The world is business is all about making connections, right? Well, one of the few times in your life when you'll come in contact with a bunch of strangers and have every right to try to sell to them (unless, of course, your job is as a salesman/woman) is during a garage sale. Since that's the case, use your garage sale as a business opportunity -- get yourself out there. Prepare ahead of time to hand out your business card, and who knows -- maybe you'll get some business out of the deal, as well as a few bucks for your old couch!
Make sure you have plenty of copies of your card. Check your stashes of business cards to make sure you've got an adequate amount. If you've held a garage sale before, try to calculate how many paying customers passed through; if this is your first sale, go ahead and make sure you've got at least a hundred cards, just to be safe. Also, be sure all the information is up to date. You'll want to check your stash about a week ahead of time, in case you have to go print off more.
Instead of handing out a receipt, give the customer a business card as they leave. You can write the total they paid on the back of the card if they're looking for some sort of record of purchase, then flip it over so they can see it's a business card.
Want a more subtle way to get your card out there? As you add up your paying customers' totals, slip a business card into the baggie with their newly-purchased goods. When they empty the bag, the hope is that they'll see the card. This is best done with brightly-colored cards, or cards with an eye-catching image, so that it doesn't end up getting tossed out with the bag.
You may or not want to develop a spiel to give when you hand a customer the business card. A spiel is great to confirm what it is you do or sell, but it can also annoy some people to the point that they'll throw away your card (meaning they won't lose it in their car and find it three months later when they need your services!). Practice the speech on an honest friend or family member so you can find out if it's too forward or annoying, or even too timid.
Caution: putting your contact information out there means that people can find you if their item doesn't work! You might want to be cautious when giving out a card with items that are potentials for "returning," such as electronics or furniture.
Looking for more garage sale resources? Check out GarageSaleCow.com, our main site, and find out for yourself why we're the nation's largest garage sale website, and growing every day!