Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Q: We are moving and have so much to get rid of. Is it worth making a garage sale? And how do you make sure it’s not a failure?

A: This can be a great year for garage sales, and if you take the time to put yours right together, you could be successful. “There are passionate garage salespeople who do this every weekend,” said Ava Seavey, owner of the website. “They have the pent-up energy to do it because they couldn’t do it for a year because of the pandemic.”

Here are some ideas to help you succeed.

Take your inventory into account: Before you commit to a sale, take a look at what you actually have. Garage sales work best if you have a variety of things to appeal to a wide range of buyers – from DIY enthusiasts looking for tools, to young parents looking for baby gear, to antique shops looking for awesome finds. If your possessions are limited, consider asking a neighbor (or a few neighbors) to join you for a group sale. There are other advantages to a multi-family sale as well. It is easier to get the word out and you can organize the sale at the busiest location.

Spread the word: Advertise your sale on social media, especially neighborhood groups. Advertise on sites like Garage sale search and Garage sales tracking. Place an ad in the yard sale section of your local newspaper. On the day of the sale, post signs on nearby side streets. And check with your municipality to find out if permits are required.

The implementation: Put price tags on your items so customers don’t have to ask. Price suitably. According to Ms Seavey, new items can sell for 65% of the retail price, while low-use items could sell for 50%. For vintage items, see what they’re looking for on a site like Etsy or eBay, and price yours a little higher since buyers won’t have to pay shipping costs. Neatly display your belongings on covered tables, shelves and clothes racks, organizing items by category. Items like jewelry, decorations and furniture generally move well, Ms. Seavey said.

security: Go to the bank and take plenty of small bills and change, keeping the money in your possession at all times. Lock the doors to your house because people will linger. Make sure you are working with a partner, so that one person can handle the sales and another can keep an eye on the crowd.

Schedule: Get set before breakfast time to catch the early risers. Consider hosting an event over several days, starting on Friday. “This is when all the dealers, dealers and collectors come in,” Ms. Seavey said. By the end of the day on Saturday, the inventory should hopefully be depleted.

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About Mary Moser

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