Tips For Garage Sale Success!

      5 Comments on Tips For Garage Sale Success!
Tips for hosting a great garage sale #makemoney
I finally had a garage sale the other week. My sister came up to help me and it went pretty well. Not as well as previous sales, but other sales have been held during warmer weather. My sister came up from Canberra for the weekend so she helped out.

Early on in the sale a man who called himself Uncle Peter came and picked a few things. I could tell he was a professional garage saler. You know the type – they come early, look for the best stuff they can resell, get a bunch of it and negotiate for the lowest possible price.

I had listed my stuff pretty cheap with many item under $2. I had  new items, still in their box or with tags attached priced at 10% of their value.

Uncle Peter gathered a bunch of stuff and asked how much for the lot and the conversation went like this:

Him: “how much you give me for everything?”
Me: “$24”
Him: “That’s how much they say on it!”
Me: “Yes, it is already cheap and most of this pile is new and worth a whole lot more.”
Him: “Aw, come on, it’s Uncle Peter! You give Uncle Peter a discount!”
(Just to clarify he is in NO WAY related to me or even met me before. Not MY uncle!)
Me: “It’s still $24.”
He finally gets out his wallet “gee, you are the first woman Uncle Peter not get a discount from!” And this was not said in a mean way, I actually think part of him was impressed I didn’t back down.

The fact is I knew he wanted the stuff and I knew he would pay. I could have discounted it if I was desperate but it was early and he picked up the new stuff I was 99% sure would sell even if he didn’t buy it. You can usually tell who will buy and who won’t.

Surprisingly, despite having almost $200 in change I still ran out. Everyone paid with $50, no matter how small the amount. Previous sales I have done I only needed $100 in change and most people paid with $20 or less for stuff under $20.

For the time I spent doing it, cleaning and pricing everything at first glance it did not seem worth it, but once I added up everything it worked out at an hourly rate above minimum wage and I got rid of a bunch of stuff.

There were a few things I took back into my house to list on eBay. I had meant to list before the sale but I ran out of time. The rest of the stuff we took to the second hand shop. It feels so good to have it gone.

If I hold another sale there are things I would do differently:

1.) Put up all the signs myself.
I asked someone else to do it and despite being very exact about where I wanted them, it didn’t happen.
2.)Bigger signs.
I thought mine were a good size, until I went to put my signs up and there were GIANT signs all over the place. Seriously the biggest signs I have seen. (Most of them fell down during the day, but they were very visible to begin with).
3.) Extra change
$200 wasn’t enough since these days most people pay in $50 notes. You can go through change very quickly. If I didn’t have the capacity for extra change I would arrange for someone to be available to go to the bank or shop and change some money.
4.) Kids babysat
My daughters kept coming out and taking things inside. I could have sold a few more things if they had not taken off with pieces of sets. Next time I would have them elsewhere or get someone to look after them.
5.) Joint sale
Combine with someone who lives on a busier road/closer to a main road than I do or get neighbours to host a street sale.
6.) Hold it in Spring/Summer/early autumn
This sale was in winter which isn’t too bad in Sydney, but sales are better in warmer weather.
7.) Hold it for longer
I only had until 1pm this time, which definitely felt like enough, but other sales I had I did til 4pm and sold off a fair bit towards the end. Lunch time is quiet everywhere as there are sports and things on. It is busy before and after.
8.) Extra items
Plan better and have potted plants, possibly baked goods (my mothers kitchen is registered to do this), a sausage sizzle, cold or hot drinks and things like that to bump up sales.
9.) Display items clearly
I didn’t have enough and would have liked more things displayed better. If I had followed my own advice and been more organised I possibly would have sold more.

Either way, it was worth it and I am happy.

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5 thoughts on “Tips For Garage Sale Success!

  1. Niki

    Congratulations on standing your ground. I probably would have given a discount.

    Can't wait to hear how this adds up to your 1000 things.

    Reply
  2. Lindy Mint

    I'm also impressed that you didn't back down. I probably would have caved. If your hourly rate is above minimum wage, it's definitely worth it.

    My kids did the same thing at our last two yard sales – toys they never played with were suddenly their favorites and they were appalled I was selling them. I have a bunch of old toys in our pile for the next sale, so I'll definitely be sending them to the grandparents house. It's just easier that way. 🙂

    A reader of mine also gave me a tip to put out the signs the night before so you don't have to race to the street corner at 6 A.M.

    Reply
  3. Tat

    Thanks for the advice. I've always thought garage sales are too much work and just drag my items to the charity bin, but having some sound advice on how to do it properly may just be what I need to make it work.

    Reply
  4. JT

    This is hilarious! Calling yourself Uncle Peter is weird enough, but speaking in third person might just be icing on the cake.

    You were wise to refuse negotiating with him, especially so early. I think the garage sale shoppers know that negotiating is always on the table, so it pays to be assertive in the price you want.

    Reply
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