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Garage sales Brisbane - How to make yours a success

Moving interstate  |  Advice  |  Storage

Are you getting ready to move interstate and are considering having a garage sale to declutter? If so, congratulations! A garage sale can be a great way to get rid of unwanted items and make some extra money. But if you want to make sure your garage sale is a success, there are a few things we recommend you do in advance.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to plan for your garage sale, how to advertise it, and how to make the most money from your sales.

While it's great to make a bit of cash on the side from a garage sale, what you're aiming for is to reduce the quote from your Brisbane interstate removalists. Getting rid of furniture you're not using or boxes of old kids' toys that are collecting dust will reduce the amount you need to take with you on the road, and in turn, keep your moving costs down.

Before you begin planning too much, pop into a few local garage sales in your area to get an idea of how others are doing it, pricing their items and how they've set the garage sale up.

Planning in advance

The first step to having a successful garage sale is planning well in advance. This means deciding what you want to sell and creating an inventory list. It's also important to price your items correctly, which we’ll go into later on.

You also need to decide when you want your garage sale to take place. The best time is usually on a weekend, and it's important to choose a date that doesn't conflict with any other major events in your area, as well as one that has a good forecast. Once you have a date, start promoting your garage sale.

Advertising tip: Share on your social networks or Facebook, including Facebook Marketplace which also has a category for Garage Sales. Your local newspaper (though old-school, in some areas this might be very effective), Gumtree (people do still use this) as well as physical signs to direct people to your Garage sale etc. We cover more details on this towards the end of this article

Record collection on sale at local garage sale

Cleaning and organising

Now that you have a plan in place, it's time to start cleaning out your garage. This can be a daunting task, but it's important to do if you want people to take your sale seriously. We recommend making room in your house to begin stockpiling all your items while you're rummaging through boxes and items in storage. Make sure everything is neatly organised and labelled so potential buyers can easily see what's for sale.

Here are some places you can get some labels for your garage sale: 

Getting sale-day ready

Once your garage is clean and organised, it's time to start setting up. You don't need to go overboard - a few tables and some signage should do the trick. But if you want to attract more customers, you may want to consider decorating your garage or setting up a table with refreshments - this is great if you have a LOT of high-quality things to sell and you think people will be hanging around looking through everything you have on offer, rather than a quick pop in and leave.

Put your items together so people can see everything together. Eg, put cookware, plastics, kitchen appliances, cookbooks and gadgets together so anyone looking for Kitchen items can see them together and potentially buy more.

Easy categories include:

  • Kitchen
  • Clothes
  • Toys
  • Tools & accessories
  • Furniture & electrical
  • Linen

Family sit ready to sell to locals at their garage sale

Advertising your garage sale

There are a few different ways to advertise your garage sale. One is to put up flyers around your neighbourhood. You can also post an ad on online classified websites or social media platforms. Be sure to include all the important details like the date, time, and location of your garage sale. If you're registering for the Garage Sale Trail, they also have great resources.

You could also put up a garage sale sign a few days before the event. This will help people know that there's a garage sale happening in the area.

Some tips for making your own signage:

  1. Use large paper or cardboard (check the weather forecast) or grab some corflute from Bunnings to paint on.
  2. Use a pencil first to make sure you can fit it all on the sign first, before making it permanent. Then use large block letters and make sure you take the time to make it easy to read.
  3. Use high-contrast markers or paint. If you have a white or light background, use very dark colours for your writing. If you have dark paper/corflute, get white paint markers or a small tin of white paint.
  4. Stand back from a good distance and make sure your sign is easy-to-read for a driver quickly glancing over.
  5. Keep it simple - Use the words Garage Sale, the date and time, and an address if the sign is being posted away from your home. Use the heading "Garage Sales Brisbane" so people can see it’s close to them (using your suburb, Garage Sale Carindale for example). If it’s outside your house, swap the address for a big arrow pointing toward you.

Here’s a list of places you might want to list your Garage sale on: 

  1. Gumtree
  2. Facebook: Brisbane Garage Sales
  3. Garage Sale Finder
  4. Gazza’s Garage Sales 

Making money from your garage sale

The whole point of having a garage sale is to make money, so it's important to know how to do that. If you've popped into some garage sales already, you may have an idea of how to price some of your items already. One way to get people to spend more money is by offering discounts. For example, you could offer a discount for people who buy multiple items.

Jump on eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace to check what some of your big-ticket items are going for - you could be making a lot more if people are buying it for $100 instead of $20.

Pricing can be a bit of a grey area - some recommend that you should price items at 1/3 of what you would pay for them in-store, but there will always be items that don't follow this rule - you'll probably sell a book for $3, rather than $10, even if you paid $30 for it in-store. Don't forget though, it's okay to negotiate, and dropping into some garage sales near you and trying your hand at negotiating is a great way to get up to scratch.

The key is to price your items a bit higher than what you’re planning to sell them for, as people love to haggle at a garage sale.

Person takes digital payment with Square Reader at garage sale

Taking digital payments

It's a good idea to keep some change in a secure spot as most people will be carrying cash but nowadays, most people are opting for digital payments. Ensuring you can accept cards or phone payments can be a great way to ensure everyone can afford what they want. Using a Square Reader or taking PayPal payments via a QR code makes taking digital payments EASY! (Note; for Square, you will need to purchase hardware so get onto this early).

That's it, time to make some sales!

While it can seem like a lot of effort, it's important to have fun. Get the kids to help you hold the fort, play some music and enjoy the day.

By following these tips, you can have a successful garage sale and make some extra money before making the move with your Brisbane interstate removalists. Just remember to plan ahead, advertise your sale and have fun.

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