Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Looking for extra cash? Clean out your house and run a garage sale. Better yet, join with friends and host a big, big sale. Many newspapers offer a garage sale kit to tell you what to do. Find someone who has run sales before to help you out. A few tips: Run an ad online (Craig's list is good) and in your local paper. Read other people's ads to see what's selling. Put up neighborhood signs that can be read from a moving car. Set up a sorted display--clothes in one place, toys in another. Mark everything with masking tape or another label that's hard to remove. Do not put labels on paper or other surfaces that could be damaged by the glue. Make sure there's an electric outlet nearby that can be used to test any electrical items. Price things low enough. Your selling cost is less than it would be with a lot of online listings. Don't let anyone in your house for any reason. Keep cash in a secure box with a trustworthy person watching it. After the sale, help others by packing up what remains and taking it to a charity resale shop. You'll be adding a good deed to the list of your accomplishments that day.


CARole said...

I just want to say how much I enjoy reading Kovels emails. This idea of a garage sale, with tips of how to have a successful one is great. Thank you and keep up the good work. I'm going to spread the word on my blog about yours.

Anonymous said...

Posted signs only work after you run ad in your newspaper classified section. Most buyers don't pay attention to signs on street corner because other garage sale advertisers don't always go take their old sale signs down,(lazy so-and-so's drive me nutz!) Buyers bible is your local classified ads, is how many plan their route to most attractive sales. **Oh and please go take your signs down after your sale completes!**

Jill said...

You forgot about something here for a really great garage sale!Here is the tip:
ON YOUR SIGNS PUT BIG BLACK ARROWS (black electric tape works well or use a black marker)POINTING THE WAY,MOST PEOPLE DO NOT EVEN LOOK AT THE ADDRESS THEY JUST FOLLOW THE ARROWS! I have been running Estate Sales and garage sales for 20 plus years and the people that have come to my sales have told me what great signs I have! Plus another tip: USE VERY BRIGHT SIGNS (HOT PINK,BRIGHT ORANGE,THEY CAN BE FOUND AT A SUPPLY STORE LIKE OFFICE DEPO)! This works all the time as some folks just don't see that well when the sign is blended in with the brown color cardboard. Hope this helps anyone with a very successful garage sale.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy and tak advantage of the yard sale queens blog and free tips on her website. Sellers need to be concerned about moeny and change, pesonal safety, etc. Why is it more fun to go to sales than having one?

bidonmine3 said...

Regarding the following from the article: 'Mark everything with masking tape or another label that's hard to remove. '
This is not a good idea. I purchase at yard sales for re-sale and as a collector. If masking tape or other tapes that leave a residue are used then the item becomes almost worthless to me.
You can purchase the price circles at many stores (get the ones without prices on them already) and then write in your price. These are easy to remove and do not leave a mark. Use all the same color and use a marker color you can easily read.

cmfic said...

As a regular successful sale holder- here are my tips! Put the DATES of your sale ON your signs too! Use then Neon Colors to your advantage! BIG Letters for address- and arrows- ALWAYS! Make one person the primary money station, but at slow times, remove large bills and over abundance of other bills and have it taken to a safe spot in the house! I prefer a SMALL cash bag or box thats PORTABLE in case the person checking out needs to leave the table-so they can take it with them~ even if it's just 10 feet away to tell someone something about an item at the sale. Keep the most valuable items closest to the checkout area, where you can supervise!Esp. small pocketable items. After the sale, post an ad for leftovers on WWW.freecycle.org and let someone else come do the hard work of hauling it all away- IF you don't need the tax write off a resale shop would offer. Freecycle has a group for every state and locality- it's FREE to join- go check it out sometime! Sting tag your most impotant items as not to damage them-write the price boldly ! No tag, no sale on those items until you talk and come to a decision. And, lower prices mean more sales-you really are there to sell it all anyhow right? Little peices of pie become whole pies very quickly that way! Good luck, hope that helps all!

Anonymous said...

I agree with bidonmine - never use masking tape. Here's another one - never write on the object with a magic marker. I went to one sale where the seller had written the prices on everything with big bold numbers. As a reseller, that pretty much ruins the item.
By the way, I've started a web site for fellow yard sale junkies -
You can find and list yard sales for free!
Check it out.

Anonymous said...

DON'T USE A "CASH BOX"!!! Always keep your cash in a fanny pack or small purse you wear around your neck.

Anonymous said...

A word to the wise make sure you know what you are selling. I was gathering things together and came across a "Candy Dish" that I no longer wanted. Long story short I was cleaning this "Candy Dish" and felt a name on the bottom. It was a Carl Sorensen. Needless to say it didn't get the $3 pricetag I was going to put on it. It is now in my living room as a reminder.

Anonymous said...

You didn't mention the importance
of having enough of the right kind
of change on hand. I always get 50
ones, 8 5's, 10 10's and 5 20's
depending on price of items I have
for sale. Not having the right change can ruin a sale.

Anonymous said...

A great source for signs is leftover political signs after elections are over. We gather up these, and the wire frames for the signs are perfect for creating big, easy to read garage sale signs. You can sometimes turn the political signs over and use the blank back side to make your sign, which is a great re-use, or the wire frames are usually perfect for using posterboard to make signs. Also, at the end of our last sale, we spent an extra hour after the end of the sale, and gave away most of what was left for free. We didn't give away anything that we felt was valuable, but the rest was free for the taking. It was great. People got something for free, we got to make people feel good, and we had less stuff to pack up and cart off at the end. Really, it made all the work a joy, and was another way to -re-use and recycle stuff we didn't want or need!