A garage sale is the perfect way to unload a bunch of your unwanted items quickly while making extra money to put toward bills or that summer vacation you’ve been saving for. But before you throw all your goods on the front lawn, there are several strategies you need to employ to attract shoppers and maximize profits.  Read on for tips on how to make more money during your next garage sale.

Advertise, everywhere! Post an ad on Craigslist, in your local newspaper and around your neighborhood to get the word out. Tell friends, family and coworkers about the sale and post it on social media sites like Facebook. Highlight the types of items visitors can expect to find to draw a bigger crowd.

Don’t call it a garage sale.  For whatever reason, the terms “yard sale” or “moving sale” have more positive connotations with local residents.

Time it right. Check the weather to make sure a storm isn’t rolling in and stick with weekends when people have time to shop. Piggyback on a neighbor’s sale to take advantage of traffic their event produces. And, keep in mind that many people get paid around the 15th or the 30th of each month, so scheduling your sale around payday will help you bring in the best customers.

Wake up early!  Dedicated garage salers know the good stuff goes first, and they’ll be waiting outside your door at the crack of dawn. Plan to rise as early as 5:00am to set up so you don’t miss this eager crowd. 

Review prices.  Price items too high and you’ll scare off shoppers. Price them too low and you’ll be pestered by hagglers who realize you just want to get rid of things. If you’re unsure how to price something, both Goodwill and the Salvation Army offer helpful valuation guides for reference. Pin or stick price tags on everything so you don’t leave people wondering. 

Make it pretty.  Use baskets and table clothes to make your sale more appealing. Think like a visual merchandiser to make your sale more inviting and you will make a better profit. Serve coffee, stream music and chat with your shoppers to engage them in the event. These tricks are already used by retail stores to encourage shopping, so why not implement them at your own sale.

Sell valuables elsewhere.  As you near the end of your sale, you may feel discouraged by the number of items remaining. While it’s okay to give away small items, hold onto things like furniture that didn’t sell and try your luck online. Items like quality jewelry, expensive furniture and select home goods are better sold through eBay, Craigslist or local consignment shops. 

  1. Great tips Andrea! Selling stuff you don’t need anymore at a Garage sale is definitely a good way to earn quick cash to cover holiday expenses. I use the Salvation Army price list you suggested as a reference for pricing my own garage sale items. I also check out prices at local thrift stores to make sure mine are lower. 🙂 Enjoying your blog…

    ~ Kristi Kirk Trent, Oklahoma City

    • Hi Kristi,
      Thanks for your comment and great idea for using the Salvation Army price list. I will have to make sure I do that next time. I also made the mistake of placing an ad in my local newspaper and losing $40 from my profits for the ad! There are so many free places to post the sale, no need to waste money on an ad.

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