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After taking my grandmother around to hundreds of garage sales when I was a teen, I began having sales when I was married. Here are some of my tips:
I know with all the yard sales this time of year, many people are buying second hand and giving new life to their finds. When pricing items, many types of pricing elements are hard to remove and leave sticky residue.
Here are some tips to have a great garage sale. Pick the right date, the first and fifteenth are when people receive their social security checks and/or pay checks.
When you are looking for something in particular at yard sales and don't see it, just ask. I have found that sellers are "motivated to sell" once they have started and will sometimes go into the house and bring out the item you are looking for.
When having a garage sale, set out a few empty laundry baskets for your shoppers to grab and fill up. Makes it much easier for them to shop and also, they will more than likely buy more because they have an easy way of carrying around they items.
To make more money at your next yard sale, sell refreshments, too! Watch the sales for a few weeks before your event, and stock up on canned sodas at bargain prices. The day of the sale, put them in a cooler with ice and put up a big sign "cold drinks, .50" or whatever ...
I have been to and I have had many yard sales and I have noticed a few things that would affect how well a yard sale pans out.
When organizing I always find things to sell in my annual garage sale. I put these items in boxes labeled by price ($1, $5, etc.) This saves a lot of time later when I actually price the items just before the sale.
I just had a yard sale this past weekend and tried several new things that I thought may be helpful to others looking for yard sale ideas.
Spring is the time when we all start thinking about Garage or Yard Sales again. It is a good way to make some extra money and get rid of extra items. Garage Sales can be fun but are time consuming and can be hard work. Good planning can help you have a successful sale.
When going to yardsales, bring some slightly colored sunglasses (amber). It will show all the stains on cloth that you can not see with the naked eye.
"The signs of the season are here: "Yard Sale, Garage Sale, Moving Sale, Estate Sale." It's time to clear out the old and the unwanted and, for some of us, a time to find new treasures. Television programs that show people picking up pots or paintings for a few dollars and selling them for hundreds or thousands can bring out the spirit of adventure in a lot of us. Especially for these folks, the weekend treasure hunt season is on!"
Get boxes NOW and start the year off right, by decluttering your home, closets and garage. You can also price items at the same time. You will be ready in the spring for a great Garage/Yard Sale. You can do a little at a time.
Bag Bargains is the quickest and easiest way to accomplish reducing and make a little money, too. We have had great success with all the little items that accumulate in junk drawers, etc.
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Can I just add something that I don't think people really think about. I'm an avid yard/garage saler. I am out there every weekend looking for bargains and have been inside many garages, porches, basements...etc. One thing that puts me right off a sale is a stinky garage/basement or stinky clothing. I don't think people who are having the sale take notice to the odors around them and their things.
I entered a garage a few weekends ago and had to quickly exit as the entire garage smelled of dog urine. It was strong and uncomfortable to be in. I noticed others entering and leaving quickly too. So I wasn't the only one. This wasn't the first time. I've been in musty moldy basement sales too. It's very off putting and I often will not purchase anything from these sales for fear the smell may be absorbed into the items.
Clothing is often stored in boxes and trash bags leaving them smell strange too. I once got $10.00 worth of infant clothing home only to have to throw it all away due to a strange smell that wouldn't wash out, obviously from the container they were stored in.
So if your planning a sale, take notice of any foul smells your garage may have. Sniff your stored clothing too, don't just check for stains, check for odors as well.
RUDE PEOPLE: Several years back we were moving to a much smaller home & had to sell everything we owned so we had 3 HUGE garage sales to do this. We lived in a middle to upper-middle class neighborhood & what surprised me the most were the totally rude people. Be careful not to get bullied by people like these. For example, I was selling a ruby-type glass tumbler & this gal asked me if I had another one, so I said I'd go & have a look. Well, unbeknownst to me she followed me into my house & into the kitchen & started going through my cupboards! I had the hardest time getting her to leave because she all of a sudden pretended to not speak very good English.
Another rude behavior was people getting mad & angry about prices (I'm an avid garage-saler & thrift-shopper so I know how to price...very low!). Some of my finer pieces of furniture were marked at $20 - $30 & even though they were marked people would get downright angry that I wouldn't sell them for five dollars. Just keep a happy attitude & realize that most people are super-friendly & wonderful. Just keep smiling!
Lastly, mark things up a tiny bit. People expect to haggle. If you want $1 for something then ask $1.50, if you want $20 for something then ask $25. If you want a dime for something then ask for a quarter (I disagree with #4, people love to buy things for a quarter!). Also have a box marked "FREE" for some of the things you just want to get rid off. You may add to it towards the end of the sale.
If you run an ad in your local paper or on Craig's List make sure you post "No sales before 9:AM (or whatever) or you'll have the early birds knocking on your door before you're ready. Usually these early birds are people who make their livings re-selling good deals they find.
Any suggestions on how to price items that customers can't physically change by swapping stickers or move to another area with a lower designated price? I want to do this without marring the object.
By SuSu from Birmingham, AL
Have a 50 cent box, a $1.00 box or rack, etc. Put up a sign that says, Everything on this table is $1.00. People don't like to ask the price at yard sales and some people do like to bargain with you. You could put plastic shopping bags in an area of certain items and put up a sign that says, ex: Fill a bag of children's clothes for $5.00.
I really don't think that there is a way to stop someone from being dishonest. Since I'm the one who usually prices things at our yard sales, I know if someone has changed a tag or not. I usually tell them that someone must have changed the tag, what the real price is, and ask if they still want the item. If the person looks unusally needy, I sometimes just give it to them at the cheaper price. I figure "what goes around, comes around," and trust that when I need something, it will be there for me. There is one family in the neighborhood that routinely changes prices at yard sales to get things cheaper, that really isn't bad off. I let it go a couple of times, but no longer will. I'd rather give it to a needy person than be screwed by someone. I've also very politely asked dishonest people to leave when they've brought items with changed stickers to me. They act different when they are trying to get away with something, and they know that you know what they've been up to. Looking them in the eye and stating, "I've changed my mind and no longer choose to sell this," gets the point across.
I have tons of kids stuff that I would love to clear out. I have no idea how to have a yard sale. I have never really been to a yard sale, but would love to get something for all our old and unneeded items. Can anyone help a first timer get started?
By Trisha S.
Hi, Trisha! Our family had a couple of yard sales last weekend.
1) Advertise. Check the local papers about rates to advertise your yard sale. Put signs up the day before, if you're allowed (and remember to take them down after). Tell your friends.
2) Organize. Put price stickers on beforehand. Clothes should be on hangers or on a table. Knickknacks and other items should be on tables (even a board on two sawhorses will work nicely).
3) Most yard sales are on Saturdays.
4) Check the local regulations for yard sales. Some require permits, some limit how many yard sales per year.
5) IF you are in a condo complex, check with the HOA. They might only allow a yard sale once per year (a complex-wide sale). If so, you might have to have your yard sale someplace else if their date is too far away.
6) Drinks, munchies, and sunblock--remember all three. Drinks to prevent dehydration, munchies for hunger, and sunblock + a hat to keep from sunburn and headache.
7) Set up early the day of the yard sale--many people bargain-hunting early.
8) Bags and change--very important. Bags to carry things away in, and change because people don't always have exact change.
Hope that helps!
Once I was online and discovered some funny amusing stories that actually occurred at garage sales. Is there anyway we can make a spot here on Thriftyfun for each member to post their funny stories. I would really enjoy reading these and perhaps posting some. Thanks.
By Carol from Waynesboro, GA
Editors Note: Please post your garage sale anecdotes below.
This isn't garage sale humor, but it's funny.
There is a grocery store in town which would give out free items each week with a $25 purchase. My Mom was working there in early April as a product demo lady. A man she knew approached her and asked her, "Do you know what's Freezer Sweet?" She said she didn't know but would find out. She went and asked a shelf stocker, "What's Freezer Sweet?" He didn't know either. So she went back and told the man that the stocker didn't know what Freezer Sweet was either. The man gave her a strange look and said, "I didn't say, 'What's Freezer Sweet'. I said, "What's free this week?" She was so embarrassed she said, "April Fools."
Recently we were going to have a yard sale fund raiser. I do caricatures as a hobby. So on 4x4 pieces of plywood I painted a picture of a yard; swing set with child swinging, flowers picket fence. With a for sale sign stabbed into the yard. we placed these signs out by the road as the tables were being set up. Before a single customer looked at our stuff a woman pulled up and bought the signs from my husband. Imagine my face as I watched my husband throw the signs in the back of someones pick up, and them drive away. I was even more shocked to see him put in the collection box from his first sale. More than the sale would make all day!
How do I create a map that shows my garage sale route. I have 15 addresses and I wanted them mapped out so I don't have to backtrack.
I have not found a good way of setting up my Garage Sale route - any suggestions on a good web site to input several locations for the day and have it give you the best route so you don't back track and waste time, and gas?
This is a website I found that will do what you are looking for. It maps your local craigslist yardsale listings, but it will also let you add other stops (with addresses or else double clicking the map) and arrange the correct order. Then it lets you send the route to google maps for printing. The handy part is that it shows you an updated route as you rearrange the order of your stops.
Can we sell foods at the garage sale?
By N Ewald
You'd have to check your local authorities - unfortunately even giving free hot coffee (on cold days) or ice water (on hot days) could end you up in hot water either from the "wrong" person (health official) stopping by, accident involving the hot liquid, or somebody getting sick and blaming the water. Sadly we live in that kind of society.
HI, I am getting ready to have my first garage sale the middle of next month. Anyone have any tips to make it a success? I have a bunch of reasonably good stuff that I would like to turn into some cash to help fund some camping trips we want to go on this summer.