When is the best time to hold a garage sale? That’s easy: whenever you’re ready!
Seriously, there is a lot more to holding a garage sale than sticking up a sign and hoping that people will stop by and sift through all of your stuff. Certainly, in some cases a spur of the moment sale can work out, especially if you live on a busy road and the weather is nice.
But most sales require careful planning, particularly for the person who wants a good amount of traffic and customers who will pay you what you want for the items you have for sale. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to make your sale a success:
Set Date – When are you looking to hold a sale? The warmer months are best, but if your garage is heated and you have good stuff to offer, the shoulder months can bring customers by. Importantly, get a hold of your town’s calendar to see what special events are being held in your area. If you can plan your sale on the day of the town’s fair or home football game, you could get more traffic by people passing by.
Advanced Planning – You’ll want to have all of your signage ready and an ad running in advance of the date of the sale. And, if your town requires a permit, have that ready too. You’ll also want to have enough tables available to hold your goods, stickers to price everything and plenty of cash to start out. Speaking of money, if you can get plenty of singles, some fives and a handful of ten dollar bills from your bank, then do so. Keep some loose change handy for those items selling for less than a dollar.
Sensible Arrangements – Sketch out the area where your garage sale will be to figure out where you are going to put various items. Our neighbor, Karen, uses her garage and driveway, but most of her pricier items are on or around tables in her garage. That way, she can keep an eye on expensive inventory, putting the big bulky items closer to the street. Set up your tables by theme: one table may have tools, another cookware, a third books, a fourth toys…you get the picture. Make it so that everything you have to sell is in its proper place.
Smart Sale – While I’ve seen garage sales start as early as 7 in the morning on a Saturday, that’s too early. Says Karen, “Think about what sort of impact an early sale has on your neighbors before holding your own sale. I never start before 8 and I always end by 2. My ad is up on Craigslist the night before and I emphasize, in bold, no early callers. My garage is already set up when I wake up. All I have to do is put up a few more tables by the driveway and bring marked boxes containing my inventory out.”
Clean Up – You can either clean by marking down your items drastically during the final thirty minutes of your sale or box things up and bring them back into your home. A third path would be to box up what you don’t want and donate these items to a consignment shop or sell them on eBay. The Salvation Army, military veterans, and Goodwill are among the organizations who may be willing to pick up what you have to give away.
When you’re through with your sale, review what sold and how much money you pulled in. Was it worth all the hours of prep time and sale time to hold the sale? If so, you can expect that you’ll do all over again…that is, with careful planning!
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