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How to Make The Most of Your Garage Sale {10 Things}

Considering the fact that we are having a SWEET multi-family garage sale this Saturday, we decided to reference our previous post for some tips and tricks to holding the perfect garage sale.  This is the time for Spring Cleaning [and for saving up for those summer vacations!], so organize that closet and turn your trash into cash!

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So, we all know that garage sales are a lot of work, but they can also be super worth it (if you do it right). My husband was not excited to hear that we were spending our Friday night rummaging through our closets, and then all Saturday morning hosting a garage sale. BUT, after the sale was done and he counted the cash, he was pretty pleased (and then came the “I told you so” face).

At our garage sale last year, on a scale of 1-10, I’d give us like a 6 or 7 for effort.  We did well and it was definitely successful, but it also made me realize there are some simple, yet crucial tasks that every garage sale should complete in order to get more bang for your buck.

Here are 10 tips on how to make the most of your garage sale:

1. People show up early, and I mean EARLY. There’s some serious garage sale shoppers (I know, because my Aunt Susi is one of them – love you Susi!) and they plan their routes the night before. We had our start time set at 7am and people were showing up by 6:30am, no joke. And, they weren’t just sitting in their cars — they were looking through our bags that we hadn’t even unpacked yet. Early bird gets the worm, right?  So, if you think you’ll be setup by 7am, put a start time of 7:30 or even 7:45am and thank me later.

2. Have someone get coffee and breakfast goodies while the rest of the crew sets up.  This is a crucial tip because, let’s be real, no one wants to be up that early on a Saturday without some coffee (yikes).  We had the guys get the goods while us ladies organized — because God knows what the place would look like if we left it to the men.

{Tip: We also might have poured mimosas around 11am. Ya know… once things were slowing down a bit — definitely recommend that as well 🙂 }

3. Enlist friends and family to join you. Our garage sale started because my sister Tanisha & her husband Mark wanted to clean out their garage. It then quickly turned into the whole fam-dam-ly and, let me tell you, it was quite the team effort. There were multiple moments in the morning where we had lines of people waiting to pay so luckily there was quite a few of us!

How to Make the Most of Your Garage Sale - LocalLove805

4. Bags, bags, bags. Remember all those plastic grocery bags under your sink?  Here’s your moment to use them! Grab old bags from around the house and have those on hand for shoppers — makes things easier for both you and the customers. 

{Learning Lesson: We prefer to trust people, but to be safe, make sure you check all items in the bags as you are cashing out your shoppers. People can get sneaky.}

5. Organize your garage sale so it’s easy to know prices. For instance, you can lay certain items on blankets that are labeled by price — so a $5 section, a $1 section, etc. Or, if you’re super organized, you can place those colored circle stickers on items and have each color be a certain price (that takes more work on your end, but it will save you a lot of chaos too).

6. Promote your garage sale online!! Craigslist and are both musts.  You can also do Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for that extra push.  And, if you’re a die hard, you can even advertise in the local papers or in the PennySaver (we did not do that, but if you have big items that you want to get rid of, by all means… go BIG).

{Tip: Include major items such as chandelier, couch, designer clothes, and jewelry for the serious shoppers looking for specific items — don’t forget, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!}

7. Garage sale signs.  Here’s a tip – go to the nearest $1 store and buy a couple of neon poster boards, sharpies and duct tape (yes, they have all of that there, plus more). Cut the posters into smaller pieces, put the street name and full address if you’d like — just make sure you pick up all your signs after the sale, which everyone does, riiiight??? 😉

{Tip: We actually had shoppers tell us they got lost following our signs (woops!), so my mom and I had to make a run to the $1 store to make more. Don’t put the arrows on your posters until you know exactly where they’re going too :)}

8. Have cash on hand, and lots of it. We thought $20 in cash would be enough. Think again. We had shoppers bringing $20 bills and larger, when their total would be just a couple bucks. Also, you might want to have change on hand for smaller items.

How to Make the Most of your Garage Sale - LocalLove805

 9. Ask shoppers to pay you upfront if they want you to “hold” an item for them. We had a couple items get “sold” that we held onto for people, and also later had to turn away higher offers. Some of the shoppers did come back to pick up the held items, but we also had some who never returned.

10. Donate any leftover items to a charity, such as a local church or any of the below:

Garage Sales are a great way to clean out that cramped garage or closet of yours, make some extra cash for your next weekend getaway, or donate to a charity. There’s so much good that can come out of an early Saturday morning shift — 6am – 12pm and you’re done. Not only did we enjoy the outcome of our garage sale, but also the chance to engage with our community and neighbors. And of course, it’s hard to not be entertained when our niece and nephew are around (aren’t they the cutest!?).

How to Make the Most of Your Garage Sale - LocalLove805Do you have any other tips or local charities that we forgot to mention? If so, please let us know!

SHAMELESS PLUG: Come to our garage sale this Saturday, March 5th, at 2559 Sirius Street in Thousand Oaks from 7am-12:30pm to score some sweet threads and home decor!


~ Your Team {LocalLove805}

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  1. Rosi
    4 years ago

    It’s also good to have a long extension cord plugged in, and out in the drive way for people to plug in any electrical devices, that shows they indeed do work.

    1. Hayley
      3 years ago

      That’s a great idea! Thank you Rosi!

  2. Finn Multilock
    2 years ago

    I can do it…


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