The boxes of belongings are ready, you’ve got all the supplies and manpower you need, and you finally decided to take the leap: you’re ready for your garage sale.
Every year, families across the country decide to give their old and used items a new home by selling them to neighbors and passersby. Whether they’re toys, old furniture, out-of-fashion clothes, or just some dusty books, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Let’s consider the basics of putting together a garage sale. First you need to find a space and in some cases the appropriate permits. Then you’ll create some basic advertising and street signs. Finally, you’ll keep your eyes locked on the weather reports for the big day (or days). All that considered, here are all the things you forgot to think about that can help make your garage sale the talk of the town!
1. Even If You Have A Lot Of Stuff, Don’t Put Everything Out
It may seem counterintuitive, as you maybe looking to get rid of as many belongings as possible. After all, that is why you’re organizing a garage sale to begin with. If you have a lot of items, they will likely pile on top of one another, so it’s important to remember that aesthetics are key. You don’t want people to walk or drive past your garage sale and get turned off by the sheer amount that’s put in front of them. It can look disorganized and unappealing. Next, even if you neatly organize all of your items, a passerby with limited time to spare may decide not to check out your sale because there’s too much to peruse. Removing that extra bookshelf or rack of clothes can be enough to entice someone to stop and check out your goods!
2. Put All The Good Stuff In Plain View
All the “good stuff” doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive stuff. Sure, you should put the big-ticket items in plain view, but it’s just as important to put the more colorful items closest to the street so that they can easily catch the eye of anyone passing by.
3. Be Prepared To Accept Credit And Debit Cards
Traditionally, homeowners are more inclined to only accept cash in exchange for their garage sale items. And although some may consider it a hassle to accept credit and debit cards, the process is getting easier and easier. Of course, you can get a card reader to attach to your smartphone, but be open to online payments through mobile payment apps or digital wallets. If someone who isn’t carrying cash stops by your garage sale, you want them to be able to pay for the items that they want!
4. Have Plastic Bags And Newspaper On Hand
Not everyone who shows up to your garage sale will have planned for a shopping trip. This is when it would be handy to have plastic bags and newspaper handy. The newspaper can be used to wrap the more fragile items, while the plastic bags can be reserved for those who came without their own means to transport items back home.
5. Have A Mirror, Extension Cord, And Batteries On Hand, Too
If you’re selling electronics that are normally powered by batteries or by an electrical cord, it’s smart to have the means to demonstrate that these items work during your garage sale. Some customers may want to test out or turn on the item before making a purchase, and you don’t want to lose a sale because of someone’s doubt. Similarly, have a mirror propped up if you’re selling clothes or jewelry – folks may want to see how they look with those items on before buying them.
6. Have Treats And Beverages Ready
Chances are, your garage sale will take place outside, and in the summer heat, you can lose customers who don’t want to spend too much time outdoors. Have a cooler of soft drinks, lemonade, and water to sell while folks browse your sale, and they may be less likely to leave early. Go the extra mile and have some homemade treats there, too!
7. Offer Deals And Be Prepared To Negotiate
You’ve priced all your items, but chances are you’re not going to get the amount you ask for on every item. Some savvy buyers know that the point of a garage sale is to get rid of as many items as possible, so they won’t be afraid to ask you to slash prices. Be prepared to negotiate, but you can also offer deals on some of your belongings. For example, offer small bundles of books for one price instead of pricing them individually, and people will be more inclined to think they are getting a good deal.
8. Go Through All Items To Avoid Selling Your Personal Info
It seems obvious to go through all of your items before throwing them in the ’to sell’ pile before your garage sale, but sometimes sellers don’t do it thoroughly enough. Old credit card receipts in books, personal notes in pockets, and other identifying information can allow others to steal your personal sensitive information. Avoid this by being particularly thorough when going through all the items you’re selling.
9. Make An ‘All Sales Final’ Sign
If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of people coming back to return items, be clear that all sales are final. Some buyers won’t hesitate to come back to your garage sale later in the day or the next day to return an item they aren’t happy with. Without the sign, you’re wasting their time if they come back, and your own time by having to tell them the bad news.
10. Cut The Grass
Finally, appearances are everything: mow your lawn, tidy up the hedges, and generally make the outside area where your garage sale will be nice to look at. People are likely to associate the outdoor area with the quality of the items sold, so you want them to think the best of both!