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How to have a Rummage Sale

Tips on having a Successful Rummage Sale from BoxesandBags - GBE Packaging - Fast Professional Source for Wholesale Shipping and Packaging Supplies Since 1998.

Below are some suggestions or recommendations you may find useful if you need to have a rummage sale to sell items you do not want to move.

Some items, pressboard furniture, bamboo furniture, old lawn chairs, and so on can cost more to move than they would cost to replace later after your move. If you are moving a long distance you are charged on weight and distance so it may be beneficial for you to sell some items for as much as you can get for them now before your move and replace them later after your move. Please allow us to make some more suggestions that may be helpful.

Rummage Sale, Yard Sale, Garage Sale, Moving Sale, Estate Sales, Flea Markets, All can be used to sell your property you do not want to move.

No matter what it's called, rummage sale, yard sale, garage sale, estate sale, or participate in a flea market they are all a great way to sell items you do not need. Of course you can donate the items to a charity but that will not give you the cash return a sale can provide sometimes the extra cash can come in real handy during a move. Sometimes the best sales are just lucky timing such as your neighborhood having a huge subdivision rummage sale or a bloke rummage sale, a church flea market or sale and so on. If you have neighbors are having a sale it will attract more traffic.

It's important to price your items for any sale while you might be tempted to not price things (it's so much easier!), and just let people come up and ask about the price, but we think thatís a terrible idea. Many people will just turn around and leave, because the thought of asking a price or haggling for every single item is just too much work for a buyer. You will be missing out on sales by not pricing. Price things. Youíll make it easier for you on yard sale day and easier for your customers, too.

Also try to find someone to go in with you on the sale - if a friend or family member gives you the go ahead, make it a multi-family yard sale Ė people tend to go out of their way for two-in-one sales, estate sales, and moving sales. Start collecting old shopping bags for the sales you will have it helps to have bags for your customers.

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Planning Your Sale.

Pick your date for the sale

Holiday weekends like (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day) could be lite as lots of people go out of town those weekends so you will get some traffic - anyone with no plans. Mother's Day and Father's Day are OK.

Most people go with the entire weekend, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday but that is up to you. Youíll get a larger crowd if you start early because people just love to shop early and itís likely to be cooler out which is an important consideration especially in the heat of summer. Thursday is really popular as buyers want to get the good stuff or good deals before there gone. Starting time we suggest the earlier the better, you will find they will be showing up if you advertise early we suggest 6am to 4-5pm. If possible consider weather, hold your garage sale when the weather is moderate and not stormy or raining. If you do sales regularly youíll get the most customers in the late spring or early fall.

3 Day Weekends are great for sales. In terms of the summer season, aim to have your sale before it gets blisteringly hot where you live. Once you set a date keep an eye on the weather and come up with a contingency plan in case of inclement weather.

Some people that have frequent sales suggest that its good to have several sales as each weekend you will get different people, some are busy this weekend but might catch your sale later in the month.


If you donít live on a well-traveled street, or live in a spot with no parking, maybe itís time to make a deal with a friend or family member in a better spot. Location is very important when it comes to yard sale success, so do your best to aim for the best location possible. If you are blessed with great weather then you can have a yard sale but sometimes you have to use what you have. Sales can as small as a couple of tables on a busy street. Remember to check for the need of permits once you have a location.

Collect the items for your sale

This is your chance to get rid of all that old stuff you have not used in years. Find a box and go through every room, donít forget closets, attics, basements, garages, and sheds as these are usually treasure troves for rummage sale goods. Pick up anything you donít want or havenít used in months and toss it in. Donít under estimate the value of what you find.

Remember if you are getting ready to move long distance that some items are heavy and would cost more to move than to replace later like pressboard furniture so consider selling them now and saving the moving cost. The worst case scenario is that something doesnít sell and then you can move it or donate it.

Sort the items you find to increase chance of selling like any old AC extension cords, power strips, cell phone chargers, or USB cables youíre not using? Throw them in a separate box to sell at the garage sale. It doesnít matter if youíre not sure what that charger even was for, someone may buy it.

Check on Permits

Some cities now require that you have a permit to run a rummage or garage sale. Check with a clerk at your city or town hall to find out if you need one. Always follow the local laws or you may end up getting shut down and fined. Also check local laws about signs for your sale. Some cities allow you to apply for permits online.

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Advertising Your Sale

Create a Newspaper Ad

If you want to get more traffic you might consider purchasing an ad in your local newspaper. Most papers have online information so you can find out how much space you get for the price youíre willing to pay. If you go over, youíll end up paying per word, which can get very expensive fast. Keep your as ad short as possible and list your biggest items first. The most popular sale items include furniture, electronics, kids toys, and collectibles. Donít forget to include your address as well as the dates and times your sale will run.

If you want to attract the largest crowd list your ad in all the local papers including the once a month publishings. Some are provided to every home in the area free of charge.

Some areas have so many sales that you would not really need an ad just post signs and flags and balloons to get more attention and if your lucky one of your neighbors may have placed an ad and they will certainly hit all the sales on the block.

Advertise Online

There are dozens of websites where you can advertise your sale for free. Post an ad on as many as you find a week or two in advance. Here are a few we know of:

There are also some Social Network Sites that have been recommended.

Some Apps have been created to replace Garage Sales

Also check with your local facebook groups for and Yard Sale or Garage Sale listings. Also try posting your sale and teaser photos on Instagram the week before your sale.

Put up flyers on bulletin boards in your community (grocery stores, community center, hardware stores, etc). Spread the news of your yardsale via word of mouth to co-workers, friends, family, facebook friends, etc.

Are you looking for a good place to sell your stuff online? Are you sick of using Craigslist and eBay? If so, Facebook Yard Sales might be the solution youíre looking for! If the Facebook yard sale or garage sale group you are interested in says itís a ďclosed groupĒ that means you need someone in the group to add you. Post a status update on your Facebook page asking if anyone else is in the group you want to join. Chances are there will be several of your Facebook friends already in that group. They can add you and youíre in!

Make Yard Sale Signs

Check the laws in your area before making garage sale signs as some places have banned them. Once you confirm you can make and post signs we recommend brightly colored poster board or white poster board with colored markers. You can buy extra wide markers or use what ever you have around the house. Make sure your sign says ďGarage SaleĒ or "Rummage Sale" large enough for people to see as they drive by. Include your address or an arrow pointing towards your house. Do not try to say too much make them as big as possible. The signs are important it will pull in anyone traveling to and from work or shopping that just happen to drive by.

Some people recommend wood paint stirrers to make great posts for sticking garage sale signs in the ground since they are free from most home improvement stores. I always thought they are too small and used small wood edge molding as you can cut them to size and staple or tape the signs to the molding.

You can always secure your signs to a vehicle you own as well. Some people attach the signs to a large empty cardboard box and you can add stones to the inside to weight it down so you can place it near a road.

An alternative to making the typical poster board garage sale sign might be an old sheet hanging on a fence with large letters painted on spelling out YARD SALE with an arrow. Imagine what a huge attention-getter that would be!

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Preparing for your Sale

Get Supplies

Before your sale you will need to collect some things and prepare, make sure you have a chairs to sit on and a table to accept payments on and enough table surface for the items you wish to sell. If you have a work bench clean it off so you can use it as a table. You can use card tables, patio furniture, or any flat surface, boards over boxes or buckets, or just line up empty boxes. Put any breakables on your most stable table or bench.

For clothes on hangers just hang a pipe from the garage ceiling or across someplace convenient or two ladders.

Your going to need some supplies to be on hand.

  • Pens or Pencils
  • Note pad or paper
  • Calculator
  • Money Box or Fanny Pack - Carpenters apron
  • Tape
  • Extra price tags
  • Empty Bags or Boxes
  • Markers or Sharpie

Donít Forget the Change

88% of the time people visit the ATM when they need funds and they only dispense big bills - or So have lots of change available it seems everyone will have a Bill and want to buy a 1 dollar item, It happens all the time so make sure you have lots of ones, fives, a few tens and at least twenty dollars in quarters and mixed change. You can get the change from your bank, but youíll have to go inside as some banks have limits on drive up transactions. Ask the bank for a reusable cash envelope. If available you can use the envelope to run extra money back into the house throughout the garage sale so you wonít have all that cash on you.

Keep your money where it is safe or on your person best not to leave it sitting in a lock box on a table or desk as it's easy to distract you away from your change.

Sort Your Items

Sort them in related categories, electronics might include radios, computers, lamps, phones and books all together and toys all together, clothes all together. For things like clothing you might sort them by men's, women's, and children.

Tools are a big draw - Have all tools or tool related items together, like rakes, shovels, garden tools, brooms, and car parts, Home parts, DIY items.

If an item has bolts or hardware you can put them into a plastic zip bag and tape that to the item for easy assembly later.

Price Your Items

It's always important to price your items indivdually for any sale while you might be tempted to not price things (it's so much easier!), and just let people come up and ask about the price, or boxing items into price boxes but that never works people will put things down out of order. Price things. Use manila tape or masking tape and a sharpie. You can also buy price tags at the local office store.

Pricing is always a tough one, you want to make as much as possible but not everyone will want to haggle some will just walk away if the price is too high. Ask yourself how much do I want to get rid of this, after all its a rummage or garage sale and people are looking for good deals. If you are moving and the bookshelf will cost more to move than to replace then price it to go. If you are selling something you want top dollar for list that on Craigslist seperately as people go to rummage or yard sales to get a deal.

If you have multiple people selling at the same sale you can put a name on the price tag or use a color code system. When checking out you may have to keep a log of who sold what so you know what sold.

Organize and Arrange Your Sale

We suggest you set up the sale the day before if possible or maybe map out where you want everything to be placed in the morning. When the morning comes you will find people will be there bright and early looking for the best deals. You may have trouble getting signs posted if you do not have help. Try to have a location at the exit of the sale to have your payment section where you can over see everything and check out purchases for customers.

If you canít put everything in the garage the night before, try to save as much time by grouping similar items into boxes or laundry baskets. You will save time in the morning by only having to pull items out of boxes that donít require further separation and are already priced.

Put some of your best items out front so people will see them driving by and say yes I want to go back and look. Man things work great like lawn mowers, tools, jars of screews. Some people will not stop unless they see something they want.

Some people let there kids help out with your sale? Why not let them get in on the money making lesson by selling homemade cookies, brownies, donuts, muffins, coffee, or koolaid - lemonade? Youíll be surprised at how much money they make.

Jewelry and valuables need to be watched every second or they will walk away. Its that simple. Here is one site that has listed some of the yardsale scams to watch for.

To avoid any problems later on, post a sign that says "All Sales Final". We've heard horror stories about customers returning the next day wanting to get their money back on items.

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Having Your Garage Sale

Get Ready

If you have young children we suggest you get someone to watch them during the sale as it will save you so much trouble. We also suggest a good nights sleep and get up extra early as you'll want to give yourself time in the morning, at least an hour before the garage sale starts to set everything out and put up signs. It helps to have help when it comes to signs. Make sure you have your change ready and in a safe place, and find a location at the exit of the sale to have your payment section where you can over see everything and check out purchases for customers. If it's outside try to find a comfortable, shaded area to sit.

If your sale is hard to spot from the street, place a yard sale sign in front of your house or use flags or ballons so people know where to stop.

People will ask to come in early - Never let anyone in early if you advertised 8am do not let anyone in before 8am or everyone will want in. Mainly these are experienced dealers who want to find diamonds in the rough that they'll turn around and sell for a tidy profit in their antique store.

Work the Crowd

Saying a quick hello makes shoppers more comfortable and opens them up to making an offer.

You might remember that rummage or garage sales are a sort of interactive shopping experience. Theyíre going to pick up everything and look at it especially if itís breakable or if they had one at home when they were young. They will ask questions, and theyíre going to haggle about the price after all its a rummage sale. Youíll do better if you donít act too pushy. Just stay seated and say hello when people enter and let the customers ask you questions. No one wants you to push grandmas old shower brush on them. They will ask if they are interested.

Keep in mind that you donít have to haggle right away. Donít let your expensive items go for five dollars with the first customer. Odds are that someone else will come along willing to pay your asking price. There is time on the last day to drop to specials. On the last day offer the whole table for if you do not want to pack it up again.

It does not hurt to have a free box and throw in anything that is broken or things you would typically donate anyway. Those things you would not sell or are too small to sell and it would just sit in a drawer forever. Go ahead and give it away. "People like that because they don't expect to go to a sale and walk away with anything for free,"

Please do not forget to take your signs down.

Deal with Leftovers

Most likely you will have leftover stuff. It may be items no one wanted so some people will just put it all on the curb with a free sign, but that wonít get you any more money. You can consider taking the leftovers to a Goodwill store and get a receipt to save on your taxes. Make an itemized list of everything you have with its original value. Once you drop it at a donation center, ask for a receipt. File this away to use on your income taxes.

If you have large items left over, like a couch or a TV set, consider selling them on Craigslist or one of the online services listed above. If you think they are not good enough to sell you can post it on Criagslist as a free couch or TV and post the address and leave it by the curb at that address. If no one gets it in a reasonable amount of time you should do the right thing and take it or have it taken to the city dump for disposal. The city may charge for a special pick up. You can also call 1-800-GOT-JUNK

If you have any items left over that are scrap or could be scraped for money leave those out by the trash and it's likely someone who drives around picking up scrap metal will snatch it up.

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We would love to hear your suggestions if you have anything to add

Feel free to email us with any suggestions you might have to have us add this to any of our suggestions. We are here to assist you in your move or having a sale to save you from moving everthing to your new destination.

Here some additional links that have been recommended by our customers.

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Article Posted: 07/30/2019 11:31:49 AM

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