If you like good deals and find yourself on the garage sale circuit every Saturday morning, you might want to consider learning how to start a garage sale business. Running your own garage sale business will offer you the best of both worlds; engaging in an activity you enjoy and making money at the same time. Many people are too busy to organize their own yard sale but still have plenty of stuff they would like to sell. Your business could offer these clients the opportunity to get rid of their stuff with low stress and minimal involvement while paying you a small fee to handle their sale.
- Decide if you have the right personality to run a garage sale business. If you regularly hit the garage sale trail, this is the right business for you. However, you’ll also need a few other skills to make your garage sale business a success. The key to running a successful business is to be well-organized, generally enjoy meeting new people, and be able to follow through and meet deadlines. Most garage sales occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays so be prepared to give up your weekend free time in order to conduct your business.
- Are you ready to move forward with your garage sale business? Now it’s time to form a plan. Decide if you will work alone or have a partner. Research the start-up costs involved in starting a garage sale business. Decide if you have the cash required to start the business or if you will need to find funding. Figure out how you will advertise your new business.
- Once your plan is outlined, it’s time to do some research. You probably already have experience in garage sales but if you’re new to the idea then check out a few in your area. Talk to the people running the sale to get ideas on general organization, pricing, and set-up. Know that some of your clients will have antiques or vintage items to sell. You will need a basic education on pricing for these items in addition to knowledge on pricing less valuable items such as clothing or books. The local library or bookstore will likely have books written by experts in the field.
- Start advertising. Spread the word through friends and family; keep a supply of business cards with you to hand out when the opportunity presents itself. Post an ad in the local classifieds or use free online advertising sites. Make sure that the details of your business are clear. Let potential clients know that their involvement can be minimal and completely up to them. Most likely if the client knows his or her time and involvement is minimal, the better chance you’ll have of securing a contract.
- Obtain necessary materials. You’ll need signs to post near the sale location, a cash box, and pricing supplies. Make sure to have a supply of bags for buyers and spare extension cords to test electrical items. A basic home office for tracking clients and expenses is a good idea too.
- Get to work. Start out organizing sales for friends and family then build from there. Before agreeing to run a sale, decide on your commission and draw up a contract with your client. It should list all the tasks you will be handling as well as the client’s level of involvement. Depending on the amount of items to sell, you’ll want to start organizing the sale a few days before the actual sale. Sort and price all the items. Pack the items in easy to carry boxes. Prior to the start of the sale, set out tables and put the sale items in an easy to reach spot such as the garage or a shed. Arrive early on sale day and organize the sale items in an attractive manner to appeal to your customers.
- When the sale is over, pack up all the unsold items. Donate the items to charity or return to the client based on your agreement. Pay the client and make sure there are no lingering issues. Encourage them to let others know about your business and start preparing for your next sale.