20 tips for garage sale success

A garage sale is a great way to get rid of things you no longer need and make sure your old possessions fall into the hands of those who can reuse and appreciate them best. However, they do require a lot of planning and work, so here are 20 tips to help make the process a little easier.

Don’t schedule your garage sale on holidays. It may seem like a good time for people to be out and about, going through your sale, but chances are they already have places to be and things to do.

Advertising is the key for any event to be a success. If you put the date, time and place of your garage sale, you will attract a much larger number of people. Try listing the information online, in your local newspaper, and on billboards throughout the area. A great website to create your own eye-catching sign is SassySigns.com.

Make sure you don’t overlook the essentials. Start with a good supply of small coins and bills. This is also a good time to get rid of all those plastic bags in your kitchen.

Before your garage sale, start stocking up on the items you want to sell. Put all the items in a box somewhere out of the way. If you don’t have to take an item out of the box before the sale, it’s probably safe to assume you don’t need it.

Make sure you have a clean, freshly mown yard if that’s where you’re hosting your event. You don’t want your kids’ toys getting mixed up with what’s for sale, or customers falling into ruts on the floor.

Place the most desirable items near the road; will attract buyers.

Go the extra mile and put a price tag on everything. It will save you time answering price questions and give you the final say on what you want for the item, rather than wasting time haggling if you don’t want to. However, if money, not time, is your concern, then you have the potential to get more than you would have asked if you had let the buyer bid first.

Clothes usually don’t do well at garage sales, so if you have some high-end items you don’t want to sell for a few bucks, check out your local thrift stores and see what they offer.

Prepare early, at least an hour before the scheduled opening time. Serious shoppers often show up a little earlier to get the best selections and are willing to pay more for items.

Reasonable price. It’s usually a good idea to go with 1/3 of the item’s original cost, but when it comes to old textbooks or outdated devices, you may want to go lower.

Shoppers love “Buy 5 for $1” deals. If you have stacks of old paperbacks, this is a great way to get rid of them quickly.

Set up a table of “25 cent” items, filled with useless toys or trinkets. It draws in kids who probably don’t have a lot of money to spend, and keeps them busy while the older crowd sits down with the more expensive items.

Clean any dusty or dirty items you are going to sell. Making products as attractive as possible will help you sell.

If it’s a hot day, set up a spot where customers can grab a drink, even if it’s just a few paper cups with a pitcher of ice water. So shoppers will potentially stick around longer and be more likely to buy items. It also creates a friendly atmosphere, so they will be willing to work with you more on pricing.

Do not accept checks unless you are willing to risk receiving a bad one.

If you want to get your kids involved, let them set up their own table out of old toys. Explain that if they get rid of their outgrown toys, there will be room for new ones that they can buy with the money they earned.

Each element must be shown to show its best side. Don’t stack books or CDs in cardboard boxes to put on the floor. Stack them neatly on a table, with each title visible.

Have a plan for items that don’t sell. Whether you’re donating to charity, your local library, or going to a thrift store, it’s best to have an alternative to lugging all your junk back into the house for an indefinite period of time.

Admit to yourself that the main goal is to get rid of your trash. If you still have a lot of items left as the day goes on, put up ½ off signs and try to be more open with those who want to trade with you. Money is fine, but a tidy house is better.

Once your garage sale is over, remove the sign. Do not be inconsiderate of those who may believe that there are still good purchases to be made.

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