Garage Sale Box

Good Dog! Garage Sale Fundraisers

Use our planning checklist and customizable templates to easily organize and promote your service dog yard sale fundraiser.

* These templates are designed with Canva. You will need a Canva account to access them (it's free). We recommend using the desktop version when customizing templates instead of the app version.

Tips for Planning Your Garage Sale

Make it Easy
  • Use the Good Dog! Yard Sale Toolkit to easily plan your event. 

  • Ask other Good Dog! Families who've held garage sales for their best tips in our family Facebook group.

Select a Location
  • A high-traffic location with plenty of parking is preferable. 

  • Your location should also have enough space to accommodate all of your items and a place to store/stage items prior to the event. 

  • If your home does not have a large garage or yard, consider hosting your sale at a friend's home, community center, church, or in the parking lot of a school or business.

Collect Items
  • Ask your friends, neighbors, and family members to donate items towards your yard sale fundraiser.

  • It's helpful to give suggestions of what they can donate such as clothes, shoes, hats, bags, books, frames, art, vases, dishware, jewelry, toys, games, sporting equipment, bikes, electronics, appliances, furniture, etc.

  • Ask for item donations on community message boards like Nextdoor or in local Facebook groups.

  • Make it easy for people to donate by providing a drop-off location for several days prior to the sale. You can also offer to pick up larger items or schedule a volunteer to do so.

Organize Like a Pro
  • Organize, clean, and price all items as you receive them.

  • Group like items together like departments you'd find in a retail store. Such as clothing (separated by size and type), tools, furniture, sporting goods, home decor, books, toys, etc.

  • Prominently feature the more expensive items where they’ll be visible from the street to passersby and in a location you can easily keep an eye on.

  • Use clothing racks and hangers for nicer, name-brand clothing.

  • Label items with price tags/stickers. 

Be Extra
  • Grab attention with balloons or streamers and put plenty of signage throughout the neighborhood directing people to your yard sale.

  • Offer food and drinks for a simple donation, such as water, lemonade, hotdogs, cookies, donuts, etc.

  • Make your sale inviting and comfortable by providing shade with pop-up tents/canopies and music for ambiance. 

  • Tidy up tables throughout the day. Most people don’t want to dig through a jumbled mess.

  • Other fun activities you may want to offer: face painting, raffle prizes, stickers, etc.

  • Talk to people about your fundraiser! Set up a donation jar and with information about your child and service dog fundraiser. 

Sales Day Strategies
  • Start setting up an hour before your opening time.

  • If you find your fundraiser has lots of clothing to sell, you may not want to bother pricing them. Simply sell whatever fits inside for $5 a bag.

  • Wrap up the sale with a steep discount. Offer items as two-for-one deals or 50% off.

  • Another strategy is to let people know that this fundraiser is for a service dog and to let them suggest their own prices. People may end up paying more than what the items are actually worth.

Pick a Date
  • Plan at least 6 weeks in advance for enough time to gather items and promote your fundraiser.

  • Keep in mind that holiday weekends tend to be slower and limit your volunteers' availability. 

  • Consider the weather when selecting your date and have a backup plan in case of rain - either a second date or a location that allows your sale to move inside.

 

Get Help
  • Yard sales are a lot of work! As soon as you select your date and location, start asking friends and family to help with your event.

  • In addition to volunteers for the event, recruit helpers for tasks leading up to the event such as item collection, organization, pricing, setup, and promotion.

  • Get firm commitments on availability and designate specific jobs for each of your volunteers such as checkout/money handler, display re-organizer, welcomer who goes around answering questions about your service dog fundraiser, etc.

  • Send reminders!

  • Create a schedule with two-hour shifts and over-schedule volunteers for the busiest time of the sale (typically early part of the day when bargain hunters are out).

  • Feed your volunteers.

  • Send personal thank you notes after the event.

Gather Supplies
  • Tables (display and checkout), clothing racks, hangers, shelves, crates, boxes, baskets, bins, etc.

  • Tents (for protection from sun and rain)

  • Sharpies, markers, pens

  • Posters and signage

  • Tape

  • Donation jar and fundraiser brochures/info flyers

  • Safety pins (for clothing sets)

  • Price stickers (consider coordinating neon stickers to prices, ie: orange = 50 cents, green = $1, yellow = $5, white stickers are priced as marked, etc.)

  • Shopping bags

  • Storage bags

  • Name tags for volunteers

  • Cash box (make sure you have plenty of small bills and quarters for change)

  • Laptop/smartphone/tablets with WIFI if taking credit card payments to your fundraising website

  • Extension cords, chargers, etc. 

  • Cleaning supplies, wipes

Price to Sell
  • Do not overprice your items. People come to garage sales looking for deals even if it's a fundraiser. Be willing to negotiate.

  • Research estimated value for artwork, electronics, glass, china, etc. Typically items sell on average for about 10-30% of retail value.

  • You may get better prices by selling higher-end items on Craigslist or eBay prior to the sale.

  • Consider hosting a "pre-sale" by having friends come pick through everything you have sorted the day before the event.

Spread the Word
  • Use local media outlets like newspapers and radio stations to get publicity for your fundraiser.

  • Place advertisements in the local classified, on community bulletin boards, Craigslist, and Facebook marketplace.

  • Take lots of great photos of your items and share them on social media, especially on the morning of your event. 

  • Put up lots of signage around the neighborhood to direct people to your yard sale. 

  • Invite everyone you know to your event and ask your friends to invite their friends, hang flyers, and spread the
    word. 

Plan for Leftovers
  • Box up leftover items to be donated to someone else that's having a yard sale or local causes.

  • Have a volunteer ready to drive a truckload of items to where you are donating them or schedule a time for a pickup.

  • Consider selling leftover designer clothing and accessories to an online consignment site like ThredUp or selling them Poshmark.