Preparing And Marketing Your Sale For Maximum Return

Written by Brooke Wagner

DENVER (CBS4) – Garage sales are a great way to make a little extra cash, but they’re also wonderful for cleaning out the house. This is a great time to plan your sale. After a long winter, “sailers” (like me) are always excited to get back out on the scene and find treasures.

How you set up and market your sale makes all the difference in how much you get rid of, and how much you earn! As a long time garage sale veteran, I’d like to offer my tips.

1) It’s hard to host a great garage sale if you haven’t been to many yourself. If you haven’t, try to stop by a few just to see what you think works and doesn’t work.

2) Price everything. No one likes to have to ask the seller the asking price on every single item. Use bright labels and price everything at 75 percent or more off the price you paid for the item. When pricing, take condition, age and desirability into account.

3) Just because you’ve put a price on the item doesn’t mean no one will want to haggle. You should always be willing to strike a deal or you’ll be bummed at the end of the day when the item you could have gotten $5 for earlier is still sitting there. You can also consider giving a bigger price break for larger volume purchases.

4) Make it a pleasant shopping experience. Use, borrow or rent as many tables as you can. I rent large tables from a rent-all store for about $8 each. Then you can neatly display everything. I also like to label the tables so shoppers can find what they’re looking for more easily. No one wants to dig through piles of clothes in a box or on the lawn. I hang a rope across the garage for clothes on hangers so they’re easy to peruse. I also use the bags in which I packed up all my garage sale items to give to shoppers for their purchases.

5) Market! You can advertise your sale in the paper, Craigslist, your neighborhood newsletter, or any number of other options. Make sure to let shoppers know what makes your sale special — what tempting items will you have? Brand name, gently-used kids’ clothes? Tools? Designer household items? Sellers have to give buyers a reason to choose their sale. Also, make sure you put up plenty of signs so potential shoppers can find you coming from any direction.

6) High gas prices mean shoppers will be choosing their weekend route even more carefully. Consider being part of a neighborhood sale, if your area has one. You might get more traffic.

Good luck selling! If buying is more on your mind right now, it’s a great time to pick up those after Easter deals on candy, stocking stuffers, educational motivators, decor, whatever you’re looking for. Look for the lowest prices at the end of this week and into the weekend. Also, Mother’s Day sales are starting, so check out deals on jewelry and perfume.

I’d love to hear about your bargains and sale tips in comments!

And don’t forget the CBS4 Deal of the Day!

  1. PR says:

    These are great tips! One thing I would add is to check all your items for recalls before you sell. It’s illegal to sell recalled items & people are wary of purchasing items, especially children’s items, without knowing they’re safe.

    Check out Simply Check ( by WeMakeItSafer. It’ll help you quickly check for recalls & print out seals to put on your items so your customers know you’ve checked.

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