How To Host Your Best Garage Sale Ever
Strength in Numbers
People love garage sales, but you know what they love even more? Convenience. If there are multiple garage sales simultaneously on the same block, salers are more likely to come. So before you start planning your sale, canvass your neighbours to see if they’re interested in joining your venture.
You don’t want to be running around like a headless chicken the morning of your garage sale, so plan ahead – your sale will be smooth sailing (see what I did there?) if you’re not stressed. Make sure everything is ready to rock the night before; that way you can wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to sell, sell, sell!
Clean It Up
This may seem pretty obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: clean your wares. Sure, that creepy painting has been collecting dust in your basement for 20 years, but it doesn’t need to LOOK like it. Give clothes a fresh wash, but stay away from heavily scented detergent – many people are turned off by or sensitive to strong odours.
Treat your garage sale as if it were your own little boutique. Categorize everything; make it easy for buyers to find certain types of things, like baby clothes or kitchen utensils. You may even want to make signs for the different categories. And laziness doesn’t pay off – haul those big items outside! You’re far more likely to sell Aunt Bertha’s old green couch if you actually put it outside where the buyers can see it, as opposed to just advertising it.
There are many low-cost (or free) options for advertising: put an ad on Kijiji, take out a classified ad in your local paper, put up signs on busy thoroughfares. The bottom line is, get the word out.
And by the way, if you’re making signs to plaster all over the neighbourhood, use the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid! 1. Make sure your sign won’t be rendered unreadable by wind or rain. 2. Use a dictionary. (Please.) 3. Don’t get fancy with the font – block letters are your best bet.
Price tags should be clearly marked, as well as any signs. If you have atrocious handwriting, have someone else write the prices – you don’t want to miss out on a sale because a buyer thought the $2 pair of pants was selling for $7.
Garage sales are a win-win – you make a little cash while simultaneously decluttering your home. However, be realistic with your prices, or you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. If an item is worth $10, don’t ask $8 – buyers are here looking for a deal. Which brings me to my next point…
Be Prepared to Bargain
Some buyers will pay the asking price, and others will try to negotiate. Set your prices with the expectation that you will accept less, and have an inkling of your bottom line in advance.
Keep the Mood Light
Have fun! Play music in the background. Chat with the buyers. Be friendly and approachable. And most importantly, don’t say bad things about the items you’re selling. Don’t just sell stuff, SELL your stuff!
Keep Cash Close
Don’t use a cash box – keep your cash on you. Although it would be lovely to be part of a society where everyone had the best intentions, the reality is, there are bad people in the world. So bust out your fanny pack and keep your hard-earned cash close.
Sweeten the Deal
People are more likely to browse longer if they have something to snack on. If you’re so inclined, pop some popcorn or bake some dainties and make some lemonade – it’s a guaranteed hit! Plus, you’ll need a snack yourself at some point during the sale. Two birds. One stone.
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