A Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing a Garage Sale
Garage sales can be an effective way to make extra money by selling your unwanted items. They can also be used as a way to bring a neighborhood together by creating a project that would benefit everyone. Before you put the product out in your driveway, there are some garage sale tips you should know if you want to make your garage sales a success. Since you plan on dedicating your entire weekend to selling some of your possessions, you should put in the effort to generate business. Follow these garage sale tips to have a sale that is financially rewarding and a lot of fun.
Step 1: Prepare Your Products
One of the most difficult things for some people to admit is that some of their possessions are simply junk. You cannot sell items that are broken, damaged, or stained in any way. If the item cannot be cleaned and restored, then it will not sell. Take the time to put together an inventory of items that will attract interest from people driving by. Clean up all of your products and repair any damage. Another good tip is to make sure that the items are actually available for your yard sale: Just because you want to sell your children's old toys does not mean that they will always agree with you.
Step 2: Make Your Sale Look Appealing
Clean up your driveway, mow your yard, and do anything else you have to do to make your home look welcoming. Clean out your garage, and try to cover up any of the items that are not for sale with tarps or sheets. If you do not have outdoor tables, then make some out of whatever materials you have. If you are improvising tables with plywood and cement blocks, then cover them with something to make them look nice. Open the windows in your garage to let in as much natural light as possible, and do not block the garage entrance with your shelves and tables. Put up some balloons and maybe a few party streamers to let people know that something special is happening and they are welcome to come check it out.
Step 3: Price Your Products
Put price tags on all of your products. If you have products that can be grouped together, such as a set of tea cups, then indicate that the price is for the entire set. Use the Internet and auction websites to set fair prices, but always be prepared to negotiate with customers: If you were originally going to throw an item away, then getting some money for it is better than nothing. Most customers will try to negotiate with you, but you can reduce the haggling by putting clear price tags out with fair prices.
Step 4: Advertise
Your garage sale will benefit from print, Internet, and word-of-mouth advertising. Most local newspapers have a section in the classifieds where people can list their upcoming garage sales. That is a section of your local newspaper that still gets used extensively, and you need to utilize it for your garage sale. Use your social networking pages and message boards to get the word out as well. Do some research and find websites that reach your local area, then put up announcements at least two weeks in advance. You need to print up flyers that are easy to read and visually appealing no less than two weeks prior to your garage sale and distribute them around town. Check out the local supermarkets and libraries, as they often have message boards where you can post your flyer. Walk around your neighborhood and hand out flyers door to door. Find out if it is legal to post flyers on light and telephone poles in your town: If it is legal, then post flyers over at least a two-to-three-mile radius.
Step 5: Bring the Customers to You
The day of your garage sale, post signs around the area with arrows pointing toward your home. This will help people who are out looking for garage sales to be able to find your house more easily. Put a large sandwich board at the end of your driveway letting everyone know that you are having a garage sale. Make sure that the sandwich board is easy to see from the road, and also make sure that it is not violating any local zoning laws.
Step 6: Donate the Items That Do Not Sell
Make arrangements with a local charitable organization to donate the items that do not sell when your garage sale is over. You may not get any cash for those items, but you will be able to get a receipt that you can use for a deduction on your taxes.