A garage sale or a yard sale can be a great way to not only clear out clutter from your house, but also make a few dollars in the process. If you are going to have a garage sale however, you should make the proper preparations and do all that you can to make it customer friendly.
Depending on where you live, you should check to see if you are required to purchase or apply for a permit. Many areas do not require this, but if your town does, not getting a permit for your sale could get you shut down or fined. More than likely, you will need to choose a date if you are applying for a permit. Most people who live in cold weather areas choose to have their sales in the summer, but choosing to have your sale during one of the “out of season” cold months can have the upside of drawing in shoppers who are starved for a sale to visit. This may sound silly, but these people do exist. If you visit an estate sale during the winter months, you will find that they are almost always packed full with people looking for bargains.
Garage sale pricing is an issue that people sometimes struggle with when they start setting their items out. It is important to remember that you are having the sale to get rid of things. Whatever does not sell, will have to come back in to your house and get stored again, so keeping prices low is a very good idea. Mark your items so that customers can clearly see what the cost is going to be without tracking you down. Many potential customers will simply leave if items are not marked. An easy trick is to sort items by price and place them together on a table or a blanket. Place a sign with them that lets the customer know that everything on that table or blanket is one dollar, or whatever price you may choose.
If you have items that you think are worth considerable money because of their collectible value, do not put them out in your garage sale. Consider selling them somewhere like eBay instead, where the market can handle the higher price you want to get. A garage sale is not the place to sell anything for top price.
Advertising your sale is another must. Most towns have some small paper that offers low cost classified ads. Sometimes these ads are even sold in packages that include garage sale signs that you can put up in your neighborhood to direct people to your sale. Using Craigslist is another free resource that can really work to get the word out about your sale. Many people who frequent weekend sales only look at online listings now, so this source of free advertising should definitely be taken advantage of by sellers.
Having a garage sale does not have to be a hassle. Prepare ahead of time and expect that people will show up a little bit early. Price your items to sell and make yourself available to answer the questions of potential buyers. To draw in even more customers, consider asking neighbors to join you in your sale and advertise the event as a neighborhood or community yard sale. Most of all, try to have some fun and be glad that you are getting rid of the clutter. The money you have in your pocket at the end of the sale will be much more useful to you than the unwanted stuff you sold off.
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