Do you want to earn some extra cash and lighten your load before moving day? A pre-move garage sale can help you get ready for the big day, and it can put some much-needed cash in your pocket. To be successful, you must plan your sale carefully. There are so many details that go into a garage sale that you might overlook some significant ones. Here are 10 things you must do to make sure your sale is a success.
Make Sure You Are Legal
First, allow three weeks for preparation before the event. This will give you enough time to pull stuff out of closets and really have a chance to sort. Second, you need to check with the local authorities regarding yard sale permits. Some cities require you to have a permit to have a sale, while others will make you pay a fee or collect sales tax from the proceeds. Then there is the issue of signage. Does your city allow signs to advertise the event, or is it limited to just one or two posts around town? You want to make sure you don’t end up with a fine that can eat into the profits.
You may also want to check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered if someone is hurt on your property. Many people are putting signs up that state that they are not responsible for accidents. Make sure that in the event of a slip or fall that you are covered. Having a sign hanging up will not protect you from your legal liability.
Consider Having Neighbors Join In The Fun
It’s always more fun to have the sale with one or more neighbors. Not only will you have someone to talk to while sitting there waiting on customers, but you will have someone to share the work. Consider having a block party sale to attract more customers. Remember, the more customers you have, the more money you will make.
Figure Out Where To Hold The Sale
The location of the sale is just as important as the stuff for sale. Will you hold the sale in a yard, a garage or even inside? If there are multiple families involved, where is a good central location that accommodates everyone? If there should be inclement weather, would you be able to continue? It may be worth moving to a location with shelter and paying a small fee if the weather is sketchy.
Decide When To Have The Sale
You need to set a specific date and time for the sale. It’s usually best to hold a sale on a Saturday; however, some areas have them anywhere from Thursday through Sunday too. It depends on what works best for your community. Make sure that you post alternative dates if it should rain. Also, try to avoid having sales on holidays like July 4th, Labor Day, etc. Try to schedule them as close to the beginning of the month to maximize customers.
Decide What To Sell
The best way to start pinning down what items to sell is to take inventory of things you don’t use. For instance, get a notebook and write down the things that you want to sell. If you don’t have at least 100 items, then you need to consider asking someone else to join you. People, typically, like to stop at sales where there are ample items to choose from. If your offerings are sparse, your customers could be too. Get rid of everything and anything that isn’t needed in your new home. This will help make for stress free moving.
Gathering Your Goods
Once you have identified what you want to sell, it’s time to drag it all out and start inspecting. Make sure your items are in working order and don’t have any defects. Remember, it is a garage sale, but you don’t want the reputation of selling broken or junky items to your neighbors. If something has a broken switch or isn’t working right, make sure to notate it on the item before the sale. Someone may still be interested in buying the item, but they won’t want to pay top dollar.
Pricing is different depending on where your live. For instance, in California, a lamp may fetch $10. However, in Ohio, that lamp may only get $3. Price according to what you see at other garage sales, which should be about 25 percent of the original value. Remember, this is second-hand stuff. Don’t put new prices on old junk. Use color coded stickers to price your items. If there is more than one participant in the sale, give everything their own identifying color sticker. It will make things much easier when checking people out.
Try to use amounts in quarter increments as it makes things easier. Remember, you can always go down on the price of an item, but you can never go back up. Give yourself room to haggle a bit with customers. Don’t set all your prices in stone. People want to feel like they are getting a good deal. The art of negotiation is still popular at yard sales.
Bundle Your Items
Bundling is a great way to get rid of a bunch of odds and ends. You can even do grab bags or goodie bags to entice customers. You can put things like a cake rack and cake pans altogether for one price. Selling as a unit makes your job easier, and it makes the customer feel as if they are getting more for their money.
Organize Clothes and Shoes
Clothes can make or break a sale. Some people won’t even stop if they see tables with piles of clothes on them. Rather, take the time to organize your clothing. First, make sure that the sizes are grouped together, clearly marked with a price tag, and be sure to hang them up. It’s easier for a customer to look through the hanging clothes rather than those in a big pile. Make sure to give the same attention to any shoes you’re selling.
The Big Day
The day of the sale will be hectic. Allow yourself at least an hour or so to set up. As an item is sold, take the tag from it and move it out of the way. Having a items holding area is a great idea. This will save you from having an unnecessary altercation from people wanting the same items.
All the effort will be worth it when you have a hand full of cash. Moving can be expensive, so any extra money you make will only help prepare and facilitate the move to a new home.