Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Garage Sale Tips!

The weekend is on it's way and something I LOVE about summer, is garage sales! I've learned a few tips from being a frequent shopper, so I thought I'd share some of my "secrets" and find out about yours--we can all benefit! :)

Sadly, this summer I haven't made it to many for a whole lot of reasons, but when I come across the jackpot that gives me the fix for the summer--still waiting for that one this year!

Shopper Tips:
*Be willing to bargain.
     -if you have a pile of items that add up to $7, ask if they'll take $5 for the whole thing. They very well could say yes and if not, maybe $6, either way you got a sweet deal even if the answer is no.
     -if a large item is marked higher then you want to pay, ask if they are firm on the price of if they are willing to take $_____ (a reasonable offer).

*If prices seem too high in general, it's probably best to move along, unless they mention they are willing to come down on their prices.
* Carry cash, $1s and change are really important, it also helps to barter your prices too. If you ask them to lower the price to $5 and hand them a $20 it just doesn't look so great and they may not be as willing to work on price negotiating either!
*Watch for community sales--lots more chances to hit the jackpot, with less driving and "hunting" to do.
*Only buy it if you can use it

Seller Tips:
*Be willing to bargain.

     -if they come with a pile of items that add up to $7, and they offer you $5 for the whole thing. I usually say yes, unless it's just not reasonable. Usually, that's $5 more then you will get if you keep it in your yard until the end of the day.  
     -mark larger items a little higher and expect people to bargain with you and give in when you receive a reasonable offer. 
*Be ready early, the serious shoppers are out early and ready for a serious deal. 
*Post very clear, legible and uncluttered signs. Also, post them at all the major intersections people will need to turn at/ go forward through so that people don't get lost and give up. For example my signs usually are on white paper and say in very large black writing "GARAGE SALE" with a large arrow pointing in the direction they need to turn. Very simple, but very easy to follow too. I also make them look as much the same as possible, consistency helps shoppers know they are following the right signs. I've actually had people mention that my signs were very helpful. :) 
*Bulk pricing--lump things into groups/categories for pricing. There is no point in marking very single item, it's much less time consuming and easier to be prepared. Just make a few signs listing your prices throughout your area.
*Sell food, drinks, snacks. People get hungry, kids get thirsty and even if they don't buy any of your junk, you might score with them buying a hot dog and drink for $1.50. You can even offer a breakfast/lunch special to give a little discount if they buy more. Make it super simple. Glazed or frosted doughnuts and coffee, hot dogs, bagged chips or cookies and soft drinks and bottled water. The breakfast combo could be $1 or $0.75 depending on the sizes of items and the lunch could be $1.50 for the combo, separately--drinks $0.50, hot dogs $1, chips $1, doughnuts/cookies $0.50, etc. (Remember to buy cheap/discounted items for this to be worth it. Stock up on the pop when it's about $2/12 pack and hot dogs and buns when they are $1 each package.) 
*Have something to do for the "low" times. Music playing, book to read, TV to watch, games to play. 
*It's best if you have at least two people watching the sale at all times
*If possible, do it during your community/neighborhood sale to bring in a larger crowd.
*We always post on Craigslist because it's free, but you can also post in your local newspaper and it will be added to the Garage Sale map for the area-very cool, but may cost some money. 

What tips do you have? What things have you tried that has been helpful for either the seller or buyer perspectives? I'm always up for a new tip to try! :)


  1. We'll see how mine goes here. Not all my signs look alike and I tried to make them noticeable but we'll see. I also thought about food but I just can't afford to spend that upfront. My mom is coming up to help me tomorrow watch the kids during the sale but then I'm on my own Friday-Saturday.
    I'm so nervous. I hope people show up! I priced EVERYTHING! I just couldn't bulk it in my heart knowing some things I wouldn't budge on. But I think I'm ready.
    My tip? I went up to my son's old daycare center in our neighborhood and gave them flyers to put in all the mailboxes of the infant and toddler room kids to go to my sale - I hope they come!

  2. Jessie- That's a great idea to have it handed out at a daycare!! Especially since you'll be selling kid's items, that's a perfect way to get parent's to come. I'm sure now that you posted on CL too you'll get a crowd. Good luck tomorrow and let us know how it goes!! :) FYI don't be too discouraged if tomorrow isn't super busy, around here Fridays and Saturdays are usually the peak days.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...