Tips from our readers for throwing a garage sale. Post your ideas!
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Make sure you are well prepared and if possible well rested before your sale starts. Sales are best if they are held on the weekend, although I have had some very successful fridays.
Make the address/date large enough to see. People can't stop at corners to read small print and get rear ended, arrows are good enough, just point me in the right direction/put arrows at every intersection and your yard. Don't use paper signs that fold in the wind and please don't block the driveway to us handicapped people. Finallly, keep your prices reasonable, after all, it is a garage sale.
Fridays are actually the best days in my area. I tend to have my annual GS on Friday and Sat morning until just after lunch.
I use neon green posterboard signs with neon pink arrows. Many people comment that my sign was eye-catching and easy to follow. Baby clothes and toys sell GREAT.
Go to your neighborhood bank before your sale and get ample change. It's best to start out with as many fives, singles and coinage as possible. Arrange to have someone who can get you more change if needed. Keep your change and all money WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES, rather than in a box on a table.
Save plastic grocery bags prior to having a sale. People tend to buy more if they don't have to have their arms & hands full of odds and ends
Never leave jewelry unattended. Keep in a locked glass case. or have someone supervising the table of "good" stuff.
Clearly label that which is NOT for sale, ie the chairs you are sitting on, your stereo, phone, etc.
Take the time to rid articles of dirt/grime. That which looks like "junk" sells with more difficulty.
Prewash clothing, and hang or present nicely. A makeshift clothesline can be strung between trees.
Leave childrens toys accessable, and at a low level. More of them sell because of "MommyCanIHAVE" than anything else
Try to include some "new" stuff at your sale. A few weeks ago Dixieware and Albertson's teamed up. You bought one set of Dixieware containers at any store Albertson's owns and the catalina machine automatically spit out a coupon stating that the next set of Dixieware containers was "free" except for tax. I opted to stand in line long enough to get 20 free sets of Dixieware which I used as a "draw" at my sale. Along with the free stuff, people were picking up the stuff that I was trying to get rid of. It was a true Win-Win situation.
I find that, in my area, having my sale on Wed Thurs and Friday are the best days. Most people DO not start a sale on Wednesday and so we are the only sale you can stop at. Friday's are kind of slow and on a Saturday you can just forget it. Everyone is off to their cabin and won't bother to stop. I have had Wednesdays that have raked in 150.00+!!! I do not sell large items either. I don't think I have had anything that I have priced over 5.00 in a looong time!
I agree with Shirley, about the pricing of clothing.
I don't care if your clothes say "Tommy" or "Gap" on them. To me that huge yellow stain says "I can't be worn for anything other then house cleaning". Since that is the ONLY place it can be worn, don't ask for $10.00, $5.00 or even $1.00! If you really want $10 for a shirt, you better do some stain removal first. I have been to garage sales with tables piled high with stained and torn clothing, that people were asking $7 or so $$ for. No wonder the tables are heaped. Just because you pay $25.00 for it doesn't mean that someone is going to think that your hole-in-the-knee pants are worth $8.00.
When having a garage sale we 'open' late and 'close' later than usual sales. It seems the early birds are out to find something for nothing and the late arrivals are coming home from somewhere and they are usually the big spenders. Also our kids make money w/ bake sales along with our garage sales.
My best garage sale stragedy is to price low. I'd rather sell ten things for a dollar then one thing for ten dollars.
A tip to keep people coming back year after year,,,make up a little "thank you for stoping" card(size of a bisuness card) and stapel a piece of candy to it. Slip it in the bag with the item purchased. I have people ask me all the time when my next one is. Also, take time to clean your stuff, don't put "junk/trash" out. People remember this and will not bother stoping they next year.
When having magnets to sell at your next yard sale. Use your cookie baking pans into your magnet holders. Stick your magnets on your cookie pans. A person might come near buying them, after seeing them stuck to something first.
I've been told that people making crafts to stick to a person's refrigerator, use the flat style magnets. They cut the magnets in pieces and glue them to the back of the craft. So if you're going to be giving some away or at your next yard sale, you might try some "suggestive saling" to a person asking for "craft supplies".
By Terri H.
Blocking your driveway makes it difficult for handicapped people to get to your sale.
Several years ago my daughter was raising money to run in a marathon in Hawaii. We had 4 garage sales and earned about $1500.
One thing that we did was to put it in the paper. Of course we put it in the Garage Sales part of the classifieds, but we also put it in the community news part and asked anyone who would like to contribute to call us and help us out. We had so much stuff we didn't know what to do with it all!
Also, there are two things that we did that anyone can do as additions to their garage sales. The first is to sell drinks and snacks. A cold canned drink is really worth paying for when you are running around in your car trying to get the best deals all over town. And why not buy Jr. a bag of chips or even a brownie instead of heading off to the nearest fast food place?
The second thing that can help anyone is to make grab bags. We put stickers, and small stuffed animal, a toy of some sort, and a couple of peices of candy. They loved them. We went to the local thrift place and just loaded up on those things for next to nothing. We were careful to mark which ones were for boys and which ones were for girls.
i hade a yard sale and i made 150 selling snakes i thank its a good idea and you should let your Kids sell stuff to
I go to the local dollar store and buy some treats for less than a dollar and sell candy in a bag for 50 cents so i can make a profit.
I have garage sales all spring and summer. I find it best to mark everything with a price. A lot of times people pass over stuff because they don't want to ask what price is this for everything they look at. Plus you don't have to remember what price you said you'd take. This is especially good when you have a lot of customers at the same time. If your open to bargaining just charger a little more on your price sticker. Invite all your friends to bring their stuff too. You don't have to worry about them being competion. The more stuff you have the more likely people will stop. Try and put a lot of stuff up on tables or on sheets or blankets on the ground. For some reason many people will not look in boxes or bins that have a lot of items in them.
you'd be surprized by what sells. Put it out there. If it doesn't sell at the end of your yard sale put the stuff by the curb with a big free sign and you won't even have to worry to repack or clean up. We repack whatever doesn't sell for our next yard sale. What didn't sell last week might sell this week.
I also agree with the person who said stay open late. We stay open until dark and everyone says they are thankful, because of work or whatever they can't get to other sales, but they come here. We also open early.
A yard sale is alot of work, but we use our money to help a family in Mississippi. We got their name through the box project( http://www.boxproject.org ). We mail them a box of stuff every month. Stuff they can't get with foodstamps, like pampers. We ask people to give us stuff, and what our family can use we send to them. And if it is not something they can use we sell it at the yard sale to make money for the postage to send the boxes. This is a really great org., you write letters to your family and exchange your life expirences to help them through their troubled times.
Coming from a long line of Garage Sale Junkies, I've learned the #1 key to a successful garage sale is always put yourself in the buyer's shoes! When pricing items, think to yourself "Would I pay this price for this item?" Most people are attached to certain items & they overprice them. If you really want to get rid of stuff, the right price is essential. Need plastic shopping bags to bag the items for your buyers? I get mine from the recycling bin at my local grocery store. When setting up, again, put yourself in the buyer's shoes. No one wants to dig through boxes or bins looking for items, set items out in a nice, orderly fashion. If you must use boxes & bins, make sure you take time to re-fold items after shoppers leave. And whenever I go to a garage sale that doesn't have prices on the items, I immediately leave. I don't have time to waste asking the price of each item. I make sure I have enough change, singles & fives & carry a calculator on me. When selling jewelry or other loose items, place them in a plastic sandwich bag & put the price on a piece of paper & staple the bag securely shut.
Remember people are paying you for junk removal so be willing to dicker over the price. It is better to have it sold then to have to throw it out and if you are willing to give a good bargain people will buy more.
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