Top 10 Garage Sale Mistakes

Thinking of cleaning out your garage or closets, or maybe you’re moving and finally decluttering? Having a garage sale can sometimes be a great way to clean out unused items from your home and make a little money doing it. If you’re planning a garage sale, read our list of the top 10 garage sale mistakes so you can avoid them and get top dollar for any of your valuables.

Garage Sale Mistakes (and Fixes)

garage sale mistakes

Have pieces like the ones in the photo? Call Stress Free Estates.

#1 Not enough items

– If you only have a handful of items, you may want to try another outlet like eBay or Craigslist. More items will draw a larger crowd of passersby, which in turn can mean the potential for more sales. Don’t waste an entire day without selling anything; make sure you have enough inventory to make it worth the customers’ while.

#2 Extremely high prices
– People are drawn to garage sales in the hopes of scoring “the deal of the century,” so don’t scare them away with overpriced goods. This can also go the reverse: don’t let your gems be undersold by those that think everything should be dirt cheap just because it’s at a garage sale.
– Call the staff at Stress Free Estates to see if your items might be better suited in an estate sale. If you think your items may be of higher value, let us help you get top dollar!

#3 Missing price tags
– You could lose out on potential sales if all your items aren’t priced beforehand. Don’t let yourself get caught up haggling with one customer while another loses interest waiting to see the price on one of your items. This can also help make sure you’re getting what you want for each item; giving thought to your prices will help you come up with a fair number for your items and promote sales throughout your day.

#4 Not finding the value of items ahead of time
– If you think you’re got a diamond in the rough, call an appraiser. A licensed appraiser can take a look at your item and tell you what it’s worth. This way, you know if you’ve got a garage sale piece or an estate sale worthy item.

#5 Keep enough change on hand
– Don’t lose sales because you can’t break a large bill. Prepare by going to the bank and getting ample small bills; a large chunk of your buyers will likely be buying using 20s and 50s.

#6 You’re not organized
– Organization can be a make-or-break factor for your garage sale. Don’t just throw things together and expect people to dig around. Group similar items so people can easily find what they are looking for. The less time they spend digging, the more they may find to purchase!

#7 Lack of advertising
– No matter how great your garage sale may be, it’s not going to be successful if nobody knows about it. Utilize social media and Craigslist to advertise your sale. Invite your friends to tell their friends! A good sign around the neighborhood is always a good idea.

#8 The timing is off
– We recommend planning your garage sale near the middle of the month. Many shoppers will have rent or a mortgage due near the end of the month, so this timeframe is a great buffer for those trying to budget. Make sure it is long enough for those that work on the weekend; we recommend somewhere from 8am-1pm as a safe timeframe.

#9 You don’t have help
– Extra hands on the day of a big sale are crucial. It is inevitable that you will end up talking to a customer about prices while another is ready to pay. Having at least one other person around to help is highly recommended for your sale to run smoothly.

#10 You don’t rearrange as things sell
– The last thing you want, especially near the end of your sale, is for your items to look picked over. As large items sell, continue to rearrange things so it looks full and well organized. This will keep people coming; someone driving by may not stop if it looks like very little is left.

Thinking about skipping a garage sale and going for an estate liquidation or selling a few items instead? Call Stress Free Estates at 727.308.0590.