How to organize a garage sale
These tips will help you organize a successful garage sale. A garage sale is a good option to give away items that you will not move, but first you have to ask yourself several questions:
- Do you have enough time to organize a garage sale?
- Are your belongings good for sale and do you think that there will be market for them?
- Is your home at a good location for a sale?
Is there anyone to help you on the sale day?
A garage sale can be rewarding both personally and financially if you follow our garage sale tips. A garage sale can help you reduce some of the expenses for your move. Selling part of your household goods can bring in some money for your move and will lessen the size of your shipment. Use our tips to prepare your garage sale.
What to do first?
- You should check if sales are allowed in your community before launching a garage sale.
- Contact your municipal center and ask if there are any regulations.
- Check if your house insurance covers liabilities for injuries a buyer might sustain while in your house.
- Think about a neighborhood sale. Ask your neighbors if they are interested to sell their own goods. This will draw attention to your garage sale and will make the organization more pleasurable and easier.
- Find out if there is a community website where you can post information about the sale.
- Be sure that your city allows private signs before putting some out for your garage sale.
- Try to find someone to help you during the sale day. If you are on your own, it will be much more difficult.
- Try to collect as many shopping bags and boxes as possible.
It is time to decide what you are going to sell.
If you have not used an item in the past few years, you probably don’t need it. This is an item you can sell.
List everything you will sell. Be sure to include as many items that you don’t need as possible. Sometimes it can be more expensive to ship an item instead of selling it for some minimal amount of money and buying a brand new one at your new place – or you may not need it at your new place. For example, if you are moving to a warmer place, you will not need a snow blower. It is better to sell it and buy yourself something that you might enjoy better at your new home – probably a hammock.
What to sell?
This is a list of items that usually sell quite well at a garage sale. Something that you do not use may be a treasure for someone else. If your items are in good shape and are in working order, try to sell them. Put price tags on the items to help you sell them, especially if the price is reasonably low.
- All kind of appliances
- Audio, video and photography equipment
- Toys, furniture and equipment for babies. Just be sure that they are in proper working order. If a baby item is unusable, better not put it on sale, because it could injure someone’s child.
- Empty bottles and jars
- Fishing equipment
- Kitchen equipment
- All kind of records, videocassettes and compact disks
- Toys and games
- Sport equipment
- Garden tools
- Mirrors and lamps
- Musical instruments
- Plants: Most moving companies will not move your plants. There are countries and states that will not allow you to ship plants in.
Take the plants you want to sell out of their good pots and put them in plastic pots. If you cannot sell the plants, give them away. If you make some money from your plants, you can buy new ones at your new place.
Set a reasonably low price
Price your items not according to their worth to you, but their worth to others. A good idea is to ask a close friend to help you with setting the prices. In that way you will get a realistic idea of the price from someone who does not have emotional relationship to the items.
- Usually 20 percent of the original cost is a reasonable price for an item in good or excellent condition.
- If you put on the shelf used clothing or books, this percentage could be even lower.
- Always allow yourself a little bargaining when setting the price.
- If there are some items that do not work, put a label next to the price in order to inform the buyer.
- Make a list of the items you are selling and put in the price of each item. It is useful to keep an eye on the progress of the sale and will help you if a price tag has fallen off or is lost.
- Take a look at the items you want to sell. You will see that there are some good and some not so good items. A way to sell them all is to bundle them. Just put a good item next to a not so good item and sell them as a package.
All that remains is for you to welcome your clients.
You should present your items in an appealing way. Treat the sale as a proper retail business. Try to present your items as they would be presented in a store.
- All the clothing should be ironed and folded/hung.
- Put similar items on tables or shelves.
- Arrange the sale into sections and put signs to show these sections to the customers.
- Polish all your metal items, especially if silver or brass.
- Clean all glass items.
Advertise your items.
- Make your sale visible to potential clients.
- Post a sign, use banners and balloons.
- Send invitations via e-mail or create an event on Facebook – the internet is the fastest and cheapest way to reach a large audience.
- If you have a neighborhood paper – run an advertisement in it.
- Print and distribute announcements around the neighborhood.
- Guide your potential client to your home by putting a map on your signs and prints.
Garage Sales Tips: Ensure your safety
Apart from the honest buyers, your garage sale could attract dishonest, odd and even mentally ill people. Use our safety tips to ensure the safety of your sale.
- Ask two friends of yours or family members to be present in the sale are.
- Free the garage of items you will not sell or place the goods for sale outside the garage and close the door. Do not allow people to get inside your home.
- Use a money belt or similar to keep the change money in.
- Lock the doors of your house.
Following these simple steps will ensure a successful garage sale. If something is left behind after the sale, donate them to a local charity.