How to Sell Your Belongings in a Garage Sale Successfully

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Holding a Garage Sale

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A garage sale before your move can really help you reduce the size of your shipment, and at the same time make some money. It also helps you get rid of things that you no longer use and which can easily replaced when you move to a new place.

Whether it is foraging through other people's stuff or the hunt for a good bargain, garage sales are a huge attraction and people always love showing up to them.

Gathering items

Sorting through your moving pile will yield items that you no longer need, like items that are no longer important to you but might still be useful for someone else. Things that aren't worth selling can be put out as freebies.

Some popular items in a garage sale include:
  • Small kitchen appliances
  • Sporting equipment
  • Baby items and clothing
  • Books/magazines
  • Toys
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Household items

Placing your items up for sale

A garage sale (as the name suggests) can take place in a garage or in a driveway, yard or basement. If you are lacking in space, then you can arrange it at a friend's yard or at a local flea market.

An important aspect of the sale is parking space - you need to have room for your shoppers to park and a place to keep all your stuff. Neighbors should be informed about the sale so they can prepare for the increased traffic and parking or even stop by to take some thing off your hands.

Advertising about the sale

Advertising about your sale is very crucial, as more people mean more sales. There are various methods of advertising, including:
  • Placing an ad in the local newspaper
  • Posting fliers on public bulletin boards at grocery stores, libraries and laundry mats
  • Posting fliers at local colleges and university campuses for students
  • Signs with arrows pointing to your location, along with a date and time should be posted around the neighborhood
  • Practice word of mouth by talking about your garage sale to friends, family and neighbors

TIP: The ad should contain information on where the sale is located with directions, the popular items on the list and the time the sale starts and ends. You can start advertising beginning one week prior to the sale.

Preparing for the sale

Arrange your sale on a weekend. Avoid weekend holidays as people will likely be going on vacation or already have other plans.
  • Organize your things by category (like toys, tools, clothes, etc.)
  • Place the for sale items on tables and attach price stickers to them
  • Keep bags and boxes ready for customers to carry the things that they buy
  • Have a supply of newspaper on hand for wrapping fragile items
  • Decide beforehand the times of your sale and allot four-hour shifts to members of your family so that everyone participates

Pricing your items

Pricing should be reasonable as you are trying to find a new home for your belongings.
  • Kitchen appliances and toys that are still in the box should fetch one quarter of their original price as a general rule of thumb
  • Electronics should have cords and extensions
    • Make sure there is an outlet available for testing electronics before selling
  • Clothing prices should be reduced considerably as there will be no place to try them on

TIP: Set up tables to sell trinkets for under a dollar. Bundling with a set price, like four books for $10 attracts customers as they feel they are getting a better deal.

Exercise caution during the sale

If you are holding a garage sale on the premises of your home, stick signs on all doors stating that they are "off limits." If a shopper asks you to use the bathroom, then direct them to the nearest restaurant or a local store as you don't want strangers wandering through your home.

A fully charged phone and a money belt with at least $50 change should be kept with you at all times during the sale as cash boxes can be easily stolen. All highly priced items should be kept in an area where you can keep an eye on them at all times. It is advisable not to leave children and teens unattended and make sure to keep an adult in-charge.

After your garage sale

The first thing to do after a sale is count your earnings and then thank friends, neighbors and others who have helped you organize the sale. It is also a good practice to take down all the signs and posters after the event is over.

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on January 15, 2013 - Moving Expert
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