When you want to get rid of some extra clutter around the house, nothing beats a garage sale.
You can get rid of old stuff that you don’t need any more, and you get to make some extra cash while you’re doing it! Here are some tips on how to hold a successful garage sale!
Save Stuff for the Entire Year
If you want to make a lot of money at a garage sale, you need to have a lot of stuff to sell. Most of the items you’ll be selling will only be a few dollars each, with the most expensive being maybe $30 or $40 unless you have some white goods etc. It’s actually good to have a few big ‘draw card’ items such as washing machines or fitness equipment – so if you don’t have any of these, ask around. Whenever you’re cleaning house and you come across something you don’t use or need anymore, toss it in a box specially reserved for garage sale items. By the time you have around 10 boxes of stuff, you can start planning your garage sale.
Make a Plan
You have to be organised if your garage sale is going to be a success. Try to set the date a few weeks in advance so that you have enough time to collect, catalog, and price everything. With at least one week left, go through the entire house and clean out anything you might want to sell. A few days before the big day you can then go through your boxes and put a price on everything. Sometime during this week you should make your signs and post ads in the local newspaper.
Another idea is to hold a ‘Street Garage Sale’ – approach your neighbours and come to an agreement on a date. It could save money on advertising and will encourage more lookers to come with more garage sales in a confined area!
Choose Your Location
Just because it’s called a “garage” sale doesn’t mean it has to happen in your garage. Most people display everything out on the front lawn where it’s visible from the street. If you don’t live near a busy area, you can even host the sale at a friend’s house. People won’t usually travel far to get to a garage sale, and if it’s out on the street you’ll be able to pick up customers who just happened to see you while you were driving by.
Pick the Right Time
A lot of the success of your garage sale depends on the time of year. A slightly chilly day isn’t necessarily going to cause a flop, but you should aim for a time of year that’s sunny, warm, and not too hot. Nobody will come if there’s a blizzard outside, and similarly you’ll have a poor turnout if you hold the sale in the middle of a scorching hot summer. Check the upcoming weather forecast before you set a date to make sure you don’t get hit by a rainstorm as well.
Also you want to choose a day when a lot of people are around, Saturdays are great people a lot of people shop or are looking to get out of the house. Election days are even more perfect, because people HAVE to get out of the house. So hold in somewhere where a lot of traffic will go by – and use lots of balloons and signage to get their attention!
Make Sure Your Prices are Visible
The last thing anyone wants to have to do at a garage sale is hunt down the host and ask for a price. Some people don’t want to go through the trouble, and others are too shy. For every one person that asks, you could be losing ten sales from people who would rather not. Even if you do get everybody coming up to ask what the price of something is, that just turns into a headache you shouldn’t have to deal with. Put a price tag on every single item at the sale and you’ll be glad you did.
If you need to, you can always have a rack of clothes or a box with something like “$1 for everything here,” but it’s still better to price things individually whenever you can. For a lot of items, you can buy price tags at the store with the prices already printed. Even a ‘Free – take it’ area is good idea for the stuff you might otherwise throw out and has limited value.
Remember someones trash is another man’s treasure!