Our family buys practically everything we can from garage sales. We haven't bought anything retail in so long that I barely remember how to get to the mall. Over the years, we have learned what makes a succesful garage sale and what makes a dud of a garage sale.
Tip 1: Always advertise on Craigslist two days before your sale and the day before your sale. List you address, cross streets and the time you are starting. Don't forget to list the types of goods you are selling.
Tip 2: Signage is very important. Use bright colored paper to create arrows and place them on major intersections to direct cars to your sale. No other info is required other than the words GARAGE SALE. Remove your signs when your sale is over.
Tip 3: Don't hide your sale in the garage. Place your tables at the front of your driveway by the street. It is intimidating for passers-by to approach your home by walking up the drive way and entering your garage.
Tip 4: Use tables instead of blankets. Even if you have to rent or borrow tables, your potential customers will spend more time looking at your goods if they don't have to bend over to the ground. They will also take more care to keep your items organized then if they have to bend down.
Tip 5: Separate clothing into gender and age group and keep these groupings on opposite ends of the sale. For instance, if you have both boys and girls clothing, keep the boys stuff in bins on the left of the sale, on a separate table from the girl's stuff. Maternity clothing and women's clothing should be seperated and placed on opposite sides as well. You do not want your groupings to be destroyed. The more organized your clothing and shoes are, the more time potential customers will spend shopping.
Tip 6: Do not use price tags unless you will absolutely not bargain. Someone may wish to buy your item but they may not be willing to pay what you have on your tag. Remember, your items are only worth what someone is willing to pay for them and the goal of your sale is to sell the items, not have them in the garage for eternity.
Tip 7: Don't tell people what you paid for items when they make you an offer. If your customers wanted to pay full retail, they wouldn't be up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday at your garage sale. It doesn't matter if you have the receipt either. If you think someone else will come along and pay more, simply decline the offer or counter offer. If the item is a specialty item, consider selling it when you get the chance.
Tip 8: Items with real worth and value can be sold on eBay or on Craigslist. If you don't have the time or inclination to sell them yourselves this way, sell them for a good deal at your garage sale. Don't expect garage sale customers to pay what someone might pay for the item on Craigslist or eBay. People don't go to garage sales to pay full price.
Tip 9: Your objective should be to make your money with selling volume. If you accept 75-90% of the offers you receive, you will unload your merchandise and have a nice pay out at the end of the day. Don't hold on to your junk thinking it is worth more than what you have been offered. You will either end up with a garage full of useless stuff or up the next Saturday with another sale.
Tip 10: Have fun! Meet your neighbors. Be friendly and give things away. It will make you feel great and make someone else's day!