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How to Make The Most Money From Your Garage Sale

You already know that selling your stuff is a great way to declutter and earn extra money. But did you know that you can double or triple the money you can earn from your garage sale or yard sale with a few crafty tricks? Learn how from a garage sale pro.


Make more money at your next garage sale.Looking to make some extra cash? Summer is the perfect time to have a garage or yard sale.

You stand to make some decent pocket money. According to the New York Times, if you put some thought and planning into your garage sale, you can net between $500 and $1000.

The key is doing it right. We asked Lynda Hammond, the force behind Garage Sale Gal, a web site on which people can advertise their sales, for tips:

Start your sale on Friday, not Saturday

You might think Saturday and Sundays are the best days for sales, since most people don’t work on the weekends. Not so, says Lynda.

“Serious buyers like antique dealers and eBay sellers hit sales on Fridays,” she says. “People are also less likely to try to negotiate price with you on a Friday. They know you still have two more days to sell your inventory.”

Another perk to a Friday sale? Less competition.

“On Saturday, there might be five garage sales in your area,” she says. “Buyers won’t go to every one. On a Friday, they’ll have no other choices but yours.”

Just because people work on Fridays doesn’t mean they won’t go shopping. “People are very willing to stop after dropping the kids off at school or on the way to work,” she says.

Don’t price your goods

You may be tempted to price every item you put up for sale. But you won’t make as much money this way.

“A buyer may adore something you don’t care much for,” Lynda says. “The buyer may be perfectly willing to give you more than you think it’s worth.”

Let the buyer name the price. If it’s not quite what you had in mind, and it’s early in the sale, say no.

Another reason not to price items? It’s tedious and time consuming. “Pricing makes people procrastinate,” Lynda says. “You’re more likely to hold a sale if you know you can just load everything into the garage and open shop.”

And let’s face it: People suck sometimes. If you put stickers on items, people may switch them around, tricking you into selling something for less than you wanted.

Pay attention to your signs

According to Lynda, the best ways to advertise your sale are through social media and web sites like Garagesalegal.com.

And don’t discount an old-fashioned sign (even if you advertise online, you should still put up a few signs directing people to your exact location).

Bigger isn’t better when it comes to signage. “Use 15×15 neon poster boards,” Lynda says. “Bigger ones flap in the wind.”

According to Lynda, you must enlist a friend to check your signs a few times during the day. “Signs fall down,” she says. “Or other people having sales may take down your sign, or cover yours up with their own.”

Make shopping easy and relaxing

Imagine you are a store owner for a weekend. “Group all of your kitchen items together, your electronics together, and so on,” Lynda says. “Clean off your items too.”

Set up a nice atmosphere too. “Sell water and baked goods,” Lynda says. “Play some soft music.”

A study found that playing soft background music in open-air market made people stay longer and spend more.

What garage sale tips do you have?

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About Patty Lamberti

Patty Lamberti is a freelance writer and Professional-in-Residence at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches journalism and oversees the graduate program in digital media storytelling. If she doesn't know something about money, you can trust she'll track down the right people to find out. You can learn more about her at www.pattylamberti.com. And if you have any story ideas, or questions about money etiquette that you'd like her or an expert to answer, email her at moneymannersqs@gmail.com.