Whether you are jump-starting a move, decluttering for a showing, or looking to make some extra cash, a garage sale can be a great way for a homeowner to declutter. Here are some helpful tips to make your next garage sale a success.
1. Plan Ahead: Some cities require that you have a permit or a license to hold a garage sale. These may be free, or they may cost a small fee. After you've gotten a permit, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to organize in preparation for the event. It can take more time than you'd expect to select items, price them, and then move them to your sale area.
2. Group Effort: Ask neighbors in your community if they'd be interested in having a sale the same day! This can be quit a draw to the garage sale crowd. Can't get the neighbors interested? Ask if any friends or family want to bring items over to have a combined sale. Simply use different colored price stickers to keep the profits separate. A block or "multi-family" sale is a great way to draw a crowd.
3. Advertise: There are a ton of great, and free, places to advertise your sale. Most of these are online. Be sure to mention in your add the following items: the neighborhood or area of town you are located in, especially if in a big city; your address; the date and run time; some of the items you are offering (appliances, women's clothing, baby items, etc.) The day of the sale be sure your home is easy to find. Use signs and balloons to direct traffic off of main roadways.
4. Price Items: When you price items, keep in mind that you are marketing to a customer that wants a deal. Be realistic about what an item is worth. Pricing items ahead of time can speed up the buying process.
5. Set Up Shop: Arrange items by type. Put furniture together, glassware on a table, and have clothes hanging. Also provide access to an electrical outlet for customers who want to turn on appliances and electronics to verify their condition.
6. Plenty of Change: Visit the bank the day before the sale to have lots of change. There will be buyers who use twenties, and will use of lots of your smaller bills. Stock up on ones, fives, tens, and lots of small change.
7. Take Care: If you have extra newspapers and plastic bags on hand, then keep them by your cash desk during the sale. Use the newspaper to wrap breakables. And use the plastic bags to help customer get small items conveniently to their car.
8. Eagle Eye. Be sure to keep an eye on your cash box! Never leave the box unattended.
9. Salvation Army: There will be items that don't sell. To expediate your clutter cleanse, look up local donation centers ahead of time to find out about donation pickup and drop-offs.
10. Free box: For items that need cleansed, but you aren't worry about making any money on, consider setting up a free box. You'll be surprised what other people will consider "treasure"!
11. Emily Post Touches: If morning weather is chilly, consider having small cups of coffee for sale. In summertime, have the kids set up a cookie and lemonade stand!
12. Have fun. A garage sale can be a stressful event, but if you stay committed to making it a positive and fun experience, it will be just that.
Good luck with your sale!