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A few Garage Sale tips




I love going to garage sales and have been "junking" most summer Saturdays since I was 12. I had held a few garage sales with other people, but never had much luck. Last year, I decided to work backwards--to hold a garage sale the way I as a junker would love to find. The result was success!

So this summer I shared my tips with a neighbor who had mostly clothes to sell. I was a little doubtful since I usually pass on garage sales with mostly clothes, but she got a lot of traffic & sold a ton of clothes.

1. Signs-- Use the same color (preferably neon) for all your signs.

Don't put an address or a time. Nobody is going to slow down & try to read it. Put "Yard Sale" and a nice big, visible arrow. "huge", "multi-family" and other adjectives are mostly ignored b/c they're rarely true.

Place the sign up high on the same side of the road as you want people to turn. Nothing is more infuriating that going all the way into a right lane because you spotted a neon sign, only to see the arrow pointing left.

2. Set up-- Nobody wants to dig through your boxes. Take the time to do some sorting & put your best items on tables.

High visibility/high appeal items should be placed out front or facing the curb to attract customers.

Clothes are best put into sizes. We got the most sales after we had sorted the clothes so that customers could go right to the bin they wanted instead of having to dig. One thing I would've done differently in hind sight is to put the bins at a distance from each other. A few customers took clothes from one bin & just threw them into the next one.

If you don't have many items to sell, ask neighbors to join you or wait til the next year. If these are not possible, place your items on the front 1/2 of your driveway to make them appear to fill the space.

3. Pricing--This is the area where I used to trip up. I used to pay whatever the asking price was, and expected others to do the same if I set the price low enough. Not so.

Nobody expects to pay listed price at a garage sale. You've hauled these items out, and as a customer I know that you don't want to haul them back in. Decide what your lowest price will be & then mark it higher. Don't go too high or people will think your expectations are to high & will not even try to bargain.

Example: If you want $20 out of an item mark it $35. If your willing to take a dollar, mark it $2 or even $5. Just remember that people usually come to garage sales with $20 or maybe $40 and they are not prepared to spend much more. For high ticket items, try the classifieds.

By 12:00, some junkers are tired or hungry and aware that most of the best deals are gone. The hard core junkers know that by this time the home owner is ready to deal. If you're serious about letting go--mark most items for $1 or half-price and put a sign out. And be prepared to be offered very little.

Have fun! (& remember to invite me to come & shop)


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I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 who likes to organize, craft, & read (among other things)