Increase Your Personal Profit Margin: Tips for Making Bank at Your Next Garage Sale [Infographic]

GuestBlogger | Mar 18, 2015 @ 10:19 AM

Step into your role as Yard Sale CEO and start building your business plan for this money-making endeavor. Exercise your savvy strategizing skills with a few simple tips and take pleasure in watching your capital increase.

Garage Sale Facts & Figures

The following estimates are based on polled averages taken in the U.S.

  • 165,000 – Garage sales held per week
  • 690,000 – People making purchases per week
  • 4,967,500 – Items purchased per week
  • $4,222,375 – Total revenue per week
  • $0.85 – Average price per item
  • Saturday – Best day to hold a garage sale
  • 7:00am – Best time to start a garage sale

6 Steps to Increase Your Yard Sale Revenue

1. Neighborhood Networking

Coordinate with neighbors to:

Have multiple sales at once

  • The increased commotion wil attract more customers to your neighborhood

Use their yard for increased visibility

  • Helpful if your house is tucked away in the back of a cul-de-sac

Donate stuff to your sale

  • Offer to take unwanted junk off their hands for free

2. Impressive Inventory

Have some hot-item inventory to sell at a higher price point, but keep in mind that it’s a garage sale—don’t get too hot.

  • Typical stuff: clothes, toys, appliances, glassware
  • Hot items: furniture, electronics, collectables
  • Too hot: diamond earrings, brand new laptops, cars

3. Strategic Marketing

Create a theme based on items that you have a lot of, and market to your target audience.

  • Theme Example One: Timeless Antiques

    • Old books
    • Vintage jewelry
    • Classic records
    • Rustic furniture
    • Dainty decorations

  • Theme Example Two: Exercise Junky

    • Exercise equipment
    • Instructional workout videos
    • Fitness apparel
    • Workout accessories
    • Nutrition books

Helpful Hint: You can sell items that are outside of the theme by displaying them in a miscellaneous section.

4. Powerful Advertising

The classic poster method of advertising yard sales is great to attract passersby. Consider reaching a wider audience by using social media, garage sale websites, and print media.

  • Posters:

    • Keep ‘em simple and legible
    • Use quality paper that won’t blow away or wrinkle
    • Make it one bright color

  • Social Media:

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram

  • Garage Sale Websites:


  • Print:

    • Newspaper ad
    • Penny Saver ad

Helpful Hint: Be sure to include date, time, location, theme, and photos in your advertising.

5. Compelling Visual Merchandising

Creating a clean, presentable, and organized space will make customers want to stick around a little longer. Here are some tips for achieving a visually pleasing space:

Hang, fold, or place items so they can be easily viewed

  • Do not throw items in boxes for customers to sift through

    • Group items by type or according to themes so people can see everything they are interested in at once
    • Leave space between sections or tables to allow people to walk, stop, and browse

Helpful Hint: Provide bags or boxes for customers to use as makeshift shopping carts, giving them something to fill up.

6. Effective Price Planning

One Method: Don’t Price Anything

  • Negotiate prices but make the customer choose the starting point.
  • People are often willing to pay more for something than you would think to price it as.
  • If you have friends or family members helping you sell then create a sheet with the minimum price that you would take for each item.

    • This way you avoid having your sweet little niece sell your precious items for $.05 each.

Another Method: Price Items

  • Identify an item’s worth; often 10-25% of its initial cost
  • Sell items in a bundle at a lower cost than they would be per piece.
  • Have a $1.00, $3.00, or $5.00 table with plenty of smaller items.
  • As the sale is coming to an end and you are running out of inventory, make everything ½ off!

Additional Tips to Ensure This Garage Sale Is Worth Your While

  • Don’t let people in your home, and lock the doors
  • Keep all the money on you in a pouch or apron
  • Have plenty of small change to complete the initial transactions
  • Be leery of $100 bills
  • Check with residential rules and obtain appropriate permits if required

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