Titus Two 4 U – How to hold a profitable garage sale

With all the emphasis on being a frugal wife/mom these days, I thought some of you who have never tried having a garage sale (or tried and found it to be not worth it) might like some guidelines on making sure all the effort it pays off. At this point I consider myself a pro- you can decide for yourself but here is my resume: in the past 10 years I have held 10 sales for a total revenue of over $15,000. Now, most of that money has gone toward missions my family has been part of. We have partially financed gospel mission work in Brazil, Nicaragua, India, Romania, Ethipoia and Panama. Also, who can forget last year’s “Get Debi a New Washing Machine” sale which was so successful we also, “Fixed the Riding Lawn Mower” (amen, and thank you Lord! the grass was getting high) So, based on all this I am a self proclaimed expert and I’d love to pass on my experience to you!

Debi’s Top Tips for Holding a Successful Sale

1. Advertise a lot! I run free ads on Craigslist, Garagesales.com and Yardsalefrog.com. All these sites will allow you to post an ad for free. I also make poster board signs for the area around my neighborhood for the “drive by” traffic. Use all one color poster board- preferably flouresecent so people can easily spot them.
2. Borrow tables and make sure you sort, fold and display your items nicely. People will not bend over to hunt through piles of clothing on the ground or in a box. If you need to put like items in a box, such as books or DVD’s , try to set the box a little higher off the ground by putting another box/tub underneath it.
3. Bulk price almost everything! When you have several hundred clothing items, your best bet is to have a .50 cent table and a $1 table. I have standard prices for common items: all shoes $3 per pair, hardback books $1, softback books .50 cents, all purses $3 (sometimes if I have a really nice purse I’ll hang it and price individually) stuffed animals $1/.50 cents (I separate into two boxes depending on quality) DVD’s $3 each, CD’s $1, jeans (no rips/stains) $2 each. Clothing is subjective, so if I think it’s a really nice item (brand name, brand new or coats) I hang them and price individually. Otherwise it’s folded and sold cheap. 
4. Always have a “man table” because the women will shop longer if the men have something to look at. Tools, fishing gear, knives, gadgets, sporting memmorabilia, baseball caps and random things from your garage will work great. 
5. Let people haggle you a little. Even though you are already giving them a great deal it is generally considered garage sale “norm” if someone wants to buy a whole box of something, you will give them a couple bucks off. I always add up what the price should be then subtract a few. If someone wants to buy a whole box of books though, just let them pay what they want, because books are heavy and you’ll never sell them all. You’ll be glad to have them gone at the end of your sale- believe me.
6. Restraighten your tables as the day goes on. Display does matter, even at garage sales. 
7. Make signs to let people know of the bulk prices, otherwise put stickers stating the price on everything else. 
8. Fold sheet sets and masking tape together. Write on the tape what size the set is-  “queen sheet set, no stains, nice and soft! $5” Same with towels, curtain panels and pajama sets for women and kids.
9. Have plenty of bags on hand for people’s purchases. I try to stockpile a few bigger handled bags for heavier items. 
10. Keep an extension cord plugged in and easily accessible for people to make sure electronics work. 
11. Don’t price lower than multiples of .25 cents. In other words, nothing sells for less than a quarter. It makes chek out so much easier! If something isn’t worth .25 cents sell them “two for a quarter” as in “Socks, 2 pairs for .25 cents” If it’s only worth a nickle, just make it free. It’s worth the less hasssle when checking 6 people out at once.
12. Don’t sell Bibles. Just give them away. Trust me on this.
13. Keep a sense of humor, a sharpie , a roll of masking tape and a cup of coffee with you. Good luck and let me know how your sale went! 
Don’t be discouraged by the madness- plan for about 10 hours to get it all sorted and ready.
We actually had a piano donated for this sale!

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