Five Steps to a Successful Garage Sale

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It seems that many people have a love/hate relationship with holding a garage sale. One thing, though, holds true: deciding to have a garage sale without a plan is a mistake.

Been there, done that. Lived the chaos!


Personally, I need to take my own advice before it gets too hot!

Check out these basic steps to help you with your next garage sale.

:: Know Your Community: When Is the Best Time for a Garage Sale?

In my small town, I have found that the first or last weekend of the month is a great time to hold a garage sale. People tend to get paid on the first or last of the month, and that makes it a good time for maximum sales.

Not every area is the same, though, as I know people in other communities have access to great garage and yard sales every weekend. The gist is, know what works best for YOU.

:: Be Organized: Sort as You De-clutter

A good rule of thumb as you de-clutter a room or closet, is to have a “garage sale” box handy. The same goes for changing out seasonal clothing. Toss in items that no longer fit, or things that you no longer want, wear, or need.

Keep “like” items together as you fill the box(es) to aid you in swifter organizing for your sale. Keep clothing separate from books and decor, etc.

Be sure to label the boxes, i.e. “Clothing,” again, to assist you in organization for the sale.

{source: E. Bartholomew}

:: Price to Sell: Move It Out!

Remember to price your items to sell. You are having a garage sale for a reason: you no longer want or need these items, and you want them out of your house. Make people want to buy them so you don’t have to haul them off!

The only items I would price high would be larger pieces where the price might be haggled, say a dresser or a freezer. In this case, I would have a “no lower than,” price in mind and make sure the price on the tag has plenty of leeway.

Be ready for “bulk” purchases. Many times someone will pile some clothes on the checkout table and offer me a price for the whole bunch. Since I want these items gone, I will usually go for what they offer (unless it is a ridiculous, obvious ripoff amount). That makes them happy that they got a better deal, and I’m happy because I just watched a trainload of stuff leave my house!

:: Keep It Simple: Price in 50¢ Increments

If you haven’t noticed, I like easy. And keeping my items priced in 50¢ and $1 increments is easy and efficient for both the seller and the buyer. Plus, with this method, you don’t have to be stellar at math to quickly calculate the total (always a bonus in my house!).

The only times I stray from this is my “quarter bin,” where everything is priced for a quarter, and the box of free stuff.

Another time-saving idea is to have tables or bins where everything is one set price. All you do is make a large sign that says something like, “Everything on this table – $1.” This way, you just set things you want to sell for $1 on this table, no individual pricing needed!

{source: justmakeit}

:: Make It a Family Affair: Include Your Children

The saying, “The more, the merrier!” definitely applies to this situation. I know I certainly appreciate having extra hands when getting a sale ready.

When including your children, I have found it helps to give them jobs. Let them chose some items from their rooms that they may no longer want or need. (This, of course, comes only with your approval of the items!) Encourage them to think what they would want to pay if they were purchasing the item, and help then help them fairly price it.

Another way to get your kids involved is to have them run a lemonade and/or cookie stand. Yes, this is more work on you, but it gives your kiddos a huge role and teaches them entrepreneurship. I also let them keep the money they earn at the lemonade stand, and for the items they chose to put in the sell.

Having a plan makes everything go more smoothly. And, at the end of your sale (if there is anything left!) you can bag or box up the remaining items to take to your local Goodwill, donation center, women’s shelter, etc.

Or, you can do what I do and call up the local who likes free stuff to come and take it off your hands. Either way, it is out of your house and out of your hair!

What are YOUR tips to having a great garage sale?

photo credit: Chiot’s Run via photopin cc


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