Garage sales are the perfect opportunity to make a profit while getting rid of stuff you no longer need. When spring is in the air, the pressure to spring clean can be made up for the fact that you’ll find lots of items that can be put to good use by other people. Old toys, old clothes, unused furniture and even old appliances can have a new home when they’re put up for sale. However, there are successful garage sales and unsuccessful garage sales. No one wants to find themselves left alone with all their items sprawled out on the lawn with no customer in sight. Make your garage sale one of the successful ones!
To prevent a disastrous garage sale and hauling all your things back indoors, here are a few tips you can follow:
Sentimental items or just hoarding? The sentimental types may find it incredibly difficult to let go of things they own. The childhood toys, the kids’ old clothes and pieces of furniture that have been around for decades are some of the things that are hard to say goodbye to. However, you have to keep in mind that your home only has limited space. If you’re intent on keeping things that just collect dust in your house, you’re wasting precious storage space in your home. Try using the one year rule. If you haven’t used something within the past year, sell it. You can keep a few sentimental trinkets, but make sure they’re of precious value.
Price and organisation. You definitely won’t remember your items’ prices if you don’t write them down. Invest in a couple of stickers and tags so you won’t be at a loss when a potential buyer asks how much an item is. A helpful method is to sort your items by price. Keep all similar items with the same price in one box to be displayed in a certain area. For instance, all the books, bags, clothes and trinkets worth $1 can have their own table or shelf. For bigger items or items that are too few in number to have their own shelf, you can use individual tags.
Presentation is everything. No one wants to buy badly stained clothes or a dusty old dresser. Give your clothes a wash before you sell them. If you’re selling furniture, give them a good cleaning and a coat of polish. A decent dusting and a swipe of cleaner should bring back your furniture’s old charm. You may think you’re spending money to restore things that won’t rake in a big profit anyway, but ugly stains and dusty surfaces can drive your asking price down by a few dollars!
When’s the date? A garage sale may only last for a couple of hours, but the preparation takes a lot longer. The best time to have your garage sale is during the weekend or on a non-working holiday. This way, you’ve got more free time to spend organizing and potential buyers have their schedules free to visit your garage sale. Some sales can last all weekend, so it’s best to free up your calendar for that time period. Another tip for setting the date is by scheduling your garage sale on days when your area has a lot of foot traffic such as a sporting event or a community get-together. If you’re fine with not attending those events to spend more time on your garage sale, then the added surge of people will be a great help to your sales.
Make your garage sale known, Advertise! Small town garage sales can become popular by passing around the word, but you can do so much more than just talking about it. You can post flyers on community bulletin boards, or make home-made signs and post them around the neighborhood. Use the Internet to your advantage by creating an event on Facebook or by tweeting it to your friends.
State the directions and the hours of your sale. Always expect people who aren’t from your area to drop by for your garage sale. If you’re having a huge sale where you’ve invited tons of people, it’s always a good idea to include a map or directions to the sale. You can also put up guide signs around your area to make your garage sale easier for people to spot. As for the hours, be firm about what time your sale starts and ends. There’s nothing more annoying than finding eager buyers knocking on your door while you’re still preparing or come by once its ended and everything is gone or sold.
Don’t be pressured by haggling. Some people want to get a bang for their buck by driving the price down as low as they can. However, be firm with your price and don’t give in to their persuasion too soon. You may be tempted to think that the person haggling will be the only one interested in your item. But the mere fact that they’re trying to drive the price down tells you that your item is worth something. If you think the price they’ve set is reasonable enough, it’s fine to accept. But if you think someone else is willing to pay your original price, wait until the last day or end of your sale before giving the item a discount.
Don’t forget to donate. You probably won’t be able to sell everything you’ve put up for sale. This is a common occurrence at many garage sales. Just because you didn’t sell a group of items doesn’t mean you have to throw it all away. Instead, you can donate it to charity or a thrift store. Some people are barely scraping by and your donations may help them get by easier.