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Garage Sale Tips

Published on: 9/17/2013 2:43 PM
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Tips for hosting a great garage sale

Setting up your sale:

Start planning two to three weeks ahead of time. Use the opportunity to clean out your garage, closets, and attic. Don't wait until the last minute!

Clean sale items. Soap, water and a little elbow grease can really improve the appearance and value of your items.

Make it easy for shoppers to find your great deals: create attractive displays, hang clothing on racks organized by size, group merchandise by price ("everything in this basket $1"), or by function (garden supplies, kitchen supplies, etc.).

Select an interesting or unusual item to call attention to your garage sale and set it up in front of your home: an unusual or especially interesting sale item, "free lemonade with purchase," or whatever you can to distinguish your sale from others.

Rope off an area, or put up a "Not for Sale" sign on those things you want to keep.

Set up a "freebies" box for items you wish to give away.

Consider offering "buy one, get one free" deals.


Supplies You'll Need:

Stickers to price items.

Tape measure. Customers may need to know the exact dimensions of an item (especially furniture).

Extension cord. Customers may want to test electrical appliances.

Calculator to total up purchases.

Grocery bags and newspapers to bag and wrap fragile items you sell.


What to Sell:

Antiques and memorabilia

Furniture: chests of drawers, bookcases and tables are very successful sale items.

Appliances, tools, and garden equipment labeled "working" or "needs repair".

Clothing (should be clean, easy to see and preferably on hangers). Label sizes.

Baby clothes, toys, and games.

Plants, sports equipment, pet accessories.


Pricing Your Merchandise:

As a general rule, start pricing at 20-25% of retail for items that are in good shape.

Group items by price and type (e.g., a clothing rack organized by color with items selling for $1, $5, $10, etc.)

If you are participating in a group sale, inventory and mark items using color-coded stickers so that the profits go to the right person.

Prepare to discount and negotiate prices.

Advertise "cash only" if that is your preference.

Have plenty of change on hand for sale day. Most people come with $5, $10, and $20 bills.


Using Garage Sale Signs:

Garage sale permits are not required.

Garage sale signs may be used on the advertised event site or on other private property that has owner approval. DO NOT post signs on public property.

City municipal codes do not allow posting of garage sale signs on any public property such as telephone poles, traffic lights and City signs.

Remember to remove all posted signs after your sale.


After Your Sale:

Donate (drop-off or request pick-up when possible) unwanted leftover sale merchandise to one of the reuse organizations (see enclosed list).

Remove all posted signs.


Other Ideas:

Consider holding a group sale with friends or family. Share the work and have fun!

Give kids a chance to have their own table and responsibility for pricing and selling their merchandise.

Keep hungry people from leaving! Sell your own baked goods, coffee and soda.

Get out that radio! Listening to music makes shopping and selling more relaxing.