Organizing a great garage sale
Garage sales are a simple and fun way to clear out some unwanted clutter from your home. If you’re downsizing or just looking to let go of items you don’t use anymore, garage sales are a great way to make some money, meet your neighbours and de-clutter your home.
Organize Anything has come up with some great tips to make sure you hit garage sale gold.
1) It’s all about timing. Traditionally garage sales take place on Saturday mornings between June and October. If you live in a university town, aim to have your sale in late August/early September to take advantage of the students coming back. Set up your table early in the morning – serious buyers start early and will visit many sales in one day.
2) Product placement. If you haven’t used it or worn it in awhile, sell it. If you’re only keeping it because it was a gift, sell it. Baby equipment, sporting goods, furniture, tools, books, small appliances, toys and framed art are best sellers. Clothes don’t sell well. Put a big item or something eye catching closest to the road. You want to attract positive attention from passers-by.
3) Garage sale doesn’t equal garbage dump. Don’t sell something you wouldn’t buy. If an item is in serious disrepair, old, or not attractive, don’t waste your time or your customers’ by putting it out for sale.
4) Garage sales are a team effort. The more people involved in your sale, the better it will be. Recruit family members to help you set up your tables and monitor customers. You’ll also need helpers to assist customers in moving heavy purchases to their cars. Make sure that you always have one person dedicated to running the cashbox. If you’ve got younger children in the family, why not have them run a refreshment stand? It’s a great opportunity to teach them about money.
5) Advertising. Beyond the tried-and-true method of putting posters on the telephone poles in your neighbourhood the week before, there are several other approaches to letting people know about your sale. Post notices on the community bulletin boards of your local community center, supermarket and schools. People will stop if they see a crowd, so recruit family members to “shop” if you’re worried about traffic flow. Post the information online on websites like Kijiji.com. Email your friends and family – don’t forget to promote items that will get attention like couches, TVss or novelty items.
6) The price is right. Garage sales traditionally sell items for less than $50. Exceptions being newer furniture or home electronics. If you have antiques or higher priced items you would like to sell, consider contacting an appraiser or holding an estate auction. Go through the items you want to sell before the sale and price them. Put a sticker on them in an obvious place and record the item in a notebook that you keep at the cash register.
7) Colour coded. You may want to colour code items to make it easier for yourself and customers to know how much something is selling for, green = $5, blue = $10 and so on. You can also have tables with items under for a dollar or two dollars – get creative and make it easy for you to manage.
8) The weather factor. A perk of the garage sale is being able to spend the day outdoors. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. Use your garge or have a tarp or a tent handy in case you wake up on the morning of your sale and it’s raining. The tent will also be handy the day turns into a scorcher and you need to escape to the shade.
So next time you need to let go of a lot of the clutter in your home, pick a Saturday and plan for rain or shine. Recruit your family members, tell your neighbours and lay out your wares. You’ll have fun and you’ll even make a little money in the end.
© 2007 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Coach
Phone: (902) 233-1577
Fax: (902) 455-0553