Saturday, November 7, 2015

Day 2214 - How to organise a garage sale

The cleansing continues ...

I wish I could say that this garage sale was taking place at our house.  I would LOVE to cleanse from all the stuff that we have collected (and stored) as a family.  Alas this garage sale is taking place at the in-laws as they downsize in readiness for their move to a retirement complex.

Perhaps we'll organise our own one day soon?

Here are a few steps to organising a great garage sale:

  • Time and Date: Set your time and date in advance with plenty of time to plan.  The best time for a garage sale is in spring on a Saturday from 8.00am-2.00pm.
  • Stockpile: Clear an area in the garage the week before and start stockpiling the stuff to sell.
  • Advertise: Advertise in All Classifieds, Gumtree and the local newspaper.  You can also try a few of those garage sale websites. You don't have to spend much for advertising! 
  • Signage: On the day of the sale put large signs on the main roads around your area with the words "Garage Sale" and your address.  (Nothing fancy - all you need are big sheets of tough cardboard, some paint and some string.)  Put signs on the street outside your house. Balloons are also a good way to attract random passers by. Remember to take them down as soon as your sale is finished.
  • Money: Ensure you have a float of at least $150 made up of $10, $5, $2 and $1. Keep the money in a small shoulder bag (across your chest) or in a bum bag secured at your front so that your money isn't left unattended.
  • Display: Spread out your goods on plastic tarps, clothing racks and portable tables so that your customers can walk around and peruse easily and comfortably.  By spreading it out you are attracting more customers off the street because of the perceived volume and variety of what's on sale.
  • Contingency plan: Be prepared for rain so have a wet weather under-cover strategy.  
  • Engage your customers: Be ready to chat and share your story.  People love second hand goods with a great back-story.
  • Pricing: Price your items above what you're ready to settle for because people will talk you down, but not so high that people walk away in disgust.  A garage sale is about finding handy items at a great price while you make some decent cash in the process. 
  • Packaging: Have plastic carry bags and newspaper ready to wrap up purchases.
  • Furniture and white goods: For any large items like furniture you can put a pin board outside with photos of the item and the price and then have one of your helpers escort serious customers into the home to view.
  • Safety first:  Have 3-5 people assisting on the day to ensure your stall and your house is kept monitored.  Have at least two people on the stall at all times with back-up in the house ready to give you a rest.  Remember you will need toilet and drink breaks.  It's also a good idea to secure any side or back accesses to your home so that thieves don't take advantage of the fact that you're too busy selling to keep an eye on your home. 
  • Left overs: Have boxes ready at the end of the stall marked with "rubbish", "donation" and "to list on Gumtree".  That way you can continue to cleanse even when the sale is over.

Garage sales can be a fun, friendly and quick way to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff that you just don't use anymore.  Whether it be furniture, clothes, DVDs, books, kitchen wear, games, puzzles or electronics.  A department store right in your own home.


You could bring in a bunch of cash in no time! 


  1. That all sounds very organised I hope they sold a lot of stuff! I must say Im a big fun of Gumtree I sell and buy a lot from there :)

    1. Yeah, it was run really well. They were very happy with the money they brought it! So much so that they shouted us to dinner :)

  2. I used to love going to garage sales but I now avoid them to avoid bringing more clutter into the house!

    1. I am the same! I shudder at the though of going to one ... but I revel in the idea of having one! (I guess I'm a bit of a hypocrite really ...

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