Garage Sale 101

Posted by Bryce Hansen on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 at 2:42pm.

Whether you are buying or selling, clutter can be a nuisance. What seems like a daunting task can actually turn into a cleanse that puts some extra cash in your pocket. With careful planning you can eliminate that never-ending pile of "things" and feel like a weight is off your shoulders. 

Garage Sale Photo

First of all, you need to go through your belongings and decide what is worth keeping, what you want to get rid of, and whether it is worthy of a garage sale or donation.  If you have the space, you can set aside a place in your home or garage all year long for items for the garage sale.  When the pile is big enough, it's time!  

Long term residents of a home are often suprised at the volume of items they have accumulated and never used. When it comes time to list your home for sale, the motivating factors often include not wanting the house to appear cluttered and definately not wanting to pack it all up.  For buyers preparing to move into a new home, the realization often hits that items that were not used over the past 10 years are not likely to be used in the new home either, so why bother packing them up just to store them again!

Start out with easy steps.  Old piles of books, nick nacks and items that have no emotional connection are easier to part with.  Then you run into the items that Aunt Martha gave you, or Uncle Fred sent to you. Only you can make the decision whether the emotional connection will outweigh the benefits of keeping those items. At the end of the day, when it comes to move, you will have to pack them up and you will need to find room for them again. 

Showcase your items!  Think of your garage sale like a mini retail store. If the items are not displayed properly, no one will notice them and you may once again be faced with moving those items.  If you don't own tables, see if you can borrow a few from a neighbor or friend. A piece of plywood can easily be placed on sawhorses or other stands to make a great display table.

Promote your sale!  You can't plan a party without the invites, nor can you have a successful garage sale without adequate promotions. The bigger the sale, the more you should promote!   Yard signs are available at most local dollar stores - use a big thick ink marker to show your address so that cars can read it when they drive by.  Make use of area Facebook swap sites, Craigslist and any other online source that is well known to your area.  Some local newspapers offer listings for garage sales in the classfieds section - be sure to book ahead as newspapers have print deadlines.  When the sale is done, be sure to remove your online ads and do not leave those bright signs for someone else to pick up. 

Price Fairly.  Thrift shoppers are not interested in paying near-new prices for gently used items - garage sales are meant to be for people getting rid of excess goods at a reasonable price.  

Have Change on Hand.  Be sure to visit the bank ahead of time and pick up coin in rolls as well as $5's and $10's.  Not having change could cost you a sale.

Accept Help from Friends.  A garage sale can be very overwhelming if it is a moving sale and not just the annual spring clean up.  Having friends on hand to help with price negotiations, covering the cash box for you if you need to run in the house or even to help you set up or take down is so worth it.  Have snacks and coffee on hand to keep your volunteer helpers happy.

Donate Items that Don't Sell.  If your items are not stained, broken or overly outdated but simply did not sell, consider donating them to a local thrift store.  Packing them back in the house can cause more work again, and there might be someone out there who really would enjoy that item.  Many thrift stores are run by companies or organizations that give back to the community.  It will be a win-win for everyone. 

We'd love to hear from you.  Please comment below with your tips and tricks for holding a successful yard sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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