Did you know that excessive clutter at home reduces our focus and increases stress? So, if you have baby clothes or toys that have outlived their usefulness, perhaps, it’s high time you dispose of, give away or donate some. Decluttering will surely help organise your home plus free up space in your wardrobe, storage area or attic. Better yet, why not turn your unwanted items into cash? I’ve got a few helpful garage sale tips and tricks to make your small event into a smashing success!
1. Choose the Best Date and Location
The best time to hold a garage sale in your area is during a sunny day where there’s a low chance for rain. The perfect season would be fall or early springtime. But it’s best to check the weather forecast before setting your event date. Sellers will often host either a one-day or three-day sale, too, depending on the amount of stuff they have on offer. In that case, opt for Fridays or weekends to attract more prospective buyers.
Finding a busy location should also be part of your list of garage sale tips. And while we call it a garage sale, your pop-up store can be on your front yard or porch, too. When choosing the perfect spot, keep visibility and accessibility in mind. Putting up bright signages and lots of colourful balloons is another good trick to get people’s attention in a not-so-busy street.
2. Prep for the Unexpected
The next thing on your to-do list would be to declutter your home and find stuff worth selling. Make sure all items are clean and in good condition. Aside from that, you have to prepare for possible garage sale surprises. What if it rains? What if my customer pays with large bills? Here are some garage sale tips for your backup plan:
- Choose a covered location whenever possible. Inclement weather is something you cannot control. So, it is always ideal to set up your event inside the garage. It’s more comfortable for your customers to shop around while shielded from the sun, too. Also, if you are putting up signages that lead to your yard sale, make sure to secure them as they might get blown away and hurt someone.
- Have lots of change on hand. Fill your cash box with coins as there’s always that customer who loves to haggle and pay with a large note. Always be ready to give buyers the exact change to avoid inconvenience.
- Offer different payment options. People walking on the street to your store may not have enough cash to pay you. So, ensure that you have other payment methods available to avoid losing a buyer. Have popular payment or banking apps on your mobile phone to allow direct bank transfers to your account.
- Set up near a power outlet or prep an extension cord. This tip is for testing out electronic items if you’re selling any.
- Prep the necessary purchase packaging or delivery. Offer old grocery bags to buyers for carrying their purchases. Old boxes and newspapers may also come in handy if you are selling fragile items. For large goods like furniture, be sure you’re ready to deliver them to their homes.
3. Entice and Advertise
Thanks to various online platforms, spreading the word about your upcoming garage sale is only a mouse click away! Make sure to include the time, date and street in your caption. You can also list down a few of your items for sale to entice more potential buyers. Ask friends to help you share your post as well. Of course, you can also consider advertising through your local newspaper to cater to pro garage sale shoppers who regularly scan classified ads.
But don’t settle on these ads alone and forget about passers-by. You need to prep and place signages on strategic locations to attract them, too. These garage sale tips for signage making might help:
- Make eye-catching garage sale signs in easy-to-read letters.
- Put large arrows if needed to help direct potential customers.
- Place a sign on the main road if your sale is on a back street area.
- Set up as many signages in allowed areas within your neighbourhood.
- Don’t forget to take down your signages after the garage sale.
4. Keep Items and Their Prices Visible
Arranging your items for sale at eye level is one of the best garage sale tips for success. So, bring out as many wide tables as you can find, and organise your stuff in a neat row. Ideally, put large items at the back and keep smaller ones at the front. You can also use stacked up crates to maximise small garage spaces. If you’re selling old books, lay them flat on the table and let their covers do the marketing for you! For clothes, hang them on a clothing rack according to type and size so buyers can inspect them with ease.
One thing you should not forget is to put a price on everything. Price stickers or masking tape and marker should help you do just that. You can also add tags that say “all books at $3 each” or “3 for $1” instead of pricing individual items. Remember, you might be losing sales from people who are not fond of hunting down the host and asking for the price. Make it your rule of thumb to make it easy for customers to buy your items.
5. Price Items Strategically
Sellers often price their garage sale items for a third of their cost in the store. You can use this rule or price them as you see fit. Just make sure they do not cost more than in the store. I would also suggest doing an online search and browse how sellers priced similar goods. You can even put the original price of some of your items to let buyers know that they’re getting a good deal.
During your garage sale, you’re likely to get a visit from buyers who like to polish their haggling skills. Entertain them but do not give in easily. Decide early on what you’re willing to take if people haggle. Also, don’t be shy to say no if the offer is too low.
You do not want to lower your prices in the morning or on your first day of sale. Let buyers know you’re willing to negotiate if the item doesn’t sell, and invite them to come back if they decide to walk away.
6. Give Freebies
Finally, to make your event more festive, you can prepare small tokens or gifts for your customers. You can give them to those who purchased a lot or bought your big-ticket items. You may also go the extra mile and offer free mid-morning or afternoon refreshments if you like. These garage sale tips will make people stay longer in your store and encourage word of mouth.
All in all, a profitable garage sale entails a combination of crucial factors: quality items, good pricing strategies, effective marketing and top-notch customer service. More importantly, don’t just toss items on your lawn without a good plan. Make sure you’re organised and hands-on from start to finish. That way, you get to make the most of your decluttering effort and enjoy the extra cash!