So you’re going to have a garage sale.
You’ve done some spring cleaning and you’ve decided to purge, now you want to clear out some stuff by selling it in a garage or yard sale. You’ll need more than just a sunny day and your yard to have a sale. What do you hope to accomplish? Do you want to clear out stuff and make some pizza money? Or do you want to recoup some cash? This sets the style for your sale. Before you begin lets, get you ready so it’s a good experience and not a waste of time.
- Stuff, if you do not have enough, forget it; people like a full garage sale. If you don’t have enough, you should post your stuff on an internet site like Kijiji. You should have at least two eight foot tables and some bulky items, furniture is a great draw.
- Start early, pickers and dealers start anytime after 6:30 am. If you’ve advertised, some may even try to come the night before! A good rule of thumb, finish your set up no later than 7:30 am and try not to pack up until 2:30 – 3:00 pm. I’ve made some great sales after 3:00 pm.
- Signs, if you do not have good signs and you’re not on a main thorough fare, you’re dead in the water. You need traffic, remember you’re selling your stuff and it takes a lot a people with various tastes to pick up and move it. Signs only need basic info, address and arrows; the main sign can have the address in big letters (at least three to four inches tall) you must be able to see clearly from 40 – 50′ away. Here’s an example of a sign, YARD SALE 123 MAIN ST. then use big arrows, (at least 1 foot long and 3 – 4 inches tall same color as the sign is the best) to lead them to you. Advertise, place an ad in your free local classified internet site, example Kijiji.(remove after sale)
- Pricing, remember you’re not a store, price fair but more than the lowest you’re willing to take; people like to get a deal. Price everything, why? Some people won’t ask, and some would like an idea before talking to you. Just because you paid a fortune doesn’t mean a thing, people could care less how much you paid for something. It’s all about bargains!
- What to sell? Anything can be put out for sale, you may or may not sell it, who knows. Personal things like engraved items with your name “crap”, used clothing if it’s in good condition is ok, but you won’t get much than a buck or two if your lucky. Items that are broken or missing pieces “crap” through it away. If your stuff stinks of smoke or just stinks, trash it. Beware, if your dishonest with someone and sell something that is broken or doesn’t work. Remember they bought it from you, they may remember where you live. I’ve gone back and thrown crap back on someone’s lawn, after I smashed it into a million pieces when they lied about it’s condition. Good stuff, furniture, (not 70’s crap) glassware, china, figurines, decorations, yard stuff, tools, quality toys, unique and unusual items, decoys, collectables, pictures, antiques, sometimes pets, some pet stuff (must be clean), bikes, lamps, man cave stuff, etc.
- Display, your stuff should be reasonably clean, or expect to drop your price big time. Do not just have a bunch of boxes on the ground, a few are acceptable, too many kills traffic. Buyers like to have stuff higher, use tables or anything to raise stuff up. Books, records, videos, DVD’s need to be lined up spines out so they can be read easily. People are on the move; they want to hit and run. Make it visually interesting from the road. If you have furniture or something unique, get it upfront, tall stuff to the back. Pictures need to be lined up so they can be seen clearly. (again clean them or expect to discount for filth)
- Engage people, don’t just sit there, say hello and acknowledge them; let them know you’re open to offers. People can be ignorant, but so can we. Watch your tone! If you come across as arrogant, people will get turned off and bugger off. Remember you want their cash, so be nice. Now if you live in a multicultural area, some cultures are brutal with their offers and try to force you to come down; this is their a part of their customs. You don’t have to drop your pants just because they offer you one tenth of your asking price. Be firm and try not to get mad; I’ve got mad a few times, I’ve even told a person I’d rather burn something than give it away to them.
- Put something on hold? Don’t do it, unless you get a deposit and make it clear it is a non-refundable deposit. I’ve been stuck with many items over the years because I held it for someone. They may have meant to come back but either forgot or misplaced the address. Most often, they just don’t care. You’re having the sale to sell; first come first serve (a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush).
- Weather, wind can blow stuff over and break or damage your stuff. Rain is another problem. If the weather looks like it could rain, either postpone to next week, or at least have something plastic to throw over the stuff (plastic drop sheets from the dollar store are fine; people can still see through them).
- Stuff left over, not everything will sell. You can pack it away and try again later in the season or put it in an auction and sell it as one lot. Why not donate, call organizations like Salvation Army, Children’s Wish, etc, or drop it off at a thrift store. Feeling real lazy, pack it up and leave on the driveway with a free sign, what ever’s left, trash it.
We’re in this life together: Garage sales are good for your wallet and the environment.