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garage sale checklist, printable!

Download Checklist As A Word Document

Garage Sales should be a fun and hassle-free way to make some good money and off-load your unwanted items to new homes. Our comprehensive Garage Sale Checklist helps you to do just that. Use it to get organised, be prepared and maximise your profits. The checklist takes you step-by-step through the process of having a successful garage sale experience. It just takes a bit of effort.

5 weeks before the sale and ongoing:

Search the house from top to bottom for unwanted items.
Label boxes "To Sell" and "To Give Away". Give Away items should be useful but would probably fetch a very low price. Free items will have people lingering longer. Put them at the back with a large sign so people have to go past your priced items.
Give boxes to every member of your family.
Have each person fill boxes with things they don't need anymore. Ask them to identify which are to sell or to give away.

4 weeks before the sale:

Give the neighbours a courtesy call about your garage sale and encourage them to hold their own garage sales on the same day.
Multiple garage sales in the one street tend to attract more people as they can check out a few sales without driving.
Offer to sell stuff for friends to get a bigger selection - maybe ask for a commission.
Start collecting plastic bags to hand out to buyers.
Browse Ebay and other websites that sell second hand items to check out prices.
The local newspaper classified ads could also be a good reference.

3 weeks before the sale:

Organise friends and family members to help in the last week and during the sale day.
Systematically search the entire house again to look for more items to sell.
Be ruthless. When was the last time it was used? Bigger sales can generate more traffic.
Price the items for the sale.
Price items about 25-35% of what it cost new. Clothes are an exception at 5 to 10% of the original cost.
Print free signs, or purchase our big bright weather proof garage sale signs, from the web site.
Use arrows to show directions. Include the address, date, and the start and end times.
Start collecting loose change.
Or get some from the bank during the week before. It's hard to negotiate if you don't have change for 50's.
Decide on plans for what to do with any unsold items.
You could try to contact charity organisations to find out if they will pick-up or accept unsold items.

1-2 weeks before the sale:

Scrub, wash, polish and launder anything you plan to sell.
Pre-loved goods sell better. If there is an item that needs a simple repair to greatly increase its selling price, do it.
Sort out the garage or area where the sale will be.
Start cleaning it.
Check out how many tables you have and work out how many you need.
Borrow tables if necessary.
Plan the lay out of your selling area.
Collect all the items from friends and families that you will include in the sale.
Don’t forget to ask them about prices.
Advertise on! You can get started and place an ad HERE.
The earlier you advertise, the more exposure you will get! Remember to be as thorough as you can by listing as much stuff as possible. A well-described item you list for sale might attract someone who buys lots more items! You can make changes any time you need as you find more items. You can even postpone your ad for free if your sale date changes for any reason. You won't be hassled either as your street name is hidden until 24 hours before your sale unless you choose to display it earlier.
Consider placing ads in your local newspaper.
If the local newspaper has a large garage sale section, it could pay to advertise there. Of course your ad will be light on detail, but try mentioning a couple of items and then including the words “Details at”. This will keep your newspaper ad at minimum cost, but still allow people to see what you have for sale by going to your Egaragesales ad. Remember though, you need to be certain about your garage sale details as it is hard to change a newspaper ad.
Determine where to place your signs.
Consider that buyers are coming from all directions. Make it easy for them to find you by giving directional signs. Make sure you check out the Council Rules about signs. See if we list your council by clicking on Council Laws in the left hand menu.
Put our FREE garage sale flyers on community notice boards and in letter boxes in your area.
Check out your supply of loose change, balloons, nails and masking tape needed for the sale.

1-2 days before the sale:

Make any necessary changes to your Egaragesales ad to update what is being sold.
Add extra items. Remove items no longer for sale. Generate lots of interest by describing the items for sale. Make sure to add directions if your house is hard to find. Give an idea of the condition of your items.
Arrange your sale area.
Display the items according to categories: Kitchen appliances, bedroom, kid’s stuff, etc. It’s best to hang clothes.
Gather what you need to process purchases.
Loose change, waist money pouch, plastic bags, calculator and newspapers for wrapping.
Cook and prepare food in advance.
You don’t want to be hungry while selling.
Set up some music and have a book handy to keep you company during the sale.
Background music encourages people to buy and sets a better mood.
Buy refreshments for friends and family who are volunteering.
Want some additional cash?

Sell soft drink and bottled water as well. Put your children or the young ones in charge of the drinks table and they will enjoy being able to sell stuff too. Most buyers go to many garage sales and get thirsty easily. Parents will buy their children a drink for coming along to the garage sales. And you can keep for yourself whatever doesn't sell.

Night before the sale:

Put up your signs.
Sleep early and condition your mind that you want to sell everything.

Morning of the sale:

Spread out a rug and lay out some of the toys you are selling.
Children will play with them and may encourage their parents to buy some.
Make sure your house is locked up and fully secure.
Put some real crowd-pleasers up front to entice passing cars.
Protect yourself from theft by displaying small valuables within eyesight.
Place the “Give-away” boxes near the back, with a noticeable FREE sign, so that people will have to go past the main selling area first.
Make sure there are plenty of parking spaces nearby.
Move your cars if necessary. Buyers don’t want go around a couple of times looking for a place to park.
Be cheerful; greet the customer as soon as they arrive.
Get people talking and encourage haggling.
Many people are reluctant to negotiate but its fun once they start.
Re-Arrange your display when time allows.
Tidy up disturbed items and rearrange others to improve appearance and interest.

Middle of the sale:

Acknowledge a point of diminishing returns.
Be ready to slash prices drastically when business drops off.
Add any unnoticed items to your “Give Away”table.

Closing time:

Pack up unsold items and arrange disposal.
Fix and clean up selling area.
Return borrowed tables.
Remove directional roadside signs.
You don’t want to be fined by the city council.
Count your money and take a bow for a job well done!!!!
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