Garage sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter and earn a little extra cash before you move. But make sure you plan ahead; they can take on a life of their own.
Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home and how much stuff you want to sell, planning a garage sale can take a lot of time and energy. And that’s on top of the effort of putting your home on the market!
Most municipalities will require you to obtain a permit in order to hold a garage sale. They’re often free or cheap, but the fines for neglecting to obtain one can be hefty.
You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and lure more shoppers. However, a permit may be necessary for each home owner, even if it’s a group event.
Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will generate the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early — 8 or 9 a.m. is best — and be ready for early birds.
Place an ad in the newspaper, free classified papers, and websites, including the date(s), time, and address of the garage sale. Add information about what will be available, such as kids’ clothes, furniture, or special equipment. On the day of the sale, use balloons and signs with prominent arrows to grab attention.
Clearly mark rounded prices (50 cents, 3 for $1, or $5, for example) with easily removable stickers.
If it’s truly garbage, throw it away or place it in a freebie bin. Don’t try to sell broken appliances, and have an electrical outlet nearby in case a customer wants to try plugging something in.
Organize by category, and don’t make customers dig through boxes.
Having a stock of old shopping bags that can be reused encourages people to buy more items. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile goods.
Obtain ample change for your cashbox, and have a calculator on hand. Assign one person to man the “register,” keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much.