If you’re preparing to move to a new home or just want to get rid of some non-essential items, a garage sale is an easy way to lighten your load and earn a few bucks at the same time. Garage sales don’t take much effort, but keep the following tips in mind as you plan your event:
- Advertise. Today, advertising your garage sale means more than tacking a hand-drawn sign to the nearest telephone poll. Create a free craigslist ad and include a couple photos of some of the more desirable items you’ll be selling.
- Have a helper. People are inevitably going to ask questions about items you’re selling and might ask you to demonstrate how something works. Customer service matters, even in your own garage, so make sure you have a buddy who can help you respond to shoppers’ questions or keep an eye on the cash box.
- Be prepared to make change. Don’t be surprised when people hand you a $20 bill to pay for a $1 item. If you can’t make change, you may miss out on a sale.
- Hide the good stuff. Put away any valuable power tools or other items that aren’t for sale.
- Put clothing on hangers. Clothing usually isn’t the best-selling item at a garage sale, but shoppers are more likely to browse through your belongings if you make browsing convenient. Don’t pile clothes on a table – hang items from a clothing rack.
- Be ready to compromise. Garage sale shoppers know you want to get rid of what you’re selling, so they may try to haggle for a lower price. If it’s a reasonable offer – maybe a few dollars less than what you wanted – take it. The alternative might be not selling the item at all and having to cart it off to a donation center the next day.
- Sell bottled water. Keep a cooler full of cold bottled water on site and sell it for 50 cents or a dollar per bottle. It’s an easy way to make some extra money, and anything you don’t sell, someone in your household will drink anyway.
- Collaborate. A multi-household garage sale will always attract more shoppers than a single garage sale, so ask neighbors if they’d like to participate. When several homes hold a garage sale together, there are more people to keep an eye on merchandise, talk to customers and help move items, if necessary.