How to Have Successful Garage Sales
By Steve Gillman
I haven't had many successful garage sales myself. My best
one might have made me a bit over $200. Then again, I often lived
in areas that were not good for a sale, and I really only had
them to get rid of things--although making some money would be
nice too. Having now researched the topic, I can see some of
the mistakes I made, and it is also clear that you can do more
than make a little money once in a while with a garage sale.
You can make a living at it if you do it right.
If you do want to make some regular income with your
sales, you need to continually restock. The process can be like
a treasure hunt. You'll go to yard sales, flea markets, thrift
stores and anyplace else that people sell used items. Once you
develop a good eye for value, you should be able to buy things
for a third of what you can sell them for.
If you are going to have rummage or garage sales often, make
a plywood "sandwich board" sign for the front yard.
They're more visible and hold up to the wind better than flimsy
paper signs. You'll also need signs to post on poles at cross
streets, to direct traffic to your sale. Schedule for days when
there are other garage sales, which normally means weekends.
How Much Can You Make?
There are people who make a living at this. Some vendors
claim successful garage sales can net you $5,000 per month, but
I suspect most people would have to set up a more permanent store
or flea market to achieve that.
More realistically, this can be a great way to make some extra
cash. If you have a sale 20 weekends annually and average a net
profit of $600 each time, that's an extra $12,000 per year. If
you have the right location and plan well, it is entirely possible
to make $2,000 from a two-day sale. Do that just ten times annually
and you'll pocket an extra $20,000 each year.
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
Sell snacks and pop at your sale. If you happen to have a
craft hobby of some sort, (making baskets, walking sticks, quilts,
etc) you can also sell your own handicrafts. Pass out cards or
flyers if you own another business you need to promote.
Always, always, always have everything priced clearly. Myself
and a few million other shoppers have walked away from many things
we might have bought because there was no price sticker and it's
too much trouble to guess or wait to talk to the owner.
Check eBay to get an idea how to price items you're not familiar
Watch what sells fastest, and for how much. Play with prices
to see how high you can go on some items and still sell them
quickly. Take notes and stock up on the best sellers. With proper
tracking of results, you should be able to refine your business
and generate more income from each sale as time goes by.
A good flea market can offer a much better sales venue than
your own home. In fact, the fee is often less than a newspaper
classified ad would have cost you, and there might be thousands
of potential customers.
Qualifications / Requirements
Almost every town allows the occasional garage sale without
special permits. Do it every weekend and you might be classified
as a business, which may not be allowed where you live. Also,
as a business you'll generally be required to get a sale's tax
Ask neighbors about their garage sales to see if there is
much of a market in your area (with or without advertising, some
neighborhoods attract more shoppers than others). Build your
inventory. If you want to do $1,000 in sales, you should have
at least twice that amount available. You'll need to buy a few
tables if you don't already have some. Prepare signs and have
them out an hour before the sale starts.
How to Make $5,000 a month or more with Garage Sales, by
Home Business Reports: This is an Amazon Kindle e-book. You
can get a free kindle reader for your computer at Amazon.com.