How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale
Looking for a great way to get rid of your household clutter and make some extra
cash at the same time? A garage sale or yard sale may be just the ticket. Garage
sales are easy to plan and manage, and they can turn large, unwieldy old lamps
and dishes into smaller, more manageable piles of cash. Depending on how much
you have to sell, you could realistically make $1,000 or more in a weekend. Let
the selling begin!
1. Gather items for sale. Go through those boxes in the attic, basement or
garage and select items you can sell. Then walk from room to room in your home,
identifying things you no longer need. Most of us have trouble parting with
things, even if we never use them: if you haven't used something for over a
year, it's a good sign you won't miss it!
2. Inventory each item on a sheet of paper as you identify it for sale. A lot
of people skip this step, but it can make your sale go a lot smoother. Price tags
have a strange way of getting lost at garage sales, and it's hard to come up
with a fair price on the spot, especially if you've got other people asking you
questions or if you're working a multi-family sale. An inventory list solves
this problem. Keep in mind, you don't need to inventory everything: if you've
got a box of books that are all 25 cents each, inventorying each of them is a
waste of time.
3. Review your completed inventory sheet and assign a price to each item. If you
really just want to get rid of an old knick-knack, price it accordingly. For
items that are more valuable, a general rule is to price at 1/4 of what you paid
or less. Obviously, you may want to make exceptions for some things, such as
those that are nearly new or valuable antiques. Remember, though, garage sale
shoppers are looking for bargains, and if you don't want to have to pack
everything back in your house at the end of the day, you've got to give people
the low prices they're looking for.
4. Attach a clearly written price label to each item. Using brightly colored
labels will make it easier for your customers to find the price and will save
you time on the day of the sale. You can purchase adhesive labels, or you can
use a "sticker gun." If you have a lot of similar items that are all the same
price (e.g. books), don't bother pricing them individually. Put them all in one
box and label the box.
5. Check with your city or homeowner's association and obtain a permit if one
is required. Many cities place restrictions details such as placement of signage,
hours of operation & etc. It's better to take the time to do your research and
pay the $5-$20 for a permit than risk losing more money than you made in fines.
6. Set a date and place for your sale. A two-day garage sale is usually perfect,
and summer weekends — especially Fridays and Saturdays — are the best times.
Check your weather forecast and try to avoid rain, and be careful about
scheduling your sale during special events and holidays, as many potential
customers will have something better to do.