April 05, 2013

yard sales

Now that you're in spring cleaning mode, you have started clearing out those closets of old, unwanted, or unused items. Now what to do with them? You can make a quick and easy trip to Goodwill and just drop them off, if you choose to, you can get an itemized list to use as a tax deduction next year. But if you don't want to wait and need some cash now, having a garage sale is a good idea! Here are just a few tips I've put together for having a successful garage sale. Happy purging everyone!


  • Advertise your garage sale for free on Craigslist! You can also put a notice in your local newspaper for more exposure.
  • Make sure you are aware of any restrictions where you live. There may be laws that require you to have a permit, or an ordnance that prohibits signs on public right of ways. I have had garage sale signs taken down before, so it's good to know the rules in your area.
  • Keep your yard sale signs simple! Don't include all the information you can about the sale, people are driving by and don't have time to read an essay. Using the words YARD SALE and an arrow pointing them in the right direction work the best. Keep all of your signs the same so they know they are following the right signs to YOUR garage sale.
  •  It may take some time, but put prices on everything. This will save people from having to ask you a million times "How much do you want for this?" Also be objective about your pricing.No one really cares what you paid for something 10 years ago, what is it worth now? Would you pay $x.xx amount for it if you didn't know any background information for it? In the end my philosophy is "It wasn't making me any money sitting unused in my house, might as well get something for it!"
  • Before you put items in your garage sale, such as coats, books etc... go through them and make sure you don't have old receipts or money in pockets or as bookmarks.
  • Clean the items you're going to sell. Make things look as attractive as possible. No one likes to look at or touch dirty stuff. Take pride in your garage sale.
  •  Display your more interesting items closer to the road so people driving by will be more likely to stop. This works well with power tools and 'manly' items, the man is less likely to stop than the woman so give him a table of guy stuff to look at while she shops the rest.
  • If you're have your sale on a hot day, having cold soda or bottles of water available for sale for say .50 cents will be a nice touch. People will appreciate it and may stay longer to look around. Staying longer = possibly buying more.
  • Be sure to have enough money on hand to start out with those customers that haven't broken their 20 dollar bills, especially in the morning. $80 to $100 in smaller bills and change is a good idea for a larger garage sale. 
  • Have some background music going, this makes it more relaxing, and if a customer wants to talk about an item with a friend, they don't have to whisper. They are talking about your stuff after all...
  • A recent technological advancement is the Credit Card Reader for your smart phone. You can buy them at Target and Walmart for about $10.00, or you can get one for free through PayPal if you have an account. You get charged a fee everytime you use them so as a suggestion, only accept credit card payments for items over a certain price. Post a sign for example specifying that you can accept credit cards for purchases over $5.00. This will save you from paying an .80 cent service fee for a .50 cent item.
  • If you're taking care of the garage sale by yourself, keep your money on you, don't leave it in a box on a table. Who knows what may happen when you're off helping a customer during a busy few moments. As you collect money throughout the day, pull out the high dollar bills and keep inside your house. Do not accept checks unless you're willing to run the risk of accepting a bad check. 
  • Cover or hide items that are not for sale. You would be surprised what things people try to buy! If you can't put it out of sight, put a 'not for sale' sign on it to solve the problem. 
  • Be courteous, and friendly, and most importantly, HAVE FUN! Be garage sale smart and you'll have a great sale day!

 Do you have any tips? Leave a comment below!

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    5. That's a good list of tips there. I think you've got the essential items covered. As for the signs, I have to add as well that they should be clear and concise enough. You can add the date and time, but most importantly you have to coordinate your signs to point to the direction of your yard sale more accurately. And be creative with your signs! The signs don't just announce about your event, but they can also indicate how much effort you put into your yard sale.

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