If you’re a frequent visitor to neighborhood garage sales then you already know that people flock to them.
You’ve thought about having one yourself and would love to reclaim your closet space, but have no idea where to begin planning. Here are 5 secrets to hosting a successful garage sale!
Get organized and have a plan
Don’t wait till the last minute to host your sale. Decide on a date, then 3 – 4 weeks in advance, gather stuff you want to sell in boxes. Try teaming up with a neighbor or friend.
Not only will you have more stuff to sell, working together will make the event manageable and more fun than doing it alone!
Decide how you’ll display your stuff. You will need clothes racks and tables – sawhorses and plywood work fine. Cover tables with sheets, it not only makes a neat display, but also provides a place to hide extra boxes of inventory.
Decide how to handle cash and how you’ll divide up the profits amongst the hosts. Aprons with pockets may work better than a cash box, here’s why.
While we don’t like to think that we’ll attract troublesome individuals (particularly if there are higher priced electronics to sell) it’s wise to be cautious.
With each host handling cash in their own apron, you won’t need to assign someone to a cash box or risk leaving it unattended. You’ll also have a place for a notepad and pen to keep track of sales.
A day or two before the sale get coins and bills for change from the bank – fifty dollars worth of ones, quarters, and fives are usually enough.
People need to know when and where to find you. All you need is cardboard, felt pens and tape to make simple, legible signs. Decide how many you’ll need where to place them – intersections and high traffic areas are perfect.
Place your signs with other garage sale signs. People usually visit multiple sales in a day and will make note of all addresses they see in one place. Keep track of your signs then be sure to take them all down later.
Consider advertising on Craigslist or Kijiji – they’re both free! Post a day or two before and revise your ad each day of your sale. Highlight specific items and include prices, sizes and brands.
If your home is out of the way, ask a friend or family member that lives on a busy or more accessible street to join. They may love the idea of a garage sale but wouldn’t have considered it until you asked!
You probably don’t want to have a sale during winter or even the hottest days of summer. Choose a time when your local weather is usually pleasant and check the advance forecast for chances of rain.
Then choose your day – you know your neighborhood and if Saturdays are popular garage-sale days, setting yours for Saturday as well will get you the most traffic.
Price to sell
Rather than having to think of prices on the spot, clearly mark as many items as possible. Pre-priced stickers from the dollar store make pricing easy, plus if you’re having a sale involving multiple sellers, adding the seller’s initials to each sticker helps you track and divvy up profits at the end of the day.
Have a variety of prices from .25 to a few dollars on your tables with lots of low priced things for people to buy. This tends to increase interest in your higher priced items as well but don’t overprice.
An item that holds sentimental value to you probably won’t have deep meaning to a stranger. Mark your items with prices that you would be willing to pay if you were the buyer.
Donate or call a junk removal service if you’ve got lots left over. And remember – you’ll be gaining more than just a little extra cash, you will be reducing clutter, recycling and having fun doing it!
Written by Alice Lucette
Alice Lucette, a blogger from Canada is a writer for SeniorsZen.com – a free resource for finding local retirement homes in Canada.