holding a successful garage sale
Holding a successful garage sale takes a little planning, and a little thought. If you expect to just throw your stuff out on the lawn the morning of, with no price tags, and sell everything like hot cakes, then you’ll likely be sorely disappointed. Unless you actually have hot cakes to sell, in which case, let me know; I’ll bring my own fork. 😉
As a self-proclaimed veteran garage sale goer and holder, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. And with it being “garage sale season”, I know many of you may be looking to unload lots of your loot.
So, here are my (sometimes rather opinionated) tips to making the most of your garage sale:
Holding a Successful Garage Sale: Before the sale (Prep work)
- Take the sentimentality out of your pricing. So you’re ready to part with that adorable costume your kid wore for Halloween? Great, but keep in mind what someone would actually PAY for it, not what you think it was worth to you.
- It doesn’t matter what you paid for something new. This is a garage sale, and people expect reasonable prices for goods being sold. You may have paid $100 for that lovely purse when it was new, but if you’re selling it at a garage sale, expect to let it go for less than $20. If you think you could (should) get more for it, try posting it to a Facebook yard sale group, Craigslist, Amazon, or eBay. Remember, this is a garage sale; people are looking for cheap finds on used goods. You just won’t see many high-end items at a garage sale, and there’s good reason for that.
- Have prices clearly marked or posted. My biggest pet peeve, and the quickest way for me to exit a sale, is to not find prices on anything. Yes, this takes time and preparation before hand. You’ll want to start pricing things at least a few days ahead of time, and put price tags on as much as you can. If you have a group of like items all at the same price (clothes, books, etc), you may be able to get away with just posting a sign for that group.
- Advertise your sale. Utilize free tools, like Craigslist and Facebook, to get the word out about your sale. If you don’t have any, create (or buy) signs so people can know where you are. Make sure your signs are EASILY readable from the street, and your address is clearly shown.
- “Display” as much as possible. Don’t make me dig through a box on your driveway to find something worthwhile. Set up multiple tables, shelves, and other areas on which to display what you’re selling. The more visible your items are, the easier people can spot them, the more likely they’ll be to come over and browse! This is especially critical for big-ticket items or any items you really wish to MOVE! Selling clothes? Take two ladders, and run a pole through the rungs, and voila! You’ve got a rack to display clothing on hangers. Or if you’re really lucky or fancy, utilize one of these. Books — show as many of them with their front covers showing as possible. Group series, and/or same authors together — people may wish to “bundle” them.
Holding a Successful Garage Sale: During the sale
- Be prepared for haggling. This should go without saying, but I’ve been to many garage sales where people seemed shocked that I suggested a lower price on items. Along those lines, see my next point:
- Keep your goal in mind. Are you selling items to help make ends meet? Are you simply looking to purge clutter in your home? Are you raising money for a charity? (If so, you definitely advertise that it’s a fundraiser — it’ll be certain to drive customers your way.) What will happen with unsold items: will they be donated, or will some items come back in to be sold at future garage sales or online? If you’re looking simply to lighten your load, then flexibility in price is key. However, if you are looking to make money, then stay firm with your (reasonable, well-thought-out) prices; but be prepared for some items to not sell that day. Consider an online sale via Craigslist, eBay, or in a Facebook group. There are TONS of Facebook groups just within the Atlanta area dedicated to this purpose.
All in all, if you take a little time before hand to prep and tag your items at reasonable prices, but are prepared to wiggle on them; have things displayed well for folks to peruse through; and can let that sentimental item out of your tight grip — you, too, can hold a successful garage sale!Keep on saving! :o)
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