Are you preparing for a move – either scaling up or downsizing? Whatever the reason, you probably have some unwanted clutter or items that you have accumulated over the years that now need to be cleared away. Some goods you will no doubt want to give to family members with a need or who could use items no longer useful to you (i.e. lawn-mower if you’re moving into a condo; dresser you no longer have the room for; or a patio set as your new home has no deck). If, though, the cash for such items is needed for the move, inform family or friends that you will be having a GARAGE/YARD sale so that your loved ones will have the opportunity to benefit from garage sale prices over buying new.
On January 15, 2014 Realtor.com gave 14 Tips for the Best Garage Sale Ever and I will share my condensed version of them with you below:
- Advertise like crazy. Put an ad on craigslist and detail items you’ll be selling – be creative in your ad-perhaps using a humorous heading.
- Price stickers or haggling. If you don’t mind answering questions about price every time someone points to or picks up an item, don’t bother to price every piece; or, if you would rather kick back and relax, get some pricing stickers to put on the items in advance of sale.
- Be realistic! Usually those who come to garage sales are not expecting to pay “big bucks.”
- Make a bank run the day before your sale to get small bills and change.
- Put up signs on busy streets and around your neighborhood. Use black ink on a bright background. (I find strategically-placed signs with a directional arrow are very helpful.)
- Be friendly. Greet your customers and show a willingness to answer any quest-ions.
- Merchandising is the key to a successful sale. If items are clean, well-organized and displayed in a pleasing way it will result in more sales. (Remove stored items from boxes)
- Place big ticket items (furniture, electronics, eye-catching art) in a prominent spot close to road for maximum visibility.
- A Free Box filled with odds and ends placed near curb with an eye-catching, bright “Free” sign will draw most bargain hunters; and what’s more alluring than free!
- Create pathways between tables or merchandise so shoppers are not hindered by clutter or possibly tripping on boxes. Shoppers who feel comfortable will spend more time browsing and buying.
- Remove any emotional attachment to your stuff. Shoppers could care less about hearing the history behind the items, they’re looking for bargains.
- Remember your goal IS to get rid of stuff and low-ball offers are part of game. Try selling valuable items individually on ebay or Craigslist.
- Be flexible on pricing as the day goes by. Knock a dollar or two off a listed price; offer package deals to folks buying multiple items; or encourage persons to grab an item they are remotely interested in and to make an offer - or you suggest a price that will move the item. Remember, you want minimal leftovers!
Donate leftover items at the end of the day; and be sure to get a receipt for your donation to use for a tax write-off.