Now that spring is underway, you are probably wondering what to do with those unwanted spring cleaning finds. Ideally, it is always best to donate items to charity, but there might come a time when you need a little extra cash. One of the best ways to clear up clutter and get paid for it is with a garage or yard sale. After all, who says your trash can’t be another person’s treasure?
Hosting a garage sale not only benefits the seller, but the buyer too. Everyone enjoys saving a little dough and your discarded items may be the piece they need to complete their home. Perhaps there is a specific houseware you have that is no longer offered in stores? Or maybe they just want something original? The reasons why a potential customer is at your sale doesn’t matter so long as you get a good crowd.
So now that you know you want to have a garage sell, how do you go about starting? Here are a few tips you should consider.
10 Tips to Hosting a Garage Sale
- Take an inventory of items around your home to showcase at your sale. Only choose those in good condition or things barely used as no one wants to pay for something worn.
- Do some research on the products you plan to sell. What is their retail value now and how can you put yourself in a position for customers to purchase from you? Never undersell your items as you will lose money, but remember garage sales offer healthy discounts. Don’t overprice.
- Get all of your ducks in a row. Some towns require selling permits so don’t assume it’s okay open your yard to customers. Know your boundaries and check with your local municipality for the details. Note: Most New York City areas may require a permit as many residents do not have private yard space to conduct a sale. Check out NYC.gov for specifics
- Failure to prepare is preparation for failure. Before you begin advertising, figure out the logistics of your sale. When do you want to have it? Will you cater to families on the weekend on the stay at home crowd during weekday mornings? When will it start/end? How will you layout your items (group by category or put potential best sellers in the front)? Will you have a return policy? Mapping out your goals and expectations may get your the results you want.
- Clean up your yard. If you are going to host random people over your home, don’t you think it’s a little important to make sure your yard is presentable? Tidy up a bit by removing debris, weeds or any other items that could be a potential eye sore.
- Round up some friends as you may need help handling your sale’s crowd.
- Advertise. The most successful yard sales are often due to a strong turn out of people. Draft up some flyers and head to nearby shopping centers to pass them out (or post them). Many stores have bulletin boards for you to post events, etc. If you are going to put flyers or posters around your neighborhood, make sure it is first okay (and within the municipality’s rules). Another advertising option is to advertise online with Craigslist and yardsales.com
- Stock up on yard sale necessities like rolls of change, bills (ones, fives, tens), price stickers, calculators and anything else you can think of. You can even keep a laptop nearby for those who allow customers to pay via credit card (e.g. PayPal).
- Decide on how much haggling you are willing to tolerate. If prices are firm, stick to your guns (you may lose potential buyers). You can also markup your items to allow for a little more wiggle room for those bargain seekers.
- Have fun! Yard sales are a great opportunity to meet new people and enjoy interaction with others. No one likes a pushy salesperson so just ease up and enjoy the day. Donate the remaining items not sold to charity.
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