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Helpful Timeline

3 or more weeks before the sale:

·         Begin investigation and research.

·         Buy supplies.

·         Gather bags, boxes and hangers.

·         Review ads.  Learn lingo.

·         Figure out when to have your sale. 

·         Figure out where to have the sale (if your place is less than ideal.)

·         Clear space in your garage, basement or otherwise to gather your garage sale merchandise.

·         Decide what things or kinds of things you will sell.

·         Decide if you have enough stuff to sell or if you need co-sellers.

·         Begin stockpiling your goods.

·         Familiarize yourself with garage sale rules.

·         Zero in on your goals. 

·         Read (or finish reading) this entire handbook.

·         Check out the “legalities.” Call local governments about any ordinances and laws.  Plan to make any   necessary arrangements. Verify you have insurance coverage with your agent.   Get any needed permits.

2 or more weeks before the sale:

·         Call about rentals, tables, racks, etc.

·         Call newspapers for their ad requirements (rates and deadlines).

·         Continue and refine your investigation and research.

·         Practice negotiation.

·         Go to other garage sales.

·         Continue to gather your goods.

·         Clean out your house in the preparation process (if you have the energy or stamina!).

·         Begin to clean and dust  your garage sale stuff.

·         Get your staff lined up. 

·         Hire a baby-sitter for your kids.

·         Familiarize yourself with pricing issues.

·         Begin pricing anything that you have set aside for the sale.

·         Write your ad, or at least get started with it.

·         Follow through on anything from last week, especially any “legalities.”  

One or more weeks before the sale:

·         Work on pricing.  Label and price everything.

·         Organize as you price.  Put like items together.

·         Hang and fold your merchandise as you price it.

·         Review the copy for your ad.  Edit it and plan to go forward with it. 

·         Continue to clean and dust your stuff.

·         Place you ad (if you have to place it this early to make deadlines.)

·         Follow through on anything remaining from the past weeks


3 days before the sale:

·         Plan your display and layout for the sale. 

·         Place your ads (only if it was okay to wait this long).

·         Get your tables, racks, boxes, etc. to your garage.

·         Make signs.

·         Make sure all your goods are ready and available for sale. 

·         Clean garage.

·         Finish pricing. 

·         Follow through on anything remaining from past weeks.                                                                                                                                                                              

2 days before the sale:

·         Begin to set up the sale.  Make any tables, racks, etc.   

·         Continue to price, clean, etc, if necessary.

·         Follow through on anything remaining from the past weeks or days.

1 day before the sale:

·         Complete any set up, including organizing and placing  those items which will be placed outside of the garage once the sale starts

·         Arrange your supplies for the day of the sale, including record keeping and money related supplies.

·         Have friends over for preview (if you want to and can handle it.)

·         Have plan for bad weather in place.

·         Get cash.

·         Put up your signs and banners (at night.)

·         Confirm with your baby-sitter and helpers.

·         Make sure ad appeared correctly.

·         Try to get a good night’s sleep.

·         Review rules and expectations.

·         Make breakfast and lunch or breakfast and lunch arrangements for tomorrow.

·         Follow through on anything remaining from past weeks and days.


Day of sale:

·         Put up signs if you did not do that last night.

·         Move your car, down the street.

·         Remember what you have learned.  Use it. 

·         Get up early, at least an hour and a half before your sale is scheduled to begin.

·         Bring all necessary supplies with you that are not already in place (ex:  your cash)

·         Have breakfast and lunch available for you and your helpers.

·         Watch and learn.  If something is not working, adjust.

·         Straighten up as the day goes on. 

·         Have fun.  Enjoy yourself and your customers.

·         Clean up at the close of your sale, depending on your energy or inclination.

·         Remove  your signs.

·         Tally your profits and rejoice!


Day after sale:

·         Organize your leftovers. 

·         Return borrowed or rented goods.

·         Clean up and put stuff away.

·         Using your book, take a moment to write down your thoughts and observations.  Record what you thought worked or did not.

·         Take a deep breath and begin to plan for your next sale.       

·         Pay your co-sellers (deduct expenses as agreed). 





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