Tips for Having a Successful Garage Sale
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t wear the majority of what’s in your closet. In fact, your entire home (and any other storage areas you have access to) could be cluttered with items you don’t use on a daily basis or simply shouldn’t have bought in the first place. Now is the perfect time to purge as part of your spring-cleaning ritual. Instead of posting items one at a time on marketplace websites, get the decluttering out of the way in one foul swoop by hosting an old-fashioned garage sale.
With the proper prep, a garage sale doesn’t have to trigger stress. And while you probably won’t turn a profit on the items you sell, you will end up with extra space and extra cash — so that seems like a win. Here’s how to pull off the perfect garage sale:
The bigger your garage sale, the more attention it will attract. So ask your neighbors to join in if they also have gently used items that they’re looking to unload. Even if no one is interested in contributing to your yard’s inventory, it’s still a smart idea to touch base with neighbors and let them know that you plan to host a yard sale. This will help to preempt any potential problems they may have with some increased traffic in your street on garage sale day.
While you’re chatting with your neighbors, inquire about any events they have coming up and try to plan your sale around other events — especially if they’re already planning their own garage sale. But even parties and backyard barbecues could foil your plans for a well-attended yard sale. Pick a date that works for your neighbors and will draw the most foot traffic to your yard sale. Keep the weather in mind, too, and try to steer clear of the times of year when thunderstorms or rain are prevalent.
Make a Marketing Plan
You don’t need to hire a professional team to advertise your garage sale, but it doesn’t hurt to get the word out there, and not just by word of mouth. Post an announcement on your community’s group Facebook page or Craigslist and include a few items of your coolest items for sale. Also, put up some signs on telephone poles or public corkboards around your neighborhood — 15 to 20 signs should probably do the trick.
Now comes the hard part: organizing the excess in your garage, closets and other storage spaces. Think of it as an opportunity to lighten the burden that comes with owning too much stuff, and you might enjoy the process more. Sell anything you haven’t used or worn in a year and take a good, hard look at everything else. Take this chance to organize areas of your home like the garage, too. Once it’s free of junk, install extra shelves or hooks to organize the actually useful items that remain.
Price Things Appropriately
Maybe parting with your belongings isn’t difficult for you, but pricing them far below what you initially paid is actually painful. Try not to think of this as an effort to make back what you spent, but rather an endeavor to free up space in your house. Any cash you bring in, then, is just an added perk. Price items around 10% to 25% of what you paid for them, depending on the kind of shape that they’re in. And if you end up with lots of leftovers near the end of your sale, offer everything for half off to unload it.
Now the time has finally come to actually display your items for the big day. Try to set things up like a store as much as possible. Bring out freestanding racks to hang clothing or carefully fold it and set it on tables. Offer a separate section for kids and families filled with toys and books. Label each area, if possible, and make sure the price is visible somewhere on the item itself or on the table it’s sitting on. Streamline your garage sale as much as possible in order to make browsing easy and stress-free.
Now that you know all the tricks in the book for pulling off an awesome garage sale, it’s time to put them into action. Start to sift through the stuff in your home and create “sell” and “save” piles. It may take a few months before you have enough items to stock a full yard sale, but not if you ask family and friends to join in. Regardless, that’ll just give you ample time to market your garage sale and make sure that it’s one of the most successful events your neighborhood has ever seen!