Tips On How-To Have A Successful Garage Sale

When I was growing up in Northern New Jersey garage sales, or yard sales as they are also known, were a tell-tale sign of summer. Once garage sale and carnival signs started dotting the lighting posts in town, summer had arrived in the suburbs! As a kid that meant only one thing; no more escuela!!  For my mamá it meant the start of “hunting” season at the local garage sales.  What tchotchke, knickknack or gadget would she find for $1, .75c or even .50c?  We are talking about a Latina who was not embarrassed to haggle with los Americanos in her broken English over a quarter!

Looking back I think the garage sales were a novelty for her. Or, maybe to some degree, they reminded her of the markets in Santo Domingo where haggling is still the norm. I’ll never know. What I do know is that back then it was a hit-or-miss experience, not only in what she could find but even in finding the garage sales itself. It was mostly a matter of happening on a sign posted on a tree or a light post that directed the driver to the garage sale.

And for those having a garage sale turnout often depended on word-of-mouth marketing and luck. Some people posted ads in the local Suburbanite weekly but that cost money and if it rained you were out of luck.

However, today’s garage sale proprietors, and the deal seeking fans who frequent them, can turn to Craigslist! These things have gone tech and I’m impressed. There are even tips that I found that explain how-to post your garage saleto increase your odds of success.

So if you are planning to have a garage/yard sale of your one weekend this summer, here are few tips that will help position you for success:

Write A Clear Headline

Most people on craigslist are looking for something specific. Write a detailed headline for what you’re offering, and don’t YELL AT YOUR AUDIENCE or use annoying characters (*#$$+@&*&*).

Balance Creativity With Clarity In Your Post

Write a clear, descriptive post about what you are selling. Include all item details and dimensions.

Use Lists

When posting a garage sale, list all of the items for sale in the post. Lists are also good for including details about one particular item for sale.

Include Images

Use your own pictures instead of linking to similar items on websites. People prefer seeing photos of the exact item for sale.

Price Your Item(s) Right

Do a bit of research to see what the market rate is for each item you are selling, and be open to negotiation and bartering.

Have Your Garage Sale Outdoors With Family & Friends

Don’t invite strangers over when you’re alone or invite anyone into your home. Keep your doors locked as you will likely be distracted during the sale.

Accept Cash Only

Don’t use a cash box; keep the cash on you.

Be Open To Meeting New Friends

We have heard countless stories about people meeting friends and significant others while buying/selling items via craigslist. Be friendly!

*It’s very important to take the same common sense precautions online as you would offline. Read all of the craigslist safety tips and familiarize yourself with common online scams.

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  1. Marissa
    Jun 20, 2012 - 01:59 PM

    Perfect timing! I just walked in from going through bags and bags of my daughters old toys! I’m gearing up for a “carport sale” but spring and fall are the good seasons here in the desert. Thanks for the tips!


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