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How to Profit from a Garage Sale or Yard Sale

Have a big sign out front that is easy to read while driving.
Have a big sign out front that is easy to read while driving. | Source

So, do you want to have the best garage sale and actually make some money off of the items that have been sitting in the garage for way too long? In order to do this, you must take the time to plan out your garage sale so that you have enough items to make a decent profit as well as getting considerable traffic to your yard. The following steps will help you plan the best garage sale that will guarantee some cash in your pocket by the end of the day.

How to Start Planning

The first thing you want to do before having a garage sale is to make sure you have enough items to sell. If your yard looks empty from the street, potential buyers may not stop to check out what you have. Make sure that you have plenty of items close to the road. This may mean you need to have a "driveway sale" or "yard sale" instead of having it in the garage.

If you do not have enough items to sell, consider inviting your neighbors and friends to sell their items with you. To be fair, you should label each contributor's item with a different colored tag so that you can keep track of each seller's earnings. You can also ask friends and neighbors for donations. They may have things in their home that they would like to get rid of without having to make a profit off of it.

Compile the items you want to sell and sort them out in an empty space in or by your home. While sorting, think of ways in which you will display your items so that they are organized appealing to potential buyers. You may want to have some tape or stickers with you so that you can also price your items while sorting.

Have tables so people don't have to bend down to see your items.
Have tables so people don't have to bend down to see your items. | Source

Pricing Your Items

When people go to garage sales, they expect everything to be labeled with the price. People may not bother to buy an item if they have to ask how much you are selling it for. Usually, you will want to price your items lower than a common thrift store would price them. Usually, you will sell things for 20% of the original buying price depending on the condition of the item.

You may also be holding a garage sale for charity in which case you can price your items a little higher than usual. Make sure to pass out materials that explain where the benefits go and how they will be used.

Below is a table of the general prices garage sale buyers would pay for specific items. You will want to price your items within the range listed below. You may price them higher if you don't mind participating in negotiations, but the high prices may turn away some prospective buyers.

How Much Should I Sell My Item for?

(click column header to sort results)
Type  
Item  
Price Range  
Clothing
Children's Pants
$0.50 to $2.00
Clothing
Children's Shirts
$0.50 to $1.50
Clothing
Children's Shoes
$2.00 to $3.00
Clothing
Men's Pants
$2.00 to $3.00
Clothing
Men's Shirts
$1.00 to $1.50
Clothing
Men's Shoes
$2.00 to $5.00
Clothing
Women's Pants
$3.00 to $4.00
Clothing
Women's Shirts
$1.00 to $5.00
Clothing
Women's Shoes
$2.00 to $5.00
Clothing
Women's Dresses and Skirts
$3.00 to $7.00
Clothing
Jackets and Sweaters
$2.00 to $6.00
Clothing
Belts, Hats and Ties
$0.50 to $1.00
Clothing
Purses, Jewelry and Other Accessories
$2.00 to $5.00
Electronics
TVs
$15.00 to $40.00
Electronics
DVD Players
$20.00 to $35.00
Electronics
VCRs
$5.00 to $10.00
Electronics
CD Players and Stereos
$10.00 to $20.00
Electronics
GPS
$50.00 to $70.00
Electronics
Laptop Computers
$40.00 to $160.00
Electronics
Desktop Computers
$30.00 to $100.00
Electronics
Video Game Systems
$15.00 to $60.00
Electronics
Clocks, Calculators and Other Misc. Electronics
$5.00 to $10.00
Entertainment
Board Games
$.50 to $2.00
Entertainment
Video Games
$2.00 to $10.00
Entertainment
Computer Games
$0.50 to $1.50
Entertainment
Stuffed Animals and Dolls
$0.50 to $1.00
Entertainment
Books
$0.25 to $2.00
Entertainment
DVDs
$3.00 to $5.00
Entertainment
CDs
$1.50 to $3.00
Entertainment
Vinyl Records
$0.50 to $1.50
Furniture
End Tables
$15.00 to $25.00
Furniture
Large or Dining Room Tables
$30.00 to $60.00
Furniture
Lamps, Vases and Other Misc. Household Items
$7.00 to $15.00
Furniture
Couches
$40.00 to $100.00
Furniture
Chairs
$10.00 to $50.00
Furniture
Beds (Frame, Mattress and Box Spring)
$60.00 to $100.00
Furniture
Mattress
$10.00 to $30.00
Furniture
Headboard
$15.00 to $40.00
Furniture
Desk
$15.00 to $60.00
Furniture
Bookshelf
$10.00 to $20.00
Home and Garden
Plates
$1.00 to $3.00
Home and Garden
Silverware
$0.25 to $1.00
Home and Garden
China
$5.00 to $15.00
Home and Garden
Pots and Pans
$3.00 to $7.00
Home and Garden
Lawn Mower
$40.00 to $80.00
Home and Garden
Weed Eater
$30.00 to $40.00
Home and Garden
Potted Plants
$5.00 to $20.00
Home and Garden
Grills
$60.00 to $100.00

Getting People to Come to Your Sale

Before you plan your garage sale, you will need to check with your local government to see if there are any restrictions to posting signs or selling items. You may need to get a permit for your garage sale depending on where you live.

Make plenty of signs and put them around your area. Make these signs simple and easy to read. Do not put too much information about the sale on signs that you expect drivers to see. For these signs, I suggest simply writing "Big Garage Sale This Way" with an arrow pointing in the direction of your home. You will need to place others along the way so people can find you while driving. Use a dark, thick marker on light-colored paper in order to assure that people can see it from the road.

A week before your garage sale, go to your local coffee shops and ask to put a flyer on their bulletin board. You can put a flyer with pull tabs on the bottom that list your address and the date of the garage sale. This way, people will be able to plan for the sale and have your address at hand.

You will also want to post an ad on Craigslist. This generates a ton of customers. Other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are also a great way to get friends to come and see what you're selling.

Put a big sign in front of your house on the day of the sale. You may also want to list the items that you will be selling (i.e. "Furniture, Clothes, Electronics!"); keep it brief. Having a "FREE" box or $1 Table for all of your miscellaneous items will also bring traffic to your yard.

Smile and be kind to your customers.
Smile and be kind to your customers. | Source

You Need Help

You will want to have a cashbox, calculator and bags to keep your sale clean and organized. Use old grocery bags to put smaller items in when selling and possibly get newspaper to wrap more delicate things.

You will also need some help from your friends or family to make sales easy. One person should be in charge of the cashbox and sales while another negotiates with buyers. You may also want someone strong to help customers carry large items like furniture.

Hopefully these tips will come in handy when you are planning the perfect garage sale. Good luck in your sales and comment below with any other helpful suggestions for holding a profitable garage sale!

Comments 17 comments

cheatlierepeat profile image

cheatlierepeat 5 years ago from Canada

Awesome Info! I have never had or been to a garage sale but always wanted to. Great source of info, good job!


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Thank you, Cheatlierepeat. I love garage sales because they are a great way to buy/sell things that people have no use for anymore. Thanks for commenting!


Rising Caren profile image

Rising Caren 5 years ago from New York

This hub has so much information and it's so well organized. I've always wanted to hold a garage sale for my parents' stuff as they could use the money and they have so much stuff, but my mom would rather throw stuff out than deal with the hassle of a garage sale.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Thank you, Caren. I held a garage sale for my parents in the past. It's well worth it.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

What a well thought out hub. I really liked the chart you provided. And I often wondered what was a good price for something and the 20% number took care of that question. You put a lot of work into your presentation. Great job!


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Thanks, HSB. It took a while, but I think it was worth it to make the table. Glad you liked it.


Derdriu 5 years ago

Britt: What a helpful, practical, useful hub on having success with garage sales! The organization is logical and supportive of reader questions, all of which you anticipate and answer. In particular, I like the way in which you pose challenges and offer explanations as well as solutions. For example, it is a great attention-getter to describe the garage sale as "big"!

Thank you for the multi-media presentation of video, textual, photographed and charted tips.

Voted up, etc.,

Derdriu


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Thank you, Derdriu. It took a long time to do the research for the table, but I think it will be useful to those who want to hold a garage sale that is well worth the amount of work needed to make money. Thank you again. Have a wonderful day. -Brittany


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Wow awesome hub! I frequent yard sales almost every weekend and I agree with many of your tips. Your prices are a bit high for me, I probably would bargain with you at your sale! lol Voted UP!!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

These are great ideas, and the table is very useful. I also like to make sure I have enough change for my customers.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Thank you, Sunshine. The list was compiled after surveying 100 people. The price range is the general amount that they would pay for that item. If you throw a garage sale, don't price them too low.

Millionaire Tips, Thank you for the comments and for reading. Change is a very important part of having a garage sale.


kikalina profile image

kikalina 4 years ago from Europe

The table is a great idea. I hate squatting at sales.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Thank you, kikalina. I agree.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

I like your prices, email me if you are going to have a sale. =:)


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Will do! Thanks!


mrfishs profile image

mrfishs 4 years ago from Mentor Ohio

Hello, Nice hub how long do you take for setup of a garage sale or yard sale and where do you live? Because I live in Ohio here the weather changes every five minutes and you spread your sale items all over the yard you be in a snow or rainstorm trying to pick up the items.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Author

Thanks, mrfishs. I usually take about an hour to set up, but it all depends on whether I have sorted the items first. If you have crazy weather, I suggest setting up a tent/tarp to lay the items under, or, you could hold the sale in your garage (if you have one). Another great way to do it is to ask your neighbors if they would like to join in. You could have a large sale at your community park or in one of their garages. Good luck!

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