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What Does a Teenage Garage Sale Assistant do?

There is a lot of work that goes into having a garage sale, which is why being a garage sale assistant is a great way to get paid to help out a friend, family member, or neighbor. There are three main parts of a garage sale that you will need to help with: setup, sales, and tear down. With each part, there are several ways you can help.

During setup, you will help set up tables, put items on the tables and organize them, help price items, and put out signs. During the actual sale, you might offer help to customers, accept money and give change, and help people carry items out to their car. After the sale, you will help pack up all of the leftover items, take down the tables, and take down the signs.

How Much Does a Teen Garage Sale Assistant Get Paid?

It’s hard to know how much you might get paid per hour when working as a garage sale assistant. You will have to work out the payment before you begin with whoever you are working for. They may choose to pay you a flat rate of $20 for every day of the sale. They could also offer to pay you a percentage of the total sales, which would mean you could make a lot more or less depending on how well the sale goes and how things are priced.

If you can find a lot of people that are willing to hire you to help with their garage sales, this could be a good, steady summer job. If you are old enough and have your parents’ permission, you may even be able to have your own garage sale and keep all the money for yourself, but you will also need to have a lot of unwanted stuff to do that.

How Can I Get Started as a Teen Garage Sale Assistant?

  1. Ask permission from your parents. This is especially important if you choose to help people you don’t personally know since you will be going to their home to work.
  2. Find people to help with garage sales. Start by asking your friends and family members. If that doesn’t work, you may try offering your services in Facebook groups for garage sales in your area or even on Craigslist.  Just make sure your parents are involved and you keep things safe.
  3. Make signs. Depending on where you are, you may need a lot of signs to direct people to the sale. Go a few days before the sale to see how many signs you will need to direct people from the closest main roads to the sale. Use a bright color, and keep the signs consistent so people know it’s the same sale they’re headed to.  
  4. You also need to make sure you have the words “Garage Sale” or “Yard Sale” written in HUGE letters. If you include an address, make sure it’s readable. Arrows are also a good idea, but you may need to add those when you put up the signs. Be sure to check with the city about sign regulations and include any extra information you need on the signs.  These giant Sharpies on Amazon are a great tool for easily making garage sale signs.
  5. Help get tables. If the person you’re helping doesn’t have enough of their own tables, they may need to borrow them from a friend, so you will want to go with them to help get the tables. If your parents have extra tables, you can also offer these.
  6. Set everything up. This is one of the most time-consuming parts of a garage sale. If the weather is nice, you may even go the day before to get everything ready. It’s best to sort things into categories such as clothing, kitchen items, games, tools, and Christmas stuff. That way, people looking for certain things will have an easier time finding what they want within that category.  
  7. When setting up, you also want to make sure that everything is laid out so that every item can easily be seen and reached. When things are piled up and not organized well, people often won’t look at anything which means they don’t buy anything. Get creative with using the space you have available, especially if there is a lot of stuff and not a lot of space.
  8. Put prices on everything. Things always sell better if they have prices because a lot of people don’t like asking about a price or making offers. The person you are helping should know how much they want for everything, so you may help them with this by making the price stickers and putting them on items as they direct.  You can order pre-made stickers on Amazon, or get all blank ones to write in your own prices.
  9. Finish setting up. The morning of the sale, you’ll need to finish setting up early in the morning. You may need to pull tarps off of the tables and set back up tall items that were laid down during the night, bring larger items out from the garage, and get the money table ready.
  10. Advertise. The person you’re helping may put an ad in a local newspaper, but you can help advertise the garage sale by posting it online. Facebook has a number of groups for garage sales where you can post advertisements, and Craigslist is another great place to place ads. Be sure to take some pictures to give people an idea of what you have.  If there are larger items for sale, you may even consider posting those separately in other posts and say they’re available on a “first come, first serve” basis at the garage sale. This can be a good way to sell bigger items to people that are specifically looking for them.
  11. Put up the signs. Pick at least two nearby busy roads to direct traffic from. Start from there and place a sign every time they need to turn before getting to the sale. Make sure you place signs on main roads at least 20 feet before people have to turn so when they have time to slow down and turn.
  12. Work the sale. Greet people as they come, ask them if they’re looking for anything specific, and let them know they can ask you if they have any questions. You may also be put in charge of handling the money, so be sure to have a calculator handy to add up purchases and figure out how to make change. When people buy several items, offer to bag them for them. Breakable things should be carefully wrapped in newspaper before being put in bags so they don’t break. You should also offer to carry things to people’s cars for them, especially if they are older or are buying a lot of things.
  13. Take down the signs and ads. As soon as the sale is over, it’s time to take down the signs, and the online advertisements so you don’t have people coming while you’re trying to put everything away.
  14. Tear down. The person you helped may want to donate the leftovers to charity, save it for another sale, or simply get rid of it. Whatever they decide, it’s your job to help them pack everything up and take it where they want it. If they’re willing to give you the leftovers, you may be able to sell them at your own garage sale, though you should ask your parents first before you bring a bunch of stuff home.

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