What on earth are you doing with all that stuff? You do know that you can make money by selling it, right? One man’s (or woman’s) trash is another’s treasure and a garage sale is the perfect way to feed that guy’s treasure craving.
The most successful garage sales are planned and prepared meticulously. So, let’s look at some tips to help you do both.
Don’t be the guy or gal that throws the party that nobody comes to. If your sole concentration is on the actual garage sale, and you put little effort into getting people to show up, your sale will be a flop.
Businesses call it “marketing” and you can apply their same strategies, but on a smaller scale.
Start your planning session by figuring out when you’ll hold the sale. Check with the largest businesses in town to find out when they pay their employees and choose the weekend after that date for the sale, suggests the Yard Sale Queen.
But, there’s more to choosing a date than hoping for customers flush with cash. If something else competes for their attention, they’ll take their money elsewhere.
It’s summer, which means festivals and other outdoor community events, backyard barbecues and vacations. Check your community’s online events calendars to ensure the date you have in mind isn’t one on which the biggest community event of the year is being held. Check which sporting events are being held in the area. Your aim is to have as little competition as possible.
Finally, call everyone that you hope will assist you on the day of the sale and run the date by them to ensure they’re free.
So, now you know when the big sale will happen. It’s time to plan the actual event.
Though many of us have boxes and bins full of items we hope to sell or donate some day, there are sellable items lurking in every room of your home. Garage sale experts suggest that you go through your entire home, room-by-room, evaluating your belongings. When you find an item, you want to include in the sale, slap a price sticker on it and place it in a box.
Don’t forget to go through the pockets of all garments, check handbags you’ll be selling and search large items in which something may be hidden. The last thing you need is to sell that dresser where Grandpa stashed his life savings.
By the end of the process you’ll have a good idea of what you’re selling and in what amount. This is important information you’ll need when setting up the sales floor.
There are several ways to let folks know about your world’s best garage sale. The most effective is online advertising, so create an ad, with lots of compelling photos, and post it on craigslist.org, yardsales.net, yardsalesearch.com and garagesalefinder.com.
Check with your HOA and the city or county to ensure you don’t violate any signage rules and then create signs that you’ll place at a main thoroughfare and around the neighborhood. Über-successful garage sale-holder Cassie, at wholefully.com, suggests large, 20″ x 30″ signs for the for the former and smaller ones for the latter.
Make a list of each item you’ll be selling and its price. The easiest way to do this is as you set them out on the sales floor. Cross the items off the list as they are sold.
Make a floor plan for the garage, yard, driveway or wherever you’ll be setting up shop. Sketch it out on a piece of paper, drawing tables and making notations of which types of items will go on which tables. Ensure that folks will have room to maneuver around and between your displays.
There are a number of floor plans you can adopt for your sale. Find then online:
Most garage and yard sale experts agree that large items you think will be most popular should be located closest to the entrance, where they will be easy to see from the street, and locate smaller, easy-to-pocket items in an area where a helper will be stationed.
Two final notes: Locate electrical items near an outlet, or have an extension cord handy so that customers can test them. Then, determine how you’ll bag the customers’ purchases. Plastic grocery bags are ideal and boxes are suitable for larger items.
By now, you should be so organized and ready for the sale that all you’ll need to do is set up the sales floor, remembering to leave room for folks to maneuver and placing the most desirable items out front where they can be seen from the street.
Then, place the signs and you’re ready to open for business.
Be alert and keep these common garage sale scams in mind:
Impulse buying is a reality, so display some small but fun, inexpensive items at the checkout area.
If you have no intention of opening the sale for early birds, say so in your ads. The folks at getrichslowly.org suggest a simple “early birds pay double” will suffice.
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