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"True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess."

- Louis Nizer (1902-1994) American Lawyer

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Business plan

People & Planet  

This business makes a positive difference by...

  • Helping to make some extra money.
  • Getting rid of unwanted junk around someone's house for them.
  • Providing bargains to people who may not be able to afford new things.
  • Making someone feel good because they know that they are helping you develop your business skills.
  • Moving one step closer to being a great business person who will have the potential to help even more people in the future.
  • Helping to recycle useful things and reducing waste.
  • Using old plastic bags or boxes to put purchases in.

Before You Start  

Do Some Market Research

Conduct a quick survey among your neighbours and friends asking them:

  • Would they go to a nearby garage sale?
  • If they have anything to sell?
  • Would they want someone to sell their unwanted stuff for them?
  • Also visit other garage sales to see what is being sold and for how much.

This would give you a clear idea on how your business will perform.

Things You'll Need:

...to be really organised!

Write a checklist of all the things you need to do for the garage sale, and what date you need to do them on, in your notebook diary. Check them off as you do them.  This is sure to make you feel as if you're amazingly organized and important.

Keep a Diary

Always write down: 

  • Who you are having the garage sale for - their full name.
  • Their address
  • Their contact phone numbers
  • The date they want their garage sale (you don't want to end up with three on one day!)
  • The time they want their garage sale - e.g. 7am - 1pm
  • When you will go to set up the garage sale - e.g. the day before or in the morning before it starts.
  • Have a Written Agreement that both you and your client sign. Include: Exactly what you undertake to do for them, how money will be divided, a place for both of you to sign

Finding Clients  

  • Start with your neighbours and good friends, you have the advantage that they already trust you (we hope!).  You can build up a reputation, and your own skills, through doing successful garage sales for them.
  • You can also practice by doing a garage sale for your parents.
  • Make a creative and original flyer advertising your business
  • Place an ad in your local school newsletter.
  • Place an ad in your community newspaper
  • Pin flyers on community notice boards (make sure you're allowed to do this first.)
  • Drop flyers in letter-boxes.


  • Make signs to put around the neighbourhood, so it's easy for people to find you.
  • Invest in some good quality signs, so you don't have to remake them every garage sale you have.
  • Point out the way to the house clearly with arrows.  (Although entertaining, it is NOT a good idea to make this like a maze.)
  • You may want to advertise the sale in a local newspaper, if this isn't too expensive.  See sample advertisement
  • Make the sale obvious from the street.  Put big items, such as furniture, outside to attract more people.  Maybe tie balloons to the letterbox.
  • Consider having a sausage sizzle as well.  People will shop longer on a full stomach, and it will make some extra cash!

Think Safe!

  • During the garage sale, and whenever you are visiting the house of any client you don't know really well, always have an adult present. 
  • Anyone off the street can come to your garage sale, so be conscious of security.

Get on with it  

OK, so you've found some clients?  Cool!  You're well on your way to riches, fame and garage sale stardom...

Sorting out What You're Going to Sell

You'd be surprised at what people buy - one man's trash is another man's treasure so the saying goes! 

  • Organize with your client when you will set up for the garage sale.  Make sure you set up in advance - you need to be ready for early shoppers.
  • How items are displayed and organized is important - You can make something worth more by cleaning it, and presenting it nicely. 
  • Sort things into clearly marked boxes - Most people aren't psychics or professional detectives, so are unlikely to buy something they can't see or find!


  • Don't overprice!  Know the worth of the goods, and price things fairly cheaply so they sell. 
  • Price down slow sellers - Consider lowering prices or having deals towards the end of the day.  For example "fill a bag for $10".
  • Price in round numbers - that is $5 or $10 and not $5.67 or $10.99. 
  • Have Change
  • Label clearly - It is easiest to price only big items individually, and have standard coloured stickers to price everything else. For example, a red dot means $5 and a yellow dot means $10.  Have a large sign explaining what each colour means.

Keeping Your Money SAFE

Hear the story about the boy who lost all his garage sale money?  OK, actually I'm just making that up, but don't let it happen to you!

  • Set up a pay table from which you have a clear view of everything on sale, so no- one can walk off without paying.
  • Wear a pouch around your waist, or have a container to put money in, that someone looks after AT ALL TIMES!   Every hour empty the container or pouch and put the money in a safe place inside.
  • Only accept cash.  Cheques can 'bounce', which means you won't get the money.
  • Have a receipt book to keep track of sales.  Write ALL sales in it.
  • Remember you have to know exactly what you earned so you can give your client their money, and calculate what you're owed if you're splitting the profit.


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