My Story: A Successful Garage Sale

contributed by Rhonda


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I am an avid bargain hunter, and I love to hit yard sales early Saturday morning with my mom and my two small children. Hence, I sometimes end up with more stuff than I need. Sometimes, I change my mind about something. When I have my own yard sale, I can usually get, at the very least, my money back, or if I'm lucky, I can even make a profit. Here are a few yard sale tips:

  1. Timing is important. For some reason, the first weekend of the month gets the best turnout. Get some neighbors, if not the whole neighborhood, to have a sale on the same day for a better turnout. Be aware of any established large church sales or neighborhood sales. We made the mistake of having a sale the same day as a large neighborhood's sale that is held the same week each year. We held another sale the following Saturday and had a much better turnout.

  2. Don't hold a yard sale if you're desperate for money. A relative that had recently been laid-off held a yard sale to help make a car payment. She ended up panicking and selling some nice antique furniture for less than half the money she could have earned if she had the time and patience.

  3. In pricing items, a good rule of thumb is 10% of retail price. Items in brand-new condition or children's/baby's items in good condition can sometimes bring more, and items in poor condition will definitely bring less.

  4. If you're selling a lot of children's clothing, which are often two- or three-piece sets, have them on a hanger together or safety pin the items together, so they can be inspected easily by the customer. This way, you won't be matching the sets over and over after customers have browsed through the stacks of clothes.

  5. Pay attention to safety and security. Keep small, valuable items such as jewelry or collectibles close to (if not on) your checkout table. Keep all items within your range of vision. A large rocking horse was taken from one of my sales because I had it with other large toys and children's items that were lined down the driveway, past the checkout point. Locate your checkout table near the spot that people will entering and exiting. And never let anyone inside your home for any reason. Remove or hide expensive tools, sports equipment, etc. that may also be stored in your garage.


"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it by MyStory@stretcher.com

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