Now that spring is firmly upon us, it is time to look at the garage and to start planning on cleaning it out. Although no-one particularly loves this kind of work, it is something that should be done for your own peace of mind and to win back some storage space and space to breathe from all the clutter that has undoubtedly accumulated in it since the last time you had a good clear out.
One of the best, and even fun, ways to do this is with a garage sale. Now, before you let those words fill you with dread – we know it can be daunting even contemplating the organization of a garage sale, but we are here to help. In the following post we will give you our 10 top tips for putting on an organized and successful garage sale.
1. Start As Soon As You Can Collecting Clutter
Instead of throwing out clutter or just chucking it anywhere, start collecting for your next garage sale as soon as you find something you don’t want. If you can’t think of anyone who might have a home for it and you think it could make a little money, store it away in a box somewhere, marked up as ‘Keeping for Garage Sale’. As you fill up boxes, start others and continue until it’s a few weeks before the day(s) you intend to hold your garage sale.
2. Plan It Out
If you want your garage sale to be successful, a lot of planning and organization is involved. For example, about a week before you are going to hold the sale you should take the time to go around your house collecting all the clutter for the sale, then two to three days before it, spend an afternoon or more to arrange everything in a sensible order and price it. Then the day before the sale is going to happen, post a Craigslist ad, make sure you have cash ready for giving people their change when they buy items and writing up signs and any other last minute organizing that needs to be done.
When you fail to plan a garage sale in advance, you plan to fail. As the old saying goes. If this is your first time doing it, the earlier in advance you begin the better.
3. Find Friends and Relatives To Help You
A key ingredient to a successful garage sale is ensuring that you are not doing it alone. Find friends and relatives to help you out, and, invite them to bring along their stuff as well. Not only do you benefit from their helping hands, but because they are bringing some of their own items to sell as well, it means there is a greater amount of stuff to sell and a wider variety. The more people you have helping you out and teaming up with you, the better and more fun the event will be for all involved.
4. Timing Is, Almost, Everything
It is best not to plan on having a sale in the extremely hot summer months or the extremely cold winter months. It is best to try and choose a time of the year when the climate is comfortably warm and there is no rain due to fall. You also need to research when other people tend to host garage sales in your local area, because you will want to host it on a day when people are more likely going to visit.
5. Mark Out Price Stickers Clearly
The best way to display the price of items in your sale is to give each item its own sticker. Not only will it prevent any confusion; as some people are too shy to ask for prices, you will be preventing potential losses by having all items priced clearly.
6. Set Prices That Will Actually Sell
Remember that a garage sale is not an auction for the rich and that it is just a garage sale. When people visit garage sales, they expect to pay prices befitting to garage sales. Unless you are selling items that are completely new and still have their original tags or packaging, price them fairly and realistically. Look at something and think what you would expect to pay if you were on the other side of the stand at a garage sale run by someone else.
7. On The Last Day, Mark The Prices Down On Items
Regardless of how many days your garage sale lasts for, by the last day most of the better stuff will have already gone. This is when you can get a little creative with regards to the prices and start marking things down. One great way to encourage a final push for sales is by running something like a ‘Fill a bag for a dollar’ promotion. Another way to encourage purchases is by marking everything down as half-price for the final day.
8. Advertise Your Event As Well As You Can
One of the biggest factors that determines whether your sale is a success or not is how well you have marketed and promoted it. It really doesn’t matter if you have the best location, the lowest prices and the best stuff – if no-one knows about your sale, they aren’t going to come. Make some time and put the effort in to designing clear, cohesive and attractive signs and place them in places where people can see them and use them to help potential customers find the location of your sale.
Craigslist is also a very useful tool for enticing people to come to your yard sale. As well as being completely free to use for advertising, it also receives a high amount of traffic every day.
Be as specific as you can with details, telling them about the location and noteworthy items, manufacturers and brands and of course, dimensions and sizes.
9. Sell Lemonade And Cookies
If you have little ones that you want to encourage to take part, you could help them to set up a stall for lemonade and cookies. Not only will it show them the value of being an entrepreneur, but it means they will earn a little bit of extra pocket money for themselves. People visiting your sale will be thirsty and are bound to take at least a cup or two or three!
When you put the hours and effort into planning your garage sale well in advance of the day it opens for business, you can be sure it will be an organized and successful affair. By following the tips listed above, we can almost guarantee it.