Make Money Hosting Garage Sales
Make money hosting a garage, yard or a pop up shop sale.
So, what’s the difference between these? Well, a garage sale is held in your garage, a yard sale is in your yard, and a pop up shop is basically a shop that you open up in your garage or home.
I’ve never felt comfortable with strangers in my home, but I’m totally fine with hosting a sale in my garage.
Over the past three years I’ve hosted a pop up shop sale in my garage, it’s been a great way to make money from home.
You can see how I transformed my garage into a shop HERE.
I wanted to share my success with my garage sales, what worked and what didn’t work, and how you can hold your own sale and make money from home.
Let me share a little about why I started hosting sales in my garage.
Three years ago I decided to host a pop up shop in my garage, selling some of the pieces I no longer wanted, along with pieces of furniture that I transformed.
Last year, we started thinking that we’ll be downsizing in then next couple of years, so I started selling lots of my own personal collection.
This year I sold most from my own collection and it was a HUGE success. And even though it was a lot of work it was an easy way to make money from home.
Let me share each step of how to hold a successful garage, yard or pop up shop sale and how you can make money hosting one of these events.
Months before you decide to host a garage, yard or pop up shop sale start to prepare yourself and gather things you’re planning on selling. This is a good time to start cleaning and organizing.
Set a date on your calendar for your event. And start asking for friends or family that can help at your garage, yard or pop up sale event. Believe me, you’ll need to have help when you’re hosting your sale.
If you’re hosting a pop up shop, make sure your pieces are ready to be sold. If you have any pieces that need repairs do that ahead of time.
You can start pricing your pieces at this point to. Although I must admit, I usually don’t start pricing things until I have it all set up.
Start to get your area that you’ll be hosting your garage or pop up sale ready. If you’re hosting a yard sale, just make sure your yard is tidy before the sale. A neat and tidy yard looks attractive to buyers.
Before hosting my sales I always clean the garage well with a good sweep. Then, since we have windows, I clean the windows too.
Since our garage floor is dirty, as most are. I’ve added packing paper to our floors in the past. I just laid paper down, and taped it using masking tape.
This year I used wallpaper, because that’s what I had, and I was trying to be frugal and not spend anymore money than I had too.
A few years ago, when I hosted my first sale I hung a curtain as a partition wall. We have a three car garage, and our third stall has our garbage cans, lawn mower, bikes, all the not so pretty part of the garage.
Since I wanted my garage to look like a shop, I hung painters tarp from the ceiling beam using furniture tacks that I had. But I could have used regular tacks. I’ve kept this up for the past three years, by simply rolling it up, and tying it with twine so it was always ready for the next year.
If you have a one or two car garage, place the things you don’t want sold on one side of the garage And add a partition wall using painters tarp or sheets that you find at thrift shops, they’re pretty cheap.
This is so important, and it was a huge lesson from my first sale. Make sure that you advertise in at least one newspaper. You’ll need to contact your local paper a week or two before your sale. When you place your ad, get to the point, make it short, and word it so you will attract the right people. Here’s an example of what my ad said.
Vintage Chic Sale
May 13th 11-8
Selling shabby chic, chippy vintage, architectural pieces, small furniture, lighting, rugs, white ironstone and much more!
This let’s anyone that’s reading my ad know what to expect when they come to my sale.
The first year I held my pop up shop in my garage I specifically let people know that it wasn’t a garage sale, because I didn’t want them to expect garage sale prices.
These past few years, I didn’t mention that because I was offering lower prices.
Advertise in Craiglist, and also in as many local Facebook classified boards as you can. Word of mouth is huge for these sales!
If you’re selling vintage items you’ll want to contact local shops that sell vintage pieces, these are the people you’ll want at your sale. And they may share this with friends!
Whether you’re hosting a garage, yard or pop up shop, you’ll want your sale to pull people in and look attractive. Remember you want to make money, and to make money it needs to look attractive. You’re not only trying to attract people that saw your ad, but also people driving by.
The more people that come to your sale the more chances that you’ll make money.
Set things up to look like a shop. Clothing should all be together neatly and hung if possible. Gather extra folding tables and place a sheet or tablecloth on top of the table to make it look attractive. Place items that are alike on these tables. Collections should be together, it makes it much easier for the shopper.
Make sure to space things out if your hosting a sale in your garage. People need room to shop and look. If things are too close together things can get broken, and someone can trip and get hurt.
We had so much stuff to sell at my latest sale that we had to pull things out into the driveway. But it still looked attractive. It actually looked like a mini flea market.
Offer Something For Free
Have free cookies, or lemonade to your buyers. It’s just a really nice touch to do this. I’ll pull out a small table and add lemonade, and cookies, or coffee for free. I know you want to make money, but sometimes you need to give things away for free in order to make money. This will keep people at your sale and they’ll want to spend more money.
Make at least 2-3 signs for your sale. Make sure you check with your town as far as how big the signs are and how many you can add. I had a sign on each end of our main road to attract buyers, and one in our entrance of our subdivision.
I used pink poster board, and used a black sharpie to write the name of the sale, address, date and time.
Since we were expecting rain, I added a clear plastic coating on the signs. It’s actually clear plastic that’s used for book covers. It came in a roll. Then I added a little glitter tape to attract anyone driving by.
Again, make sure you check with your town as far as what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. I also had to purchase a sticker for each sign in my town. It was 5.00 no big deal. But I had to do this or get fined.
This was my first time doing this, and I think it’s why this last year was the best ever!! This will only work if you have mostly vintage pieces to sell, and you’ll need to contact lots of antique dealers.
Let me explain more…
My sweet friend Jeannie hosted the sale with me this year. She has lots of experience selling over the years. As we started setting up for the sale, the garage was getting fuller and fuller with our stuff.
Our original plan was to host the sale on one day only 11-8. But it’s risky only hosting for one sale if you want to sell most of your stuff.
She thought it would be a good idea to offer a private pre-sale to dealers only from 6-8. Since we had so much to sell we would have plenty left the next day. And the great thing about this pre-sale is that these dealers were there to shop!
Our goal was to make money! I not only invited dealers, but I also invited anyone that attended my sale over the past few years. I had a sign up sheet for anyone that wanted to be notified of future sales.
Make sure you add a sign up sheet to your sale.
We sold most of our stuff that first night! The next day the weather was not so nice and since we sold most of our stuff, we ended up closing the sale early.
We set up little area with wine, cheese and snacks for our buyers. It’s a thank you to all that came and shopped.
I had a few dealers that came back the next day to purchase even more…yippee!!
Before The Sale
Since we knew that buyers at our pre-sale were going to be big shoppers, we made it easy by giving them post it notes and pens. As they were standing in line ready to shop, we handed them post it’s and pens so they could write there name and sold on these pieces of paper. Then as they found what they wanted they could stick these post it’s to each piece. We were placing the items in piles for our buyers. This made it really easy for them as they shopped, and easy for us as we wrote up tickets.
Decide On Pickup Service
Prepare yourself with buyers that will purchase items but, they’ll need to return to pick the item or items up. We had many pieces that sold but the buyers had to come back with bigger vehicles. If someone is coming back make sure you give them a specific time and day to pick up the items. Make sure you give them your phone number and address, and make sure you get their name and phone number as well.
Make sure you have sales tickets or some sort of book to record your sales. If you’re hosting an event with someone as I did, you’ll want to record what what purchase, the price and initials of whom that piece belonged too.
Have extra pens, price stickers in case a piece loses a price tag.
Set up a check out area. We used a pop up tent for our check out area. It was placed out of the way of our sale. But let people know where to purchase the items.
Make sure you have plenty of cash/change for your sale. You won’t have time for a bank run. Our sale also accepted credit cards using the square. This was another reason for our success as people will spend more money using a charge card.
They may have only come to your garage sale planning on spending a certain amount, but they’ll spend more if they can charge it.
Things To Remember
If you’re selling at a pop up shop price things accordingly, and make sure that when you advertise you let people know that it’s not a garage sale, so they won’t expect garage sale prices.
If your hosting a garage/yard sale price accordingly as well. If you really want to sell something, don’t put a huge price on it just because someone on Ebay was able to sell it for that high price. Ebay and garage/yard sales are two different entities.
You won’t get those high prices at a garage sale. People are looking for bargains. If you out price yourself, you’ll end up wasting your time and losing money.
I sold a ton because we priced things to sell. And it’s why we practically sold everything we had!
Wow that’s a lot of information huh?
Well, hosting a sale at your home is a great way to make extra money. I’ve done many sales over the years. And I’ve learned something from each sale that I’ve hosted.
Since I practically sold most of what I had in my home, ( You’ll see photos of my home soon) I won’t be hosting a sale next year. But I am planning on hosting a moving sale once we sell our home.
On a side note, I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to have less in my home. I still love vintage style, but it’s so nice not to have it all in my home.
With my blog business I don’t have the time I once did to care for our home and my pretty things. And it’s why I sold most of my stuff and why I want to downsize.
I have so many things planned for our home as we will be slowly preparing. Purging most of my collection is part of the process.
Last time we moved I didn’t have time to prepare, so we moved with everything we had and it was ton of work and cost a fortune!
I vowed that I would never do that again!
This is a great time of the year to host a garage, yard or popup shop sale.
Are you planning on hosting a garage sale?