Saturday, July 25, 2015

garage sale advice

5 Tips for a Better Garage Sale

* Written by: Joel Arnold; his articles and writing have appeared in dozens of magazines and websites. Check out his blog at

Are you gearing up for a garage sale? A little simple preparation goes a long way to holding a successful sale.
Here are 5 tips to make yours better, easier and more lucrative!

1. Advertise
Place an ad in your local paper a week before your sale. These are often quite cheap, and many newspapers not only carry a special section for garage sales, but also post them online.

Speaking of online, place free ads on websites like Craigslist, GarageSaleFinder and YardSaleTreasureMap. Take advantage of Twitter and Facebook as well.
2. Good Signage

Invest in at least half-a-dozen signs to point potential customers directly to you. Your local hardware or big box store most likely carries these - many with big bold words proclaiming GARAGE SALE above an arrow and a place to write your address in marker. Some also come complete with a metal holder and stake that you can insert into the ground.

Place these at major intersections near your house, making it clear exactly where you're located. You may even want to hang colorful balloons at the end of your driveway, so that your customers know they've found the right place.

3. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Seller!)
When selling items like clothing or books, there's no need to mark every item. Make it simple for you and your buyers with a few signs placed strategically around the garage. 

For example, put a sign above and next to the clothing marked with items for sale and prices:
Kids pants - $1.00
Kids t-shirts - $.50
Adult pants - $2.00

Same with books. Make one sign with a price for paperbacks and a slightly higher price for hardcovers.

Repeat with other items for which there are multiples of. Make sure to give copies of these price sheets to the person handling the cash as an easy reference guide.

4. Placement
Place large, eye-catching items like furniture out front on the drive way. Many people will drive by looking for that sort of thing, and if they don't see anything from their car that catched their eye, they won't even bother to stop and look inside at the rest of your sale.

5. Timing
Most people hold garage sales on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. These are the days that buyers expect. Thursdays are typically the busiest days, when the serious buyers come looking for a good deal. Open your sale early, no later then 8 or 9am. Opening at 7:00am allows you to catch people on their way to work.
Another thing to consider is competition. If your neighborhood is holding a massive community garage sale, realize that you will probably not make nearly as much money compared to holding your sale a week ahead. Otherwise, you'll be competing with all of the other sales. There's no rule, however, that says you can't have two sales; a solo one, and during the neighborhood-wide sale.
Follow these simple steps, open up that garage door, and wait for all of that traffic to beat a path to your garage!

Award-winning authors Dave and Lillian Brummet: 

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