Whether you’re downsizing to a new house or simply looking to dejunk your current home, throwing a garage sale is an excellent way to cut back on clutter. Not to mention, you’ll make a few extras bucks in the process. While no one ever got rich by hosting a yard sale, it definitely doesn’t hurt to get some of what you paid for back in your pockets. To help you stay better organized, we’ve put together a simple and structured checklist for a successful garage sale. Good luck!
A month before the garage sale
Items such as lawn chairs, picnic tables and such will sell well during a yard or garage sale. Make sure that if you do have a set place them together and pretty up the items for a fast sale. A garage sale can be a roaring success, or a dud, depending on how items are priced and what deals you offer shoppers. The following garage sale tips can help you cash in handsomely while selling old stuff. Tag All Garage Sale Items. Imagine walking into your local supermarket and not seeing any prices displayed on grocery shelves. The best seller will always be Camping items, from Coleman stoves, coolers,and lanterns to tents, cots, axes, hatchets. The next best thing is cool antiques like round chrome toasters, to metal oscillating fans. Fishing gear and lawn furniture Then comes your tools and old rocking chairs, cast iron cook ware. When it comes to having a successful a garage sale, there’s nothing more important than the ads. Sure, the items that you’re actually selling have a big impact, but even if you’ve got great merchandise, if you don’t market your garage sale properly, no one is going to show up and buy it. Looking over the (massive) garage sale pile it occurred to me there’s several popular items that almost always sell quickly. These make great items to advertise in your online garage sale ads as well as strategically place to attract buyers to your sale. They also do really well in the online yard sale groups that have popped up all over.
- Decide on a date – When you’re ready to let go of your things, choose a date for the garage sale a month or two out. Rule of thumb: it’s always better to choose a weekend (preferably a Saturday) morning. People will be off from work and therefore, more inclined to go to a nearby garage sale. Make sure you also choose a date that works for your friends and family, so that they can attend and help out. Choose an alternative rain check date as well, just in case the weather doesn’t hold up.
- Check your community’s rules – Those who live in a community with a HOA (Homeowners’ Association) will need to check all rules and restrictions before committing to a garage sale. For instance, many condo and apartment communities do not allow residents to sell goods on the property.
- Read up on local regulations– Before hosting a garage sale, double check your city’s laws and regulations regarding possible permits needed. Also, look into whether you’ll need to collect income and sales tax during the garage sale.
- Decide what you want to sell – Go through your home and figure out exactly what you want to sell. It’s easier to keep track of everything by writing down and maintaining an ongoing inventory list.
- Figure out where to find your display tables – When hosting a garage sale, it’s important to prominently display your items. For instance, if you’re selling smaller knick knacks, such as picture frames and coffee table books, keep in mind that these could easily get overlooked. To make your items as appealing and presentable as possible, ask friends and family if you can borrow picnic tables, book shelves, clothing racks, hangers, carts and boxes for the day.
A week or two before the garage sale
- Determine prices – About a week before the garage sale, sift through your inventory list and determine the starting price for each item. It’s also a good idea to group together belongings, such as books, and sell them all for the same price. For instance, place the books in a box with a sign that reads “All Books $2 Each.” Keep in mind that shoppers will be paying with cash, so make sure that your pricing system is as simplistic as possible. If you choose to not place price stickers on individual items, it helps to have a general idea of what they cost – at the very least. Also, remember that no one comes to a garage sale to spend big bucks. Be reasonable (and flexible) when setting prices. If you own something truly valuable, try consigning it or selling it online instead.
- Get price stickers and place them on belongings – If you decide to use price stickers, you can find them at your local Staples store or on Amazon.com.
- Advertise – If you don’t advertise your garage sale, you can be sure that almost no one (save a couple of neighbors) will show up. So a week before your garage sale, start advertising on all of your online neighborhood listservs, including Nextdoor.com, your local Craigslist website and local Facebook community groups. Let as many people as possible know about your sale. Try placing flyers on neighbors’ doors and placing signs at the end of your street with the date of your garage sale.
- Prepare your stuff– A week or two before the sale, it’s important to properly prepare all of your belongings for resale. Trust me – no one wants to buy a wrinkled up old t-shirt. So put forth the extra effort to wash and iron all clothes, dust off old books, and wipe down furniture, so that your items will get the attention they deserve.
The day before the garage sale
- Have small bills on hand – One thing you’ll definitely need at your yard sale is plenty of change. So make a pitstop at your local ATM on the way home from work Friday night. It’s a good idea to have small bills, such as $1s, $5s, $10s and $20s on standby.
- Decide how you’re going to set everything up– The day before your garage sale, decide where you’re going to set up your display tables, clothing racks, furniture and other miscellaneous items. Make sure to place eye-catching stuff up front to grab the attention of those who are casually driving or walking by. Try to also keep things organized and tidy. Nothing turns shoppers off more than a sloppy, unclean environment.
- Grab supplies– If you arranged to pick up boxes or tables from friends and neighbors, now is the time to do it. Having to scramble for supplies the morning of the garage sale isn’t the best idea.
Printable Garage Sale Pricing List
The day of the garage sale
- Set it up – First thing’s first: start setting up your yard sale as soon as you wake up. The earlier you can begin your yard sale, the better.
- Place signs along your street– Once you’re set up and ready to go, place a sign (or several) at the end of your street that advertise the garage sale. To grab people’s attention, try attaching balloons to the signs as well.
- Have shopping bags on hand– It’s a good idea to have a few shopping bags (grocery bags or used shopping bags) on hand, just in case people buy multiple knick knacks. I also recommend having a few cardboard boxes on standby for those who purchase heavier or fragile items, such as books, vases and kitchenwares.
- Be friendly– If you’re welcoming and friendly, people will be much more likely to stick around and browse through your things. A smile can go a long way in keeping people interested in your belongings. After all, no one wants to buy used items from someone they don’t like.
- Be flexible with pricing– If a shopper wants to haggle the price of a book down a dollar or two, don’t lose sleep over it. Once you’re able to enjoy a clutter free home, you won’t miss that book a bit.
- Don’t get attached to your stuff at the last minute –Remember – you’re letting go of these things for a reason. The last thing you want to do is show too much attachment to your things. Shoppers view your belongings with a blank slate, so try to keep it that way by not telling nostalgic (and unprompted) stories about the items on display.
- Figure out what to do with the rest of your stuff– Once the garage sale is over, you’ll have to figure out what to do with all of the stuff that didn’t sell. If the item has real value, I suggest consigning it or reselling it on an online marketplace, such as Craigslist or eBay. You can also donate all items to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity or The Salvation Army.
Best Garage Sale Items
Planning to move after the garage sale? Find a reputable and reliable moving company in your area by checking Moving.com’s extensive network of licensed and insured movers. Good luck and happy decluttering!