Recoup moving expenses while purging unwanted

May 15th, 2010
by Carrie

Ok, so you have spent a significant amount time and energy severing your emotional ties to what is now a pile of stuff that you no longer need. It wasn’t easy but you did it. The realization being that getting rid of what you don’t want can actually be profitable. Money in your pocket is better than clutter in your house.

A garage sale can make money, but can also save money by reducing the cost of moving and shipping your household items to your new location. While ensuring your unwanted items are reused by someone else and not destined for the landfill.

There’s nothing complicated about having a garage sale, but a well organized sale will be more profitable than a garage sale that is thrown together at the last minute.

  1. Do you have the time required to organize a garage sale before your move?
  2. Are the items worth selling?
  3. Will someone be able to help you on the day of the sale?


Remember your objectives:

  • To basically to get rid of stuff so that you don’t have to pack it and move it.
  • Make a few bucks and have fun with it.

Garage sale sign


Getting Ready:

  • Be aware of any Strata or Rental agreements specific to holding a garage sale.
  • Saturdays are usually best for yard sales. Some people schedule their sales for Saturday and Sunday, and reduce the prices on Sunday.
  • Avoid holding your sale over Holiday weekends.
  • To maximize sales and interest consider involving a few of your neighbors. This makes it more fun, motivating and will probably increase the turn out. Increased saving in the placement of an add in your local paper if you share the cost.
  • Start saving plastic shopping bags and or small boxes for your customers.


The Price is Right:

  • Price items according to their worth to others, not their worth to you. A good way to do this is by asking a Friend to assist you in pricing items for the moving sale. Someone who is not emotionally attached to the item is likely to set a more realistic price.
  • Charge about 20% of the original cost.
  • Set prices in dollar amounts -$1, $2, $3 or 25 cents increments. Setting odd prices results in a change-making nightmare.
  • Remember to have plenty of change on hand. Start the day with about $75 -$100 worth of change on hand.
  • Leave yourself some room to bargain.
  • Glasses, cups, dishes and utensils will sell faster if they are sold as sets of 6 for $1.00 instead
    of 15 cents each.
  • Price items such as glasses, cups, dishes, utensils, and silverware together. Five for $1, instead of 25 cents each. They will sell faster if they are sold as sets.


Advertise and Bring in the Buyers:

  • Ensure that you Post your sale on your Facebook page, Twitter and other buy/sell sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist.
  • A couple of days before the sale, mow the lawn and remove any hazards Consider placing a sign on your front lawn a day or two before the big day that simply says garage sale here tomorrow 8am.
  • On the day before the sale, put signs along the road announcing the sale.
  • Use signs, balloons, flags, and banners and get them
    high enough off the ground for people to see while driving.
  • If you want to start your
    sale at 7:00am advertise that it opens at 8:00am, you will be glad you did.
  • Treat your moving sale like a retail business. Merchandise your items in an appealing way.

A Garage Sale to Remember:

  • Be prepared to work but above all have fun, make it an event to remember. You may have to get a little silly. Put on a reflective vest or a bright hat so that you are easy to find and that there is no question as to who your customers should haggle with. You are going to have to shmooze and involve your customers.
  • Your motto should be no one leaves empty handed. Consider giving out lesser expensive items as thanks for dropping in prizes. (one less thing for you to move).
  • Fill a cooler with soft drinks, juice boxes, and water bottles and sell them at a reasonable cost to your customers, especially if it’s hot out. This is another great way to add to your daily profit.
  • Go one step further by getting the garden hose and put the teenagers to work on a combined garage sale / car wash event.

Car wash


  • Have two people present
  • Position all your items outside the garage and close the door.
  • It is best to not allow people into your home.
  • Keep the money that you will use to make change with you at all times. A fanny pack or money belt works great.
  • Keep the doors to you residence locked.
  • Keep fragile items on a sturdy table and away from children’s reach.
  • Keep the money on you in a fanny pack so that it’s never unattended. This lets you walk over to assist your customers without leaving money unattended.
  • Make change without flashing all the bills around.

Click here or more information and tips on how to have a successful and profitable Garage Sale


Yard sale table

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