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A garage sale at Grandma's is an annual event each Summer. I call it the prima donna for items we've purged throughout the year. I hate clutter!
As easy as it may seem to sell piles of junk, that's not always the case. There is a right way, and a wrong way to host a garage sale, and I want the following tips to improve your efforts.
1. Price as you purge
It is soooo much easier to have priced items ready to go the morning of the garage sale. Otherwise, you'll end up getting frustrated with the early birds stopping by your house to look at everything while you hurry up and tag.
2. Price it low
No one wants to come to a sale and hear how much you paid for that item, let alone see a price that reflects it. You have to let go of these expectations and let the $.25-$1.00 price range become your friend.
Try changing your perspective from making money, to eliminating junk. <– Click to Tweet It will help – promise!
3. Price everything
Don't make people search high and low for a tiny tag that may, or may not exist. You don't want to hem and haw over a price when you're at a peak selling time of day.
If you have a lot of little items, you can get away with a clearly labeled $.25 or $.50 shoe box for them in lieu of pricing.
4. Host with friends and family
Unless you're a true hoarder, it's always best to get a few friends and family together for a combined garage sale. More stuff, means more customers, which equals more sales.
If you do combine forces, make sure you color code your pricing labels and keep a tally by the cash box. So much easier than trying to remember who sold what!
5. Schedule the sale to run 2 days
My most successful sales are run both Friday and Saturday, because you have a completely different crowd during both.
Friday is for the hardcore garage salers who will come super early to buy, and Saturday is more for the weekend crew who are more casually hoping to find a few deals after a hard work week.
6. Pick the right weekend
Holiday weekends aren't bad, in fact, we've had some pretty good sales those days from out-of-towners visiting with family.
My one mistake was hosting a garage sale on the same weekend as a big event downtown. Pretty much no one stopped by because they were too busy eating cotton candy and shopping artisan goods.
7. Location, location, location
If you're hosting a sale with others, hopefully one of them lives on a busy road. Your sale is much more likely to be seen if it's in a prime location.
Even if your not right in town, make sure the sale is at least in close proximity to a main intersection. Those are great opportunities to present your signage.
8. Speaking of signage, make it readable
GArGE S_LE…..say what? Clean backgrounds, block letters, and black markers are best. This isn't the time to test your penmanship or work on your doodles.
Be sure to add the times your sale runs, and a few arrows to show which direction the driver should turn. Add the same kind of sign near your home for simplicity, and perhaps tie a few balloons on your mailbox to show they are at the right house.
9. Proper promotion
You don't necessarily have to pay for a newspaper listing to have a good following at your sale. Craigslist is really popular for garage sale stalkers (and real ones sometimes!).
Check with local community papers to see if they offer listings for free, and post a few status updates on Facebook for your local friends. Also use the words “HUGE”, “FAMILY”, and “LIKE NEW” to entice people to check it out.
10. Organize tables by similar items
No, this isn't a department store, but try to stay organized and place the shoes with other shoes, collectibles with home decor, etc.
Grouping your items this way makes you look professional, and under control. It makes it really easy for potential buyers to look as well.
11. Place larger items near the road
Move all your tables, chairs, couches, TV stands, shelving units, etc, outside your garage and closer to the road. The more people can see, the more they will stop and look.
If you're getting rid of a lot of baby items, put your strollers and play pens out there too.
12. Offer baked goods
This isn't a necessity, but it's a nice gesture and does bring in a little bit of income, especially if you have a pair of super cute kids running it. Sell some doughnuts or muffins in the morning, and switch to cookies in the afternoon. Having water bottles on hand is really good too, especially if it's a hot day.
Garage sales can be a lot of work, but I think it's satisfying work. Probably because I know nothing that makes it's way outside is coming back in the house, and I have a nice chunk of change at the end for my efforts!
What is your best garage sale tip?
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