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With everyone keeping a tighter grip on their purse strings these days, the good old-fashioned garage sale has become a popular resource for sellers and consumers. After all, snapping up good deals and unloading excess clutter (while making a bit of money) is a plan that seems to benefit everybody. Nonetheless, there are those that would rather shave themselves bald than be stuck with having one.
A prior negative experience or just the mere idea of taking on the hassle shouldn’t be reason to pass on making some cold hard cash. It’s true that a garage sale has the potential to turn into a massive headache— if there is a lack of preparation. The positive experience of a successful, hassle-free garage sale is all in the planning. It ensures you will be running the garage sale rather than letting it run you.
To have a successful garage sale, stick to the theme of “organization and efficiency”. This means your garage sale should consist of the following:
- Categorize and arrange what you want to sell.
- Put A price on everything.
- Hold your Garage Sale (somewhere around the) first of the month date.
- Make it a one day event. Period.
- Begin at a reasonable starting time.
- Implement a Good advertising plan
- Have A firm exit strategy.
- Other Tips that Can Lead to Garage Sale Success >Consider A theme.
- Be lively.
- Offer free coffee and other items.
Categorize and arrange what you want to sell.
Stick with items that work, have all their parts and are actually useful. Pieces and old parts of TV’s, toys or other items sometimes sell but not as often as a coffeemaker that is clean and in good shape. It is simply more efficient to put incomplete items to the side so they can be hauled off with whatever is left at the end of the sale.
Just like a department store, have an area to arrange kitchen items with other household items and another area for toys and children’s items. This will allow you to keep a better idea of what you have in inventory as well as being able offer some direction if someone inquires about a specific type of item.
(If, after separating the wheat from the chaff, it seems you won’t have enough to make more than one table of stuff, nix the idea of a garage sale and instead opt for dropping it all off at a second-hand store. Garage sale enthusiasts prefer variety and most won’t stop to pick through a single table of items.)
Put A price on everything.
Since haggling can be time-consuming as well as emotionally draining, price everything clearly and price it to move— regardless of how short of time you’ve had an item or how many times it hasn’t been used. While the overall aim of the garage sale should be to alleviate yourself of clutter while making some cash, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. You don’t have to cheat yourself, but do be reasonable. (Incidentally, most garage sale enthusiasts don’t want to haggle either. It’s the thrill of a quick and easy deal that they are after and it will be to your advantage to play to it.)
Hold your Garage Sale (somewhere around the) first of the month date.
The simple logic behind this tip is that most people have more money at the beginning of the month than they do at the end. When deals are good and the money is there to spend, you’re much more likely to watch most of what you put out get whisked down the driveway.
Make it a one day event. Period.
Sometimes, extenuating circumstances (weather, low traffic, the amount of items available, etc.) can inspire or require holding over for an extra day. However, to keep the potential for aggravation to a minimum, it is best to limit a sale to one day and get rid of whatever doesn’t go once and for all. Another important factor to consider is that most garage sale enthusiasts don’t bother with sales on the second day anyway since it is likely the sought-after items and deals have already been snatched up.
On a side note, a good way to decide the appropriate day for your garage sale is if you have an overabundance of a certain type of item. Sometimes, it can be helpful to look through the details of local garage sale listings in order to determine what articles sell better on what days. Though garage sales are commonly held on the weekend, it can be a good clue if children’s clothes are listed more often on Fridays than Saturdays.
Begin at a reasonable starting time.
In general, garage sales start at 8 a.m. However, there are dedicated garage sale enthusiasts that like to get the jump on everyone else and come calling as early as 6:30 a.m. While this can be inconvenient, keep in mind that “early birds” come with money in hand and ready to spend. Starting too late can be the kiss of death. There aren’t many bargain hunters that like to wait around until noon to find good deals when they can go down the road and find several sales already in full swing. If they get too far down the road, you’re likely to be forgotten.
Implement a Good advertising plan
Some publications charge a nominal fee for listing garage sales, some don’t. There are online resources dedicated to garage sale listings that charge nothing at all. Either way, placing an ad ahead of time not only gets the word out, it ensures diehard bargain hunters will include you on their list of viable hunting grounds.
You’ll want to include the standard information of the date, your address, a starting/ending time and a description of what will be available. Pictures, as well as a map (that only pinpoints your street), are extra helpful features that really grab attention when placing an ad online. The old standby of posting flyers on bulletin boards at grocery stores and laundromats are still effective routes as well. (Don’t forget to make mention as to whether the starting time is firm or if you will allow early callers!)
Signs for your garage sale will be necessary— especially if you live in a neighborhood with winding streets or in an area that is off the beaten path. Signs can be made of anything from thick poster board to a weighted cardboard box. Just keep in mind that, even at a reasonable speed, letters and numbers can be hard to catch when driving past them. A garage sale sign should be simple and neat but branded with extra-large bold letters. List your address and use arrows as well. Place signs only where local ordinances allow and remember to be a responsible citizen and take them back down as soon as your sale is over.
Other signs you will need legibly written and prominently displayed during your garage sale:
all sales final, all items sold as is, no refunds will be given, cash only-no checks
not responsible for accidents
This will help protect you from the few bad apples who scout garage sales as places to pull a fast one rather than find an honest bargain. Along with just keeping a general eye on things, it is another reason why it is important to enlist the help of others and never work alone.
Have A firm exit strategy.
To make sure you keep up with the theme of organization and efficiency, arrange a specific time with a local second-hand store to have leftover items picked up. Most provide this as a free service. If the pick-up time is at 4 o’clock, shut things down at 3 p.m. on the dot. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to snatch stuff out of people’s hands to make the deadline; however, once the sale is done, it’s done. Gather up the last of what’s left and, per the instructions of the pick-up service, put it in boxes or bags and leave it by the side of the road. Don’t be surprised if it gets picked through or hauled off by last-minute customers or passers-by. That’s just less clutter to get rid of. Your goal for the day has been accomplished.
Other Tips that Can Lead to Garage Sale Success
>Consider A theme.
Having a garage sale that revolves around offering sporting gear, art supplies, woodworking tools or the like attracts a specific type of customer who has a stronger motivation and intent to make a purchase.
It never hurts to get up and mingle. Engaging in friendly conversation is not only a good way to meet interesting new people; your customers are more likely to feel welcome, stick around longer and find something to purchase even if they hadn’t originally planned on buying anything.
Offer free coffee and other items.
Everyone likes something for free. Early morning callers might like a fresh cup of coffee. If you have an overabundance of an item like key rings, it can be a nice gesture to hand them out to kids or offer one free with every sale.
Hold off and wait for everyone else.
Some cities and neighborhoods collaborate and have community garage sales once or twice a year that have the capacity to pull in crowds from local and surrounding areas. If you are lucky enough to live in a city that has specific neighborhood or citywide garage sale days, it can be an easier way to create more sales and get rid of stuff fast. More often than not, free advertising in the local paper and discounts on garage sale permits for multiple days (if you’re brave enough) are included in these events.
Even if it’s not your cup of tea and something you’d rather take part in every other Leap Year, efficiently preparing for a garage sale can be the one thing that keeps it close to a pleasant experience. Along with planning ahead, take time to briefly familiarize yourself with your local laws and ordinances. Not only are there some items that can’t be legally sold in a garage sale, in some areas, it is necessary to buy a permit to even have a sale. (The last thing you want is to get a fine over something so trivial.)
A power strip plugged into an outside outlet (for the customer who will inevitably want to test the hot air popcorn popper), a calculator and plenty of change and one dollar bills and you’re ready to face the onslaught. The last bit of advice that will ultimately make or break your garage sale? Don’t forget to check the weather!
Are you holding a Garage Sale because you are Selling Your House? Let us connect you with an amazing All Star Real Estate Agent in your area! Call 1-800-805-8354. Use this instanthome value calculator to determine what your house could sell for today.
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