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Oct 21, 2009 at 01:00 PM

Garage Sale Tips

By Joe Vaccaro

Published Originally on Angies Lists:
http://www.angieslisttips.com/Tips/April-2009/Garage-sales.aspx#

Here are a few tips to help you have a great garage sale:
Garage_sale_1_

  • Timing is everything. Avoid holiday weekends. And, if you're able to swing it, have a two-day sale - Friday and Saturday. More and more, some of the real treasure hunters are out on Friday to get a jump on the competition. You can also price things a little higher on Friday, and leave room for lower prices on Saturday.
  • Share your sale. Consider joining forces with a neighbor so you can split costs for newspaper ads and signs, and attract more traffic. However, neighborhood-wide sales sometimes backfire because there's too much competition. While they are a great way to support your neighborhood, if your customers think there might be something else down the block, they're less likely to spend at your house.
  • Don't skimp on the publicity. It's worth paying a little more to describe what you have to sell and give good directions. If you have hot items, such as baby and toddler clothes, or furniture, be sure to include it in your ad. And, go all out on the signs. Make them bright, readable and identical so that shoppers can follow them to your house.
  • Organize your inventory. A few months before your sale, designate a spot in your house for the things you'll want to sell and let your family members know about it. As time goes by, the spot will fill up with things around the house that you discover you no longer need. Also, schedule a family clean-up day several weeks ahead to go through closets and storage areas. If you wait until the last minute, you'll find yourself needing to have another sale with all the items you forgot about.
  • Price to sell. Remember, you don't want this stuff anymore, but you do want to get your money's worth. Think about what you'd pay if you found the item at a garage sale. You can always lower the price, if need be. Household goods and appliances that are in good working condition will bring in about ¼ or 1/3 their original price. Clothing, especially adult clothes, is harder to sell. Kids clothes, especially baby clothes, are more popular and should sell easily. As the day goes on, don't be afraid to start marking things down. If you really want to just get rid of the stuff - clothes for instance - put out some grocery bags and tell shoppers that the clothes are all you can fit in a bag for $1. If you are wondering about dishes, furniture or other items that may have been passed down from your parents or grandparents, have them appraised. You don't want to find out later that you sold a priceless antique for next to nothing.
  • Set it up like a store. Make sure your items are clean and well organized. Your shoppers want to be able to quickly appraise whether it's worth stopping. If you have popular items - like baby clothes or good furniture items - put them close to the front, so people can see them as they drive by. If you are selling electronic items, have a place to plug them in so shoppers can make sure they work. Also, make sure each item has a price tag that is clear and easy to find. Avoid using color codes, such as all blue tags are $1. It's confusing and too easy for shoppers to switch the tags.
  • Be safe. While bargains are on the minds of most garage sale shoppers, there are others who are on the look out for other opportunities. Use a fanny pack or apron to collect money and make change. As well, place small valuable or higher priced items where you can keep a close eye on them. Never let shoppers into your home. If someone needs a restroom, provide directions to a restaurant, store or public building that's close by.
  • The money. To get your garage sale going, have about $50 in change and small bills on hand. Keep a calculator at the check-out table.
Posted in Moving Tips.