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My name is Gerrie Wydeven doing-business-as Wydeven Designs. I have been conducting this small GREEN business since 2004. Wydeven Designs, based in the Atlanta, Georgia area, sells CHAIRS, LOVESEATS, CHAISES, SETTEES and other fine, well-constructed refurbished upholstered pieces. I love to travel, cook, take photographs and generally follow style and decor topics as well!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Planning for My Weekend Garage Sale - Tips and Techniques

I am planning my annual garage sale (aka yard sale) this weekend.  I have a sale at least once a year in order to clear out unwanted items from throughout the house.  With our lower level renovation project this year, we have a number of pieces of furniture, art and other decor that we are no longer using. I have tried to sell some of the larger items on Craigslist and have sold a large farm table and a media center. I have also donated the large sofa and a coordinated chair and ottoman to the Salvation Army (they picked up).

In planning for this sale, I have developed techniques and strategies that are based on my extensive research in this field - i.e., the hundreds/thousands of sales that I have personally attended. I have previously listed a set of planning principles for going to sales - read here - but in this posting, I want to talk about actually conducting a sale.

I found several bloggers who have developed their own lists and thought this one was a good basis for this discussion.

List of Tips -  source

#1 drafting

This blogger suggests linking to other, bigger sales going on in the area in order to get the benefit of crowds attending these. I find that there are often garage sales near huge estate sales and they do draw from the crowd. This is most easily done if not much planning is required or if you are aware of a regular/annual event (such as a neighborhood garage sale) that you can "draft" onto.

#2 stand out from the crowd

This tip is mostly geared to good and clear signage that can spark interest and help others find your sale - I absolutely agree with this tip!

#3 clean and tidy 

Wipe down, hose off, run through the dishwasher, washer and dryer, dust or vacuum.
You will get a fair price for your things if they are clean and well cared for.

#4 the price is right
Put a price on every item

I have walked away from any number of items/sales when everything is not clearly marked and it is surprising how often this happens. An easy approach, if there are a lot of items and little time for individual price-tag making, it to us either colored dots signifying prices (Clearly posted - red = $5, green = $10, etc.) or a table where all items are the same price such as a $1.00 table, $5.00 table, etc. You can expect to have stuff moved and dots lost, but this does handle most of your pricing requirements.  Individual pricing of everything is the best.

#5 tasteful display
Don't spread your things out all over the ground or in boxes. Be creative if  you don't have folding tables. It is a much more enjoyable experience to browse at waist height. I know I wouldn't want to bend over and rummage through stuff on the ground. If you have to pull out the patio table or other furniture from your home, by all means make the effort.

#6 something for everyone

I agree that it is hard to predict what will sell. My husband puts out all sorts of mismatched cables, electrical items and even paint products and they often sell. It also gives husbands something to look at while dutifully accompanying a spouse and not interested in your furniture, clothes, home decor, etc.

#7 free advertising

The blogger mentions craigslist which has a "garage sale" category. I listed my first ad today and showed the photos below.

Items shown on today's Craigslist ad - I plan to run at least three more before Saturday.
The beauty of Craigslist is that it is free and you can list items in different categories to include different ways to describe your neighborhood (by subdivision, city, neighborhood) and in listings for specific items that you are selling (musical instruments, furniture by owner). People researching sales can find out about yours through different search terms.

I thought the above tips were excellent AND, the best advice of all - 



  1. Sure wish I lived closer! I'd snap up those ottomans! I am not usually a yard/garage sale person...but I have a new addiction. FURNITURE!

    Good Luck & post pics of the process. I just love your blog. Your furniture re-do's are so inspiring for em.


    (I scored a set of those cane sided wing back chairs yesterday off craigslist! Mine are a brown velour, and tufted. My vision is to paint the wood black ~chalk paint?~ and to reupholster them in a black & white toile)

  2. Thank you, Sam, I appreciate the comments. Your ideas about the chair sound great. I have had some difficulties with chalk paint on caning - you might check some of my blogs on the subject. I have not tried spray-painting them.

    Good luck,