I just sold a TV stand that my husband inherited from a roommate on Craigslist for $35 and now I want to have an indoor garage sale! (Read our tips to sell stuff on Craigslist). In most of the country for much of the year, it’s too cold to have anything but an indoor garage sale. If you’re cooped up and looking for something to do, you should organize your stuff and make a few bucks. Think of all the bargain hunters bored and looking for something to do!
Here’s how to have an indoor garage sale.
1. Take inventory of everything you want to sell. Make the list as detailed as possible because later on you’ll use it to write a stunning post on Craigslist to advertise your sale. The more details you have – brands, dimensions, condition – the more folks will be enticed to stop by. Shoppers are unlikely to venture out of their warm homes for a “nice used couch,” but would be intrigued by a “gorgeous brown leather couch with little wear measuring 5 feet by 3 feet, including three cushions for $100.”
2. Clear out space. Really clear it out. You don’t want anything that’s NOT for sale to be in the sale area. Buyers will get confused about what is for sale and what isn’t, and you’ll get tired of saying, “no that amazing Star Wars ornament collection is not for sale.”
3. Visually mark off the sale area. Upstairs off limits? Tie a rope across or leave a chair at the bottom of the stairs with a “closed” sign taped to it. A closed door will not stop everyone from opening it, so tape signs to closed doors so there is no doubt that the sale does not extend to that room.
4. Buy or make stickers and label the prices of everything. One time I held a sale where I had a $1 table, a $2 table and a $5 table. But the problem was that I forgot which items came from which table and had to rely on the memory and honesty of the garage salers for pricing. Not a good idea. What you save in stickers and time, you’ll lose in profits. By a lot.
5. Get help. Depending on the size of your sale, you’ll need extra hands! Of course it is possible to hold an indoor garage sale all by yourself, but it’s a ton of work and will be more fun with others. To entice friends, tell them they can sell any of their own stuff at your sale.
6. Prep the sale ahead of time. Don’t wait until the morning of the sale to bring everything into the sale area. It actually takes several hours to bring everything out of your attic and basement and display it in a pleasing and accessible way. Put nothing on the floor unless you absolutely have to. Borrow folding tables, set things on counters and coat racks and shelves. Anything to prevent buyers from having to bend down. They won’t do it. Lay out your sale items the night before and sleep easy.
7. Advertise the sale. Craigslist is a must. Be as detailed as you can, itemizing as much as you can with details like brands, dimensions, condition, and more. People often search Craigslist for specific items “sewing machine” instead of “household stuff.” Include prices and pictures of as many items as allowed. If you have any vintage or rare items, give those extra space in your ad. Post your Craigslist sale on Friday and again Saturday morning so it’s near the top. Consider taking out an ad in your local paper and posting a free listing on YardSaleSearch.com.
8. Prepare to run into celebrities at your garage sale. Opps! That’s only if you live in LA!
9. Plan to hear your doorbell ring a few minutes before your sale starts. Some people arrive very early to garage sales to get the best deals. As soon as foot traffic begins to drop off – this may be as early as 10 o’clock – slash your prices. Otherwise, you’re going to have a lot of unsold stuff to haul to Goodwill. Not fun.
10. Get change and lots of singles so you can break bills.