GARAGE SALE 101: TIPS FOR SELLING OUT
By Jennifer Lutz
A garage sale is perfect when moving out or simply de-cluttering your home. Instead of leaving them behind or throwing them out, make a quick buck and put them up for sale. Here are six simple steps to a successful and stress-free garage sale.
1. Gather your inventory
You don't have to do this all at once - it can even be a 6-month to year-long task. The easiest way is to have a box where you can periodically toss in a few things. Every time you clean up and find something that you want to get rid of, just add it to the box.
Once you have enough items to sell, go through them to check if they're still usable. If they're broken, make sure they can easily be fixed. You might also want to ask your family first before including their things to the pile. They might want to keep their old hammers and teddy bears for a while longer.
2. Plan ahead
Planning is key to a successful garage sale. This includes location, pricing, display, and advertising.
Choose a place that will attract a lot of buyers. If your house is next to a busy street, there are more chances of people stopping by. If you don't have the space, ask friends and family if they're open to hosting it on their property. They may even want to put up some of their own stuff for sale. More items at your garage sale could mean more potential customers.
In some areas, you may need a permit before you can hold a garage sale. Make sure to check with your local government first before sticking those flyers all over the neighborhood!
Schedule the event when you can get the most buyers. A sunny day is perfect, so check the weather forecast in advance to make sure that it won't rain. Weekends are also great because people are not rushing off to their jobs.
Most yard sales run as early as 7am then slowly dwindle down during lunch time. If you follow this schedule, you'll have enough time to sell your items and clean up afterwards.
Your display should be organized and the layout easy to navigate. People who just happen to drive or walk by are more inclined to take a look if your items are displayed nicely. The trick is to group similar items together. Place all your glassware and kitchen tools on one table, baby stuff and children's toys in another, and then books and old CDs in a neat stack on a third table.
If you're selling clothes, it's better to use garment racks and hangers instead of dumping them in a box. This makes it easier for potential buyers to browse, rather than rummaging through them. If you don't mind constantly re-folding clothes after people check the size, then a table works just as well.
Pricing may be the most difficult part of a garage sale. It can be due to sentimental reasons or the original price you paid for the item. A good rule to follow is to think like a buyer. Would you pay $15 for an old table lamp? How about $25 for a hardbound encyclopedia set?
Another tip is to visit other yard sales to see how sellers price their items. If people are buying, then that's a good indication. This should give you an idea on how much people are willing to pay for second-hand stuff.
4. Put a price tag on everything
Much like when shopping in a store, it's more convenient to see the prices up front. Buyers immediately see how much they need to pay and don't need to approach you all the time. This means less work for you, giving you more time to focus on the sale. Remember that some people are shy about asking for prices and you could lose a sale if your items aren't marked.
Get cheap price stickers from dollar stores and place them in areas they're easily seen. You can also display all the items with the same price on one table and put the price on one big sign. For big items, such as a television or a couch, make the price tag as big and visible as possible.
To gain plenty of buyers, you need to advertise. Create posters and flyers containing all the details in big, bold letters. Post them on the community bulletin board, coffee shops, and the deli store around the corner. If you're on Facebook, make an event page and invite all your friends. You can also use Twitter for more publicity.
6. Keep supplies on hand
Before the big day, make sure you have enough supplies to minimize running back and forth between your house and garage.
- Plenty of loose change
- Plastic grocery bags for sold items
- Old newspapers to wrap breakable or delicate items with
- Batteries and extension cords for testing electronics
A garage sale is not only a great way to de-clutter your home and make money, it also gives you the chance to get to know your neighbors. Remember that even a well-planned event can have a few glitches, so just enjoy the day.
Jennifer Lutz writes for blog.christmastreemarket.com. Aside from the Jennifer's wealth of home organization and de-cluttering knowledge, she is also an expert in décor. Check out her post on summertime design here: http://blog.christmastreemarket.com/2014/06/5-tips-for-a-summer-friendly-home/.