Barbecuing at Your Garage Sale

Hot dogs go with the American summertime like nothing else (besides garage sales, of course), so why not incorporate these two great things and hold a barbecue at your garage sale?  It's a great way to make money on a refreshment that will actually leave people satisfied -- meaning they'll be more inclined to pay for it -- and that will keep them around during the otherwise slow lunch hours so they'll purchase your items.  How can you go wrong?

chicken barbecue

The sight and smell of a barbecue will draw people right into your sale.  Start up the grill fairly early in the day, so that early birds who get hungry around 11 a.m. or even earlier can get their grub; that way, too, the delicious odors will waft towards the street and lure in hungry shoppers.  Even if they don't end up buying your items off you, they are likely to shell out a dollar or two for a freshly grilled hot dog -- and then you can pitch your merchandise.

 Hot dogs are incredibly inexpensive, so you can turn a huge profit on them.  (In fact, that's what refreshment stands do!)  A pack of eight hot dogs is $1 at most, sometimes cheaper, meaning that each one costs you a little less than 13¢ each.  Add to that a similarly-priced bun, and you're looking at a quarter per hot dog cost to you.  Even if you only sell the hot dogs for $1 each, that's a 75¢ margin of profit per dog.  That'll add up really quickly!  You can set out some condiments and charge for the more work-intensive ones, like chopped onions or relish; a bottle of ketchup won't cost you more than a dollar or two, even for a large one, and since that's such a popular condiment it might be over the top to charge for it.

 A barbecue is a very social event, and people may stand around to enjoy the atmosphere instead of just buying their refreshments and running off.  And even if people are only around for the hot dogs initially, they might not run off while they eat for fear of messing up their car; that leaves you plenty of time to show off the great items you have for sale.  If people are hanging around long enough, they could spot something they like and buy it off you.

 Why do you barbecue?  Do you have special tips or tricks about barbecuing on a budget?  We would love to hear all about it, so email us at and we'll share your tips with the community in a future blog post!


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