Turn Your Clutter into Cash: Simple Steps for a Successful Spring Garage Sale

Dollar bill

Need to clear some space in your home or storage unit? Want to make some extra money, too? A spring garage sale can turn your spring cleaning into some fast cash. But don’t try to throw something together last minute! A successful garage sale requires planning and organization.

Gather Items and Take Inventory

Go through every room in your home and gather up all of the items you are interested in selling, even items you can’t imagine anyone buying. Remember, if you haven't used it for over a year, you likely won't miss it. Group similar items together in a spare bedroom or in your storage unit. This will allow for easier pricing and gives you an idea of your inventory for display and advertising purposes.

Price Your Items to Sell

Garage sale shoppers are looking for bargains. A general rule for pricing a valuable item, is to price it at a quarter of its original price. Individual items should be priced cheaply, and similar items (like books or CDs) can be grouped together and displayed in a box with a sign listing their price, such at “Books $0.25 each”.

Pick a Date and Time

Choose a date and time for your sale. Summer weekends, especially Fridays and Saturdays, are usually the best times. Most yard sales start early in the morning and end late into the evening (8 a.m. until 6 p.m.)

Advertise and Promote

You want people to know you’re having a sale!

  • Print & Flyers: Advertise in your local newspaper, community bulletin boards, grocery stores, laundromats, and neighborhood papers.
  • Online: Post to Craigslist and any neighborhood websites. List the time, date, and location of your sale and, if possible, list some of your items (with details like brands and sizes). Don’t forget to add a descriptive title to your listing!
  • Physical Signs: Create quality, clearly written signs a few days before your sale. After checking your city and/or homeowners association's rules regarding signs, post your signs around your neighborhood (especially the entrance to your neighborhood, intersections, and at your sale location,) a few days before the sale for maximum exposure.You can also tape your signs to telephone and traffic sign poles, lamp posts, and trees.

Set Up

Get up and set up early. Seasoned garage sale shoppers often arrive before your posted time, so make sure you have everything ready an hour or two early. Make sure your tables are neatly arranged and premium items are prominently displayed.

Payments and Haggling

Be sure to have plenty of small bills and change and consider using an apron or fanny pack to hold your money. If you own a smartphone or a tablet, you may wish to set up a credit card swipe. Even though your prices are clearly marked, some shoppers will want to haggle. Don’t drop your prices too early, but remember, you are trying to get rid of these items.

If you are left with any items at the end of your sale, give them away to friends, family, neighbors, or charities. If you can’t bear to part with them but don’t have room to store them again in your home, Storage Post can store your items for you until you need them or until your next garage sale.