Host an Organized Garage / Yard Sale

My friends and I host a Garage/Yard sale each spring. Today, I'm sharing "our" way of having an organized sale.  The most important thing that I would say is PLAN AHEAD!

SET A DATE for the sale.  We ALWAYS have our sales on Fridays, because that's the day that we get the most traffic. Some years we've had the sale on Saturday as well.  It may differ in your area, so ask around to see what day is a "popular garage sale" day. 

COLLECT ITEMS to sell within your home. I'm usually collecting all year.  If I see an item I no longer use, I add it to a dedicated garage sale box that I keep in the garage. A couple of weeks before the sale, I go through every drawer, cabinet, closet, etc. in my entire house and decide what to get rid of.  The garage sale box that I have in my garage, usually ends up being an ENTIRE storage closet FULL by the time I'm finished going through my home.
*  Create large bright signs and attach balloons to your signs.
*  Create a pull-tab flyer to post around town
*  Advertise on Craigslist
*  Place an ad in your local paper (our ads must be in by the Wednesday before the sale.)
*  Have each person that is involved in the sale post it on their facebook page.

PRICING YOUR ITEMS to sell is probably the most time-consuming. So give yourself PLENTY of time to do this.  Don't try to get all your pricing and setting up done the day before the sale.  It will exhaust you!   I always end up calling my good friend and she helps me figure out the best prices to put on my items. 
I use good ole' masking tape to price my items, because it stays in place.  The little colorful stickers ALWAYS fall off.   Price everything clearly on the top of the item. 

Each year that we have our sale we usually have at least 4 or 5 families involved.  In order to keep track of who's item sells, this year we did a little different tracking system, which worked well for us.   We place our initials on each of our price tags (did you notice the dm on the price tag above? that's me.)   The day of the sale, this is the way we tracked: (one of our lovely customers recommended this.)
We have 2 people at check-out.  One person (the bagger) takes the customers pile and tells the "cashier "the price and the initial, then places the item in a bag.  (REMEMBER to have plastic or paper grocery bags on hand.) The "cashier" writes the prices down with the initial next to each item (see above.) Then she puts a line under the last item. She then takes her calculator and adds up all the items above each line, to get the total price due.  At the end of the sale, we go back and total each persons amount, to figure out who made what.
Don't FORGET to go to the bank and get change the day before your sale.  We often begin with: two or three $10.00 bills, four $5.00 bills, twenty $1.00 bills and a roll of Quarters and roll of Dimes.  This year we used plastic pencil boxes to store our money and of course, we didn't let this out of our sight!  It would probably be wiser, NOT to use see-through bins. Next year we will do different :)
Group like items together on tables.
 A great way to display books is stacking them on their sides in plastic totes or boxes.
We lay a blanket on the ground for all the toys.
It works really great, because the children sit and play with the toys as the parents shop.
We have a wonderful friend, who loans us this clothes rounder every year ~ and it's so great! We try to hang as many clothes as possible, because clothes NEVER, EVER stay folded nicely on tables.  We always do end up with tables of clothing and this is how we organize the tables:
Labeling the fronts of the tables, to make it easier for the customer to find what they are looking for.
Place attractive items OUT front, so people can drive by and see that you have good stuff and that your sale would be worth stopping at.
We place a FREE box at the end of the driveway for people to go through on their way out. Who doesn't LOVE something that costs nothing?
Some years we've had the little ones sell snacks and drinks.  They LOVE it and it's really great for them.   I LOVE this homemade sign!! Makes me :)

Other years, we've had coffee and doughnuts for sale in the morning and hot dogs, soda and chips available to purchase in the afternoon. My hubby and  bro-in-law usually end up grilling the hot-dogs.  It's always FUN when their available to help out. I will say this, the hot-dog stand has always been a BIG hit! 

SLASH PRICES. If you're going to be having a 2-day sale, it's wise to price your items lower for the next day. Or even go through on day 1 and start marking things down, or adding it to your FREE bin.  Of course, if you REALLY want to sell the items, price them REAL CHEAP.

DONATE THE LEFT-OVERS.  At the end of the day, there is usually always stuff left over, unless you have an unbelievable SALE (and if you have a sale with nothing left over, please let me know HOW.) NOW you need to decide what to do with the left-over stuff that didn't sell.  Sometimes I donate my items to another sale that I know of. With children's clothing, I take the name brand clothing and bring it to a clothing consignment shop and often times, I donate the rest to goodwill.  I do NOT bring it back into my home.

Garage Sales ARE a lot of work, but can be SO worth it if you're looking to clear out some clutter and make some extra cash.

Do you have any great Garage Sale Tips?  Do Share!  I'd love to hear!

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