This weekend I learned that hosting a garage sale is much more exhausting than shopping at a garage sale! Luckily, it's also more profitable. I got together with my sister and dad to host a garage sale at my parent's house. My parents live in a popular neighborhood so their house was the perfect place to host a yard sale.
We posted ads on Craigslist and hung up signs throughout the neighborhood (I blurred out their address in the photo below). I liked using one color of paper for all of the signs so people could follow the arrows as they made turns, but I wish we would have made the signs a little bigger because I think the 8"x10" size was a little on the small side.
Between myself, my sister, my parents, and my aunt and cousin that dropped off some items, we had a TON of stuff! Having so much stuff displayed drew a nice crowd, but it was a little confusing to keep track of each person's sales so we could divvy up the money later.
We didn't bother pricing each item beforehand, but we set up one table where everything was 50 cents, a $1 table, and a $2+ table. This worked well so people didn't have to ask us the price of smaller items.
The larger stuff we left unlabeled so we could adjust the price as we wanted to (towards the end of the day we were more anxious to get rid of stuff and lowered prices).
The garage sale was a nice success for all of us. I sold our old kitchen sink, clothes, and small household items. But we still had lots and lots of stuff leftover. This stuff got loaded straight into my sister's van and hauled off to Goodwill. Since we took the time to drag all of this stuff out of our houses no one wanted to bring it back in. We had a huge car load of donations!
The garage sale was a success but it was exhausting! I came home, collapsed and took a nap afterwards.
Hosting a garage sale taught me a few things about shopping at them:
-Negotiate: Some people asked for lower prices, but most didn't. In most cases, we gave them the lower price they asked for. Negotiating is worth it if you ask for a slightly lower price. One guy showed up wearing a "Garage Sale Connesouir" t-shirt and offered us only 20% of our asking price for a couple of items. This was totally uncool and we didn't budge on our prices. But most people asked for $1 off here and there or a discount off of multiple items and this worked.
-Shop Early: If you're shopping with certain items in mind, shop as soon as the garage sale starts for the best selection (but don't be an early bird and show up when people are still setting up, that can be annoying). My parents sold their barbecue grill first thing in the morning and later multiple people asked about it, but it was already marked as sold.
-Shop Late: If you're not looking for anything in particular (like a barbecue grill) shop late for the best prices. Towards the end of the day we were just looking to get rid of stuff, instead of having to haul it away, so we dropped our prices on most items.
-Don't Buy Frivolously: Hosting a garage sale made me rethink the kinds of stuff I buy. Next time I'm at a yard sale and want to buy a knick-knack I don't really need, I'll think twice. Do I really want to keep this item in my house and have to sell it at a garage sale someday or drag it to Goodwill?
I was happy to get rid of so much stuff and make a little moolah (which went straight to our piggy bank for our next vacation!) but it was hard work to haul all of the stuff to my parents house, set everything up, sit in the hot sun all day, and haul the unsold stuff to Goodwill. The "big ticket" items we had, like my old kitchen sink or my parent's barbecue grill, made the sale most worthwhile. I may host another garage sale someday, but I don't see myself doing it for several more years until I have some more big items to sell.
Have you ever hosted a garage sale? Did you think it was worth all of the work?
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