By Jennifer Lutz @ Christmas Tree Market
Whether you’re planning to move or looking to lessen household clutter, selling things you no longer need is always a great idea. Holding a garage sale not only gets you some extra cash, it also frees up space in your home.
Organizing a garage sale to unload years’ worth of stuff may seem daunting, so here are ten fail-safe steps to making your selling process easy – and successful!
1) Gather items to be sold
Go through your garage, attic, or basement and gather stuff you no longer need. Items that have been lying around unused for years can also be sold. At this stage, you can already pre-sort items. Keep a few boxes or containers handy to keep things organized. Stick labels on the boxes to help you identify where things are stashed.
2) Keep an organized plan
To give you enough time to organize (and preserve your sanity!), start planning as early as three to four weeks in advance. Prepare a detailed schedule and inventory for collecting, organizing, and pricing sale items. If you’re selling items from different people, make a detailed list of whom the items belong to. Also include ample lead-time for publicizing your sale. (See item #8)
3) Stick price tags on all items
Invest in pre-printed price stickers or colored Post-Its to make the selling process more efficient. Some people are averse to asking how much an item costs. In this case, an untagged item might translate to a lost sale.
4) Price to sell
The main benefits of holding garage sales are unloading unused stuff and freeing up space. Unless you’re selling rare or collectible items, making big bucks shouldn’t be a priority. Given that, it’s best to keep prices low. Price items to make them enticing to bargain hunters. You should also be willing to negotiate.
5) Get help
Enlist extra hands to help you out. Divide tasks and responsibilities between three people or more, depending on the amount of work that needs to be done, to make things more manageable.
In return for all that help, host a pre-sale with your family and friends at least a night before the actual sale day. They can also bring extra items for you to sell on consignment.
6) Pick a good location
Contrary to its name, you don’t need to hold a garage sale in your garage – or home, for that matter. If you live in an area with low foot traffic, look into holding your sale elsewhere. Consider busy streets or public areas. Try to snag as many impulse-buying customers as possible.
You may also want to check with your homeowner’s association or city if you can sell at your preferred location, and if a permit is needed.
7) Consider the weather and your calendar
Check the weather forecast before finalizing the date of your garage sale. Hold the sale on a week when weather is predicted to be sunny and pleasant; avoid days with heavy rain and extreme heat.
Apart from weather considerations, try to schedule your sale around weekends or holidays to boost foot traffic and potential sales.
Just like any successful businesses, advertising plays a huge role in attracting customers to your sale. Print fliers to hand out to neighbors, and hang a sign outside your home announcing the sale.
You can also publicize online. Announce your sale on Facebook, or put a few ads in online classifieds, such as Craigslist.
9) Keep change at hand.
Prepare lots of quarters and dollar bills. Start gathering change or have a bank break your large bills. Handing out change is inevitable, so wear a fanny pack, or get a small cash box to help you organize your money.
10) Accommodate early birds and latecomers
There will always be hardcore customers who like hitting sale events bright and early. If they arrive before opening time, try to accommodate them nonetheless. You need to make the most of these sales opportunities when they come.
Unlike early birds, latecomers wait until the last minute to check what’s left to haggle over, hoping to get a good deal on lots or sets. Cater to these types of shoppers by selling stuff in bundles — such as five pre-loved toys for a dollar. This way, they get their bargain, and you sell stuff that might not have gotten sold on their own.
Plan out your garage sale and organize it for success with these helpful tips!
Jennifer Lutz is the home décor expert at www.christmastreemarket.com. Jennifer frequently blogs about home decorating and organization. You can read many of her articles here: http://blog.christmastreemarket.com/.