Garage, tag, sidewalk, or yard sales – whatever you call them, they are an excellent way to clear away clutter and generate a little profit. Think about moving out things you haven’t used or thought about in a year or more – they just might qualify for the garage sale pile.
Don’t worry if you don’t have enough merchandise to warrant a sale. Get together with friends and neighbors and have a multi-family sale. Garage sales are social events – the more the merrier!
When planning your sale keep the following points in mind: Set a date. April, May, June and September are the peak garage sale months. Avoid holidays. Try to schedule on or near a payday (1st or the 15th). Saturdays and/or Sundays are best. Plan your date at least 1-2 months in advance to allow time to get ready. Schedule your sale during the day – between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. is best.
Sort through your stuff, High priced or large ticket items are best sold on their own. (Cars, motorbikes, furniture sets, boats). High quality clothing and formal wear will get top dollar at high-end consignment shops.
Go through your closets, attic, basement, garage and storage areas and assemble all your sale merchandise in one location. Create categories of your finds - books, toys, children’s clothing, dishes, records/CD's, etc.
Decide how you will advertise. Check local newspapers for pricing and advertising policies and deadline dates. Local bulletin boards in grocery stores and community centers can be an inexpensive or free way to advertise your sale.
At least 3 weeks before the sale: Get Merchandise Ready. Wash linens, iron tablecloths, polish silver, and repair any items necessary to get them into saleable condition. Equipment/Supplies. Folding tables, blankets, plastic tarp, bungee cords, string, cardboard, markers, price stickers, tape, scissors, etc. Write your ad. Write and distribute your ad to as many people as possible. Get it posted on company internet bulletin boards.
At least 2 weeks before the sale: Submit your ad. Don't bypass the deadline for your ad. It should run for at least 2 days before the sale.
Sign locations. Choose locations along key routes to your home or site to post signs. Begin pricing. This takes a lot of time so don’t leave it to the last minute. If you have a lot of small, inexpensive items, you can place them in a box marked "Everything $1.00".
The week before the sale: Make signs. They should be large and easy to read. Finish pricing. Get garage or sale area ready.
The day before the sale Get cash. You should have between $30-$50 dollars in cash to make change. Make sure you have a lot of one-dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels and some $5 and $10 bills. Assemble items that will show better if put together. The artificial Christmas tree, the playpen, jungle gym, etc. Hang your sale posters. Arrange items attractively. Polish and arrange furniture as if it were in a room. Put some for-sale items like a vase or some books on a table.
Garage sale day! Prepare for "early birds." If you don't want to deal with early arrivals, post a sign telling them when the sale begins. Otherwise, get up early and be ready for them when they arrive - and they will! Decorate. Use coloured flags, balloons, or sale signs with arrows pointing to the sale site to make it clear that there is a sale going on. Set out a few lawn chairs if possible, and have some music playing to generate interest.
Pay attention. Never leave money or merchandise unattended and keep house doors locked at all times. Throughout the day, walk through the sale and neaten and rearrange merchandise. Consider adjusting prices as the day goes on (perhaps dropping prices 25% in the early afternoon, 50% towards the end of the day.)
At the end of the day you will have cleared out your home, streamlined your life a little more and have cash in your pocket! Think about how much fun you're going to have spending it, and congratulate yourself on a job well done!