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5 Tips for a Successful Rummage Sale

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Last month I had my first rummage sale, and as much as I was happy to sell and get rid of stuff, I am so glad it’s over.  Prepping for an organized successful rummage sale is a lot of work, but without it I would have just ended up with a bunch of junk in piles in my garage.  Here are 5 tips that I followed that will help you have an organized successful rummage sale.

5 tips for a successful and organized rummage sale.  Garage sale tips  on pricing, prepping, and organizing.

1. Prep

I spent a few months preparing for my rummage sale, and it paid off.  The best way to prep is to take it in small chunks and give yourself time.  Go through each room in your home with an empty bin and fill it with items you no longer want or need.  The main rooms of my house were the easiest, the basement took me the longest.  I opened boxes that had been sealed since we moved a couple of years ago.  I now have less clutter in every room of my house and it feels great.

2. Organize

Designate an area of your home for rummage items.  I taped off a space in my basement and everything I found for rummage went into that space.  When it was time to bring it out to the garage I knew where everything was.  Now that my sale it over, I still have a large bin in my basement where I can add items for a future sale or for donation.

Be sure to organize your sale so customers know what they are looking at and can find items easily.  I had a lot of kids clothes; a lot!  I hung all dresses and nice outfits, and laid the other items out on tables {folded nicely} by size and type.  For example; newborn in one section organized by sleeper, onesie, pants etc.  Instead of pricing each item I had signs on every table and at my checkout with baby clothes pricing.  I made it very simple and easy to follow.  Each type had a price {bottoms, tops, dressers, sleepers etc, unless otherwise marked}.

Organize the rest of your items by type and make sure all items are visible, don’t make your customers dig.  Use tables, benches, up side down boxes, whatever you have to make items visible.

3. Price

When customers come to a rummage sale they are looking for a deal, and you are looking to get rid of some stuff.  Price your stuff low if you want it to go.  If you have a nicer item, put a higher price tag on it but be willing to negotiate.  Customers won’t pay for sentimental value. That being said, if it has real value price accordingly.  For example my Mom brought some antique crocks to my sale and after some research we priced them for the going rate at antique marts.

4. Promote

Let people know about your sale.  Start with signs leading customers from a main road to your house.  Hang fliers around town if you have community bulletin boards.  By far the best way to get the word out is online.  Craigslist, newspaper classifieds, online buy/sell/trade groups etc.  Tell people what they can expect and add a few pictures of your sale all set up.

My sale was part of a subdivision rummage which brought in more traffic.  We were able to tout all kinds of items in our ads and customers were able to hit up multiple sales in one trip.  Partner with a couple of neighbors to get the most bang for your buck.

5. Purge

My rule for this sale was not to bring anything back into the house when the rummage was over.  I broke my rule slightly, saving some super cute and good condition items for a pregnant friend.  Other than that, everything went.  We donated our items to a local charity, Salvation Army, and sold a few nicer baby items to a consignment shop.  I calculated the value of my items and saved the receipts for  a nice write off next tax season.

Bonus Tip:  Get the kids involved.

Little Lady loved helping with this rummage sale. She organized, folded, priced and promoted for me, it was a blast.  Her favorite part was her very own lemonade stand.  We made this from 4 wood crates tied together with zip ties.  She sold lemonade and snacks for a quarter a piece and made close to $15.  She was so proud, my little entrepreneur.  Customers though it was cute, and even if they didn’t buy from me many stopped and grabbed a snack from her.

rummage sale lemonade stand

Have you had a rummage sale?  What are your tips?

Thanks for visiting!

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