• Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

National Garage Sale Day: Top tips for garage sale shoppers & sellers

Hip hip hooray - today is National Garage Sale Day, an annual "holiday" observed each year on the second Saturday in August.

Whether you need to clean out the closets or clean up that clutter, having a garage sale is the perfect way to get rid of the old and make room for the new! While organizing a garage sale does take time and effort to be successful, it is a great way to make a few extra bucks and de-clutter!

And if you are on the hunt for that one-of-a-kind treasure or bargain,garage sales offer a slew of steals-and-deals at fabulous rock-bottom prices. And considering the state of our economy right now, garage sales are the way to go to save money! And even better, garage and yard sales are loads of fun, too!

Tips for Garage Sale Shoppers

  • If you are planning on hitting numerous sales, map out your route before you go. It's a huge time-saver!

  • If you want the best bargains, go early! After all, the early bird really does gets the worm!

  • Be prepared. Know what items are worth before you buy.

  • Don’t be afraid to haggle – as long as you offer a fair price and you are polite. Most garage sale sellers expect it.

  • Bring cash (in small bills), sunglasses, sunscreen, hat/sun visor, hand wipes, tape measure, extra bags, padding and rope in case you purchase a large item.

  • If you are going to make a day of it, bring a few drinks and snacks along too.

  • If you are on a mission for a particular item, bring a friend along to help you find it and head out in different directions. Be sure to take your cell phones or walkie talkies.

  • If an item has a ding, chip or is well-loved, ask the seller if he or she will reduce the price due to the condition of the object.

Tips for Garage Sale Sellers

  • Ask neighbors if they’d be interested in participating in a neighborhood sale which will draw more shoppers. Plus, you can split the advertising costs.

  • Be prepared! Do your homework before you price those antiques and collectibles!

  • Place ads in your local newspapers, shoppers and online.

  • Place Garage Sales signs around the neighborhood prior to the sale. Just remember to take them down once the sale is over so you don't have uninvited guests at your door the following weekend!

  • If you do not want people ringing your doorbell before 5:00 A.M., be sure to specify “No early birds” in your advertisements.

  • If you do not want to accept checks, make sure to mention that in your ads as well.

  • You’ll get more money if items are spic-and-span clean. So take the time to clean them up before you set them out.

  • Price all your items prior to the sale! Nothing is more frustrating than customers having to repeatedly ask how much items are.

  • Be prepared to haggle and know your bottom line.

  • Have PLENTY of cash and change on hand. People tend to use larger bills for small-ticket items.

  • You’ll also need a hefty supply of wrapping material for breakable items, boxes and bags.

  • Place signs and balloons in your yard right before the sale.

  • On the day of the sale, have everything ready to go! Chances are good you will have a line of interested shoppers waiting for you to open.

  • Have someone on hand to help wrap items, answer questions, and help take items to customer’s vehicles.

  • Place valuable objects near you.

  • Have a box or table filled with free items. That’ll keep the kids busy too!

  • Don’t forget to take those left-over items that didn't sell to your local charity or church.

Happy shopping and selling. Enjoy!