How to Have a Successful Garage Sale
Clearing your garage helps to bring some form of aesthetics to your home and at the same time you can get some reasonable bucks in the process. In order to have a successful garage sale, you need to have a strategic plan in place that will ensure that you get the most value. If you wish to turn your unwanted clutter into cash, you can sell on Craigslist, eBay, and newspaper classifieds among others.
It can be a tedious task to clear your garage especially if you do not have the right method and planning in place. To avoid the frustrations that may be associated with a garage sale, you need to have a well-documented plan and line of actions to be followed in order to streamline the entire processes that mat be involved. A well-planned garage sale will result in less stress and more money in your bank account.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR GARAGE SALE
- DECIDE ON A DATE: The first thing to do is to pick a date and times for your garage sale and all your plans will be centered around the selected date. Most people prefer to do their sale early in the morning of Fridays and Sundays but if you are handling a multi-day sale, then you can add Thursday and/or Sunday to the days. Starting your sales as early as possible will help you to have more crowd as the weather is more clement during this period and most people will not have to take a break out of their busy schedule to attend your sale. Make sure you schedule your garage sale for a time when the weather is favorable, avoid the heat period in August and go for a time when the weather is cooler. The best time to schedule a garage sale based on weather condition is usually during the late spring or early fall.
- PUT YOUR GOODS TOGETHER: Gather your items together ahead of time and a good way to do this is to get a box, go through every room in your home, pick up everything you don’t need anymore or things that you have not used over months, pack all into the box. Do not forget to check attics, closets, basements, and garages as they are hideouts for items you can sell. Do not see anything as not saleable as you can never say after all there is no harm if you don’t eventually sell all the things you wish to sell. Hence, it is important that you consider every item such as perfume bottles and unwanted CDs, to the last item. Pack item in boxes based on their functions and label the boxes accordingly. For example, items such as USB cables, cell phone chargers, and old power strips can be in one box while items like clothing and fashion accessories can be in separate boxes as well.
- CHECK ON PERMITS: Some cities require that you get a permit in order to run a garage sale. Make sure you find out from relevant authorities if you will need a permit to run a garage so that you can act accordingly. Setting up a garage sale without a permit if required may get you fined or the garage may be shut down. Hence, do your due diligence to know if you will need a permit by checking online at your city or hall website and look under the civic responsibilities and permits section to learn more and find out how you can apply.
- TIME IT RIGHT: Timing is important in almost everything we do in life and it is not different when you want to run a garage sale. The best time to run a garage sale is in the late spring, the weather is warm during this period and people are more likely to go outside after the long winter. From experience, Sunday is the most ideal day to host a garage sale, after shoppers have run their errands. Friday is also a good day to host a yard sale as senior citizens are out around 9am on Fridays to open for business.
- CREATE SIGNS: To get the best out of your garage sale and create awareness, you need to design a catchy sign that people can see. This will serve as a marketing campaign for your garage sale, out it up a day or two before your selected date. Do well to let the sign carry the direction to the venue of your garage sale.
- MAKE YOUR PRICES FAIR: You have to make your pricing reasonably affordable as nothing chases away shoppers than an exorbitant or expensive garage sale. Make the price of items to be half of their original price or even lower while unopened items such as vintage and antiques can go for higher prices.
- MAKE DEALS ATTRACTIVE: You can easily win over shoppers by offering exciting deals and freebies with their purchases. You can create deals like buy-one-get-one deals or offer discounts for shoppers who buy multiple items.
- MAKE IT LOOK LIKE A STORE: Make everything look attractive for people to come around, put items on shelve and make it all look clean and tidy. Group items according to their use and function, for example, kitchen items can be put together in a corner, put big-ticket, colorful and bright items close to where people will see so that they can be attracted. Remember first impression matters a lot here and it is what they see first that we determine how many people will be able to stop by to see more.
- ACCEPT LOW OFFERS: One major reason people go to garage sales is to get items at low prices. You must bare this in mind while you host your garage sale. They will negotiate prices and you should haggle with them but you should know how low you can go. The entire purpose of a garage sale is to clear or clean out your house of items that are not needed and also make money in the process.
- MAKE IT A PARTY: You can funk things up and make it lively by playing exciting tunes it will call people’s attention that something is happening. The music can also make them stay back to move round and spend more time trying to see things they may be interested in buying.
- ACCEPT ONLY CASH: Avoid acceptance of cash in the form of a check, or online transfer, do not accept it. Ensure all payments are made with cash, this is to avoid being scammed as you will not know who is genuine and who is out to scam you. Cash in hand is the best way to avoid being scammed, let people go to the ATM to withdraw cash and pay when they come back. This is a vital tip to having a successful garage sale, do not fall for the trap that someone wants to hand you check or pay online. It is not too secured as a result of this, it is safer to accept only cash.
- STAY SAFE: You have to be vigilant although most garage-sale shoppers can be civil and honest, some can be mischievous and you have to make sure you prevent any bad people to ruin your garage sale or cause any problem. Don’t allow just anybody into your home to use the bathroom or convenience. Also, make sure you safeguard your money so that you do not lose the money you make. Put large bills in your pocket and get an apron to keep the small change. If you have a cash box, make sure it is secured and keep an eye on it.
HOW TO ADVERTISE YOUR GARAGE SALE
- ONLINE ADVERTISEMENT: There are a whole lot of websites that you can advertise your garage sale on for free. You can post as many adverts on websites such as Craigslist, Yard Hopper, Garage Sale Source, Yard Sale Search, you can also make use of free social medial marketing sites to advertise your garage sale. Make sure you describe all items you wish to sell in details on these websites but try as much as possible to sound as a marketing executive. All you need to do is tell people what you have and when you will have it. One vital tip is to avoid posting your adds too soon, if you are holding your garage sale on Friday, you can put up the ad on Wednesday night or on Thursday. Compose your ad in a word processing program, copy and paste it on all the listing websites where you wish to advertise.
- USE A NEWSPAPER AD: If you wish to drive more traffic to your garage sale then you can go a step further by dolling out a few bucks for an ad in your local newspaper. Make enquires to know how much it will cost and also find how much space you can get and at what rate. When you go for paid ad in a newspaper, you need to be precise and communicate your ad in clear terms and list your biggest ticket items first. Usually, the most popular garage sale items normally include kid’s toys, collectibles, and furniture. Include information such as your address, times and dates you will be running your garage sale.
- MAKE GARAGE SALE SIGNS: You have to be careful when you decide to make garage sale signs as it is banned and not allowed in certain areas. Hence, you need to find out from a clerk at your local police station to know if yard sale signs are allowed in your area. If yard sale signs are allowed in your area, all you need are a sharpie and brightly colored poster board. Write boldly “Garage Sale” in your sign and put your address or a direction to your house so that people passing by or driving by can see clearly. You can also use wood paint stirrers for your post in order for the garage sale signs to stick perfectly in the ground.
PREPARING FOR THE SALE
- GET SET: Get at least an hour before your garage sale begins to have everything set and in place; put up signs, keep your change in a safe place, and get a comfortable and well-shaded spot to sit.
- WORK THE CROWD: Be friendly to people as they come around to pick up things, relate and start a conversation with them when necessary. You should be ready to answer questions as people who come around will have one or more questions to ask. Most people expect a garage sale to be interactive when they come around and this is why you will do well to engage them in the best manner possible. Allow people to negotiate prices as much as they wish, do not be irritated with the way they negotiate so that you do not push them away. Position your chair where you can see everyone who comes around and try as much as possible to welcome everyone as they come in by saying hello to make them comfortable.
- ARRANGE LEFTOVERS: It is almost certain that you will have leftovers. Put the leftovers on the curb with a free sign or you can take them to a Goodwill store so that you can save on your taxes. Itemize all items with their original prices, ask for a receipt as you drop them at the donation center. Then you can file the receipt to get a tax deduction for charitable donations on your income taxes. However, if you have large items such as a TV set or couch as a leftover, you can sell them on Craigslist as this make you more money than donating them to get tax deductions.
A garage sale is a huge work and you have to be prepared for it, do not hesitates to invite friends and families around for assistance if there is any need to do so. Plan ahead and organize items well to make them appealing and remember the primary aim is to clear out items in your home and make money in the process and this is why you should make items affordable and you will be amazed at how much you will make when these little amounts made are put together.