What’s one of the best ways to manage a big move? If you guessed garage sale, then “ding ding!” You’re right. After all, there is no better excuse than a move to pare down your possessions and throw out your broken IKEA furniture and useless CD collection (after all, who listens to those anymore? Taylor Dayne…c’mon!). But once you’ve narrowed down your moving timeline (try this helpful checklist from Martha Stewart Living), how do you host a successful sale? From enlisting your friends’ help to delineating your sale space, we took some helpful tips from TLC…just in time for National Garage Sale Day this Saturday.
10. Invite a Few Friends to Help
Sometimes it’s difficult to look at our own things with an objective eye. One way to solve this problem is to invite a few close friends to help you. They’ll know you well enough to understand that there’s no way you’re going to part with your decorative tin collection. But they’ll also know you well enough to realize all those fitness gadgets you have shoved under beds and tucked into closets will never replace your love of the gym. With your friends’ help, you’ll be able to sort through your stuff with an objective eye. The process will be a lot quicker, too.
9. Do Your Homework
It can be easy to look at a collection of stuff you no longer want and wonder who’s going to buy it. But instead of treating your old stuff like a big pile of junk, look at it like undiscovered treasure. Take a little time to give everything a good cleaning. If you still have the original packaging for an item, put it all together. If you still have all your owner’s manuals, tape them to the gear they came with. Do whatever you can do to make something look as appealing as it did when you purchased it. And, to be sure that you’re bringing in top dollar for your treasures, take a look online to get an idea of how you should price everything.
8. Organize Your Sale in Department Store Style
When you go shopping, do you want to walk into a giant warehouse with a mass of unorganized items? Probably not. Think about it — how would you find what you’re looking for? Take a hint from the big department stores, and organize your stuff as they would. Group everything by room or category. If you have the space, do a little staging. Put the baker’s rack by the big freezer, and set up a table filled with kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and countertop appliances nearby. Group all the exercise equipment together along with those roller blades and your old skis. And if you have time, sort books, CDs and DVDs by genre. It will make it easier for a shopper to leave with several items instead of just one.
7. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
If you have a lot of things to sell, consider taking out an ad in the local newspaper. You can also post your yard sale on Craigslist. In your advertisement, be sure to state the location, date and hours. Most yard sales are conducted on Saturdays. But in some areas, sales are common on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, too. Briefly list what you have for sale so that shoppers will know what to expect. If you have mostly clothes and exercise equipment, say so and list what sizes the clothes are. Also, be honest. Perhaps you’re selling a kitchen table your parents passed on to you. Just because it’s 30 years old, that doesn’t make it an “heirloom antique.” And don’t forget local advertising. Be sure to post flyers and signs around your neighborhood.
6. Put a Price Tag on Everything
Garage sales can get busy, fast. Even if you have two or three friends on hand to help you hawk your wares, you won’t have time to stop and come up with a price each time someone wants to purchase something. Whether or not you want to allow customers to negotiate the price is up to you, but tagging everything before the sale will save you the hassle of trying to come up with a price on the spot. As you’re pricing things, keep your goal in mind. You’re moving. While you do want to make money, your bigger goal is to get rid of all this extra stuff. Rather than putting a price on each individual wine glass, price them together; if you have a dozen, sell all 12 for $4 or offer six for $2. Pick one price for paperbacks and one price for hardbound books and make signs to indicate pricing.
For the complete list of tips, click here.