How to garage sale like a pro


photo:  Day in your Life Project

Creative Director and mid century design enthusiast, Annie Price, is also a passionate fan of garage sales - not many weekends go by without her family visiting one! Most of her home's inspiring interior has been sourced from garage sales, fetes and other secondhand sources.  Here are some of her expert tips to host a garage sale like a total pro...


So, you’re thinking of having a garage sale? Best idea you’ve had all year. Here’s a few hints and tips to make it a super successful day.


Signage size does matter.

You’d better believe it. Make sure you put lots of signs up, all around your neighbourhood. But PLEASE, make sure they’re readable from a distance. You wouldn’t believe how many people write neat little A4 signs in pencil that you literally need to pull over, get out of the car & put your specs on to read!  Make it big. Big letters, big address, big signs – A3 or bigger. And the obligatory balloons are always a good help.


No early callers? No chance.

Everyone says this on their ad and it’s completely understandable. No one wants to answer the door, in the dark, in their PJ’s to a complete stranger. BUT take heed people, the dealers will always arrive at the crack of dawn, taking no notice of your ‘no early callers’ plea.  So, the best advice I can give is be prepared for them. Just know that you will be disturbed early, no matter what start time you put on your ad.


And a word of caution, if you stand your ground and keep the gate or the roller door closed till the exact time you specified, you do run the risk of them all charging in like wounded bulls when you finally open it. I have seen precious things smashed and light fingers walk away with items when this happens. It’s better to be ready earlier than you specified on your ad, let the dealers come gradually (not en masse) and your day will be much less stressful.


Let it go, let it go….

If you’re having a garage sale, chances are you want to get rid of stuff. The worst thing that could happen would be hauling everything back inside at the end of the day and only having a few dollars to show for all your effort. So my advice is price things reasonably and if someone buys a load of stuff, give them a discount.

Here’s a few basic tips: Books and CD’s around $1-$2, clothes $2, $5 and maybe $10 for really special stuff. Bric-a-brac, $1-$5 and of course bigger stuff like furniture and precious stuff like antiques, can be more. If you over price, the garage sale stalwarts will take one look and walk straight back up the driveway.


To price or not to price?

This is the question. And it’s a bit subjective. To stick price stickers on all your gear is a lot of effort but it does guarantee that when you nip to the loo, you won’t come back to find your well-meaning daughter/son/better half has sold your Chanel handbag for $2.

If you choose not to price items, just have a basic idea in mind of what you want for things and discuss it with your family/helpers before-hand. If you say ‘make an offer’ to people, they will likely either feel awkward and perhaps not buy anything OR they’ll offer you a ridiculously low price. Better to state the price I reckon.


Invite the neighbours.

Drop a note in the letterbox of the houses in your street and see if anyone else wants to have a g-sale the same day as you. That way, you can share the cost of advertising and you’ll attract a whole lot more people by being able to say ‘whole street on sale’ or ‘two households worth of stuff’. As an avid garage sale obsessed nut, I LOVE reading those precious words.


Well, that was fun.

It should be a great experience having a garage sale. So invite your friends and family ‘round to help. Put on a sausage sizzle, get the kids to bake some cookies and sell them to raise their own pocket money. Most of all, enjoy it, you’re helping re-use and recycle, you’re avoiding landfill and you’re doing your bit for sustainability. Go you!