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Chatelaine's Antiques & Appraisals Magazine > Fashion > Expert Tip: How To Make Money With Garage Sales


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Make Money with Garage Sales
How To Make Money With Garage Sales

Drive through almost any neighborhood in any city or town on a weekend, and you're sure to see garage sales scattered throughout.

These homeowners are spending their weekend time off making money. The average profit is $600 for a one-weekend garage sale.

It's time to get your share of the pie. Organization is the key.

Step one: Check with the local officials to see what the
local laws and regulations are on operating garage sales in
your area.

Step two: Spend a few weekends going to garage sales in your area. See what is selling, what people are buying, how the items are priced, how the sellers advertise. Observe how the sellers display their items. Take notes.

Step three: Clean house and take stock of what you have and what it's time to get rid of. Be sure to pick out at least one interesting and unusual item to call attention to your sale; some large ticket item you can set up in front of your home during your sale.

If you find older items such as dishes, a painting, an old flower urn etc. that you feel it's time to dispose of have it appraised. You don't want to sell something for 50 cents only to find out later it was an antique valued at $500.00. You can be sure there are garage sale shoppers who are on the lookout for just this kind of treasure.

Step four: Pick a date for your sale. The best time to have a garage sale is twice a year in May or September. People will be out shopping for summer items in May and winter items in September.

Never pick a holiday weekend such as Mother's Day or Labor Day. Holiday festivities will get the attention of most people.

The best days for your garage sale are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Step five: Advertise, advertise and advertise some more. Place ads in the local newspaper, shopper guides, on bulletin boards and even online. Place signs all over the neighborhood with brightly colored letters, attached balloons, etc.

Step six: Organize your sale. Put price stickers on your items. Have a wide variety of clothing and jewelry and arrange them in a rainbow of colors. Make sure jewelry and appliances sparkle! Hang clothing on racks arranged in sizes. Imagine that you are opening a retail store and copy what the stores do.

If you have items that are hard to price and you think they will not sell, put them in a penny box. And be sure to mark the box "Penny Box" or "All items just 1 cent each".

Step seven: Timing. Consider starting at 7:00 a.m. instead of 8:00 or 9:00. And close no later than 6:00 p.m. And positively NEVER shut down for the noon hour! There are people who work on weekends and will stop on their way to or from work and shop during their lunch breaks.

As most customers will have come and gone by 1:00, noon hour being the most active, you can start lowering prices after 1:00 p.m. On items you think will not sell at all, put them in a box marked "Free".

And lastly, what doesn't sell take to the local Good Will or other organization of your choice.

More information available at

Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.


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