Garage Sale Tips

Garage SalesThis tutorial with garage sale tips is designed to assist you in planning and implementing a successful garage sale. There are many benefits to conducting a sale, but you will need to ask yourself the following questions to be certain that this undertaking is for you.

  • Do you have the time it takes to organize a garage sale?
  • Are your items worth selling and is there a market for what you have to offer?
  • Is your homes location conducive to a successful garage sale?
  • Will you have some help on the actual day of the sale?

Once you decided to conduct a garage sale, you'll realize it can be rewarding both financially and personally - especially with our garage sale tips. Not only will you make money from the sale, but you will also lessen the cost of shipping your household items to your new location. Eliminating unnecessary items will really help set the tone for the entire moving process by lessening the size of your shipment. Use our garage sale tips to best plan and execute your sale.

Tips for Garage Sales: First steps

  • Check to see if your homeowners association has rules about conducting a sale. Some communities do not allow you to have a sale of any type.
  • Call your local village hall or municipal center and inquire if there are permitting requirements.
  • Find out if your homeowners insurance covers liability for injuries a consumer might sustain while on your property.
  • Consider a block sale. Ask your neighbors if they are interested in having a sale of their own. This will help keep you motivated, it is fun to share ideas and the potential for a larger turn out is far greater.
  • Check to see if your community has a website where you can post your ideas.
  • Before hanging signs, be certain your city or town allows you to do so.
  • Try to round up some help for the day of the sale. It is difficult to conduct a sale on your own.
  • Start saving shopping bags, plastic grocery bags and boxes.

Tips for Garage Sales: Get organized

Let's start getting organized by deciding what you will sell.

If you have not used it in the last five years, you probably can live without it. Go ahead and sell it!

  • Make a list of all the items that you want to sell. Don't be afraid to add those items that are no longer of use to you to the list.
  • Consider that it may be more expensive to ship certain, larger items than it is to just sell it for a minimal amount, particularly if you will not need this type of item at your new home.

Items like snow blowers are not necessary in some parts of the country. If you plan to ship it, understand that you must follow guidelines, such as purging fuel from the machine when preparing the blower for shipping. The gas can you have used to refill the snow blower can't be transported, so you will need to purchase a new one. Is it really worth all the trouble or can you sell it, make a few dollars and buy yourself a new lounge chair to use while basking in the sun in your new home - where it does not snow!

Tips for Garage Sales: What to sell

Listed below is a list of items that seem to sell quite well in a moving sale. Remember, what is junk to one is a treasure to another. Use common sense. If the item is in decent shape and possibly useful, although somewhat unusual, give it a try. You may want to put a fairly low price tag on it to assist in selling it.

  • Appliances: large and small
  • Audio, visual and photography equipment
  • Baby furniture, equipment & toys: be certain baby items are in proper working order. If there is any question about the integrity of the item, it is better to discard than to take the chance of causing injury to a child.
  • Books
  • Bottles and jars
  • Canoeing and fishing equipment
  • All kitchen items
  • Records, CDs and videos
  • Furniture
  • Games, bikes and toys
  • Garden tools
  • Lamps, mirrors and pictures
  • Lawn and patio furniture
  • Musical instruments
  • Plants: Most professional moving companies will not take your plants as part of the shipment. Some states do not even allow you to bring them in. Unfortunately, because of the extreme temperatures inside the trailer, the plant often suffers irreparable damage and dies within weeks of arriving at your new home.

Take those plants out of your good pots. Put them into inexpensive, plastic pots and sell them in the sale or give them away if they do not sell. Take the proceeds from the sale of the plants and buy new plants with the money you made. Perhaps invest in some plants that are indigenous to the new area you are moving to. Experiment with something different now that you have the chance to start all over again. Be adventurous!

  • Rugs and carpets
  • Sports and exercise equipment

Tips for Garage Sales: Set the price!

One good rule of thumb for pricing items for a garage sale - be sure to price items according to their worth to others, not their worth to you. A good way to do this is by asking a friend or family member (outside of your immediate family) to assist you in setting the price. It helps in establishing realistic pricing to ask for the assistance of someone who is not emotionally attached to the item.

  • Charge about 20 percent of the original cost. If the item is in good working order and/or excellent condition, the price is fair.
  • Used clothing and books usually bring in a lower price.
  • Leave some room for bargaining when pricing your items.
  • Be sure to inform the buyer of the items you are selling that do not work. Let them know it is an as is price.
  • Be certain to secure a tag to each item and record the costs on a sheet. This will assist you in keeping track of what you have sold and if for some reason the price tag should fall off.
  • When you look at the items that you want to sell, be honest. There are some good items and there are some not so good items. That's okay. A way to ensure that those undesirable items will sell is to bundle them!
  • Sell items as a lot or bundled. Put one or two great items in with one or two not-as-great items and sell them as a lot.

Bring in the buyers

Treat this garage sale like a retail business. Merchandise your items in an appealing way. Think about the times you have gone into a store and were attracted to article of clothing because of the way it looked on the mannequin or accessories on a piece of furniture. The presentation does matter, so put some thought into it.

  • Wash, iron and neatly fold or hang all clothing.
  • Put like items together on the table or shelf.
  • Use signs to draw the potential customer to certain sections of the sale.
  • Organize the items as you see in a store.
  • If you are having a joint sale, be sure to mark your items with your own color tag but again, keep all like items together.
  • Polish silver or brass.
  • Clean all glasses and mirrors.
  • Basically, make items look appealing and they will sell.

Advertise cleverly and aggressively

  • Use signs, balloons, flags and banners and get them high enough off the ground for the average motoring public to see.
  • Use the internet, it is the fastest and cheapest way to reach a big population.
  • Run ads in the neighborhood paper.
  • Put signs on billboards in neighborhood stores.
  • Distribute announcements.
  • Use a map on your street signs to assist potential customers in finding your home.

Tips for Garage Sales: Be safe

Garage sales attract honest buyers and the odd, dishonest person. Keep that in mind on the day of the sale. Here are some garage sale tips on safety.

  • Have two people present, if possible, in the sale area.
  • If you are able to do so, position all your items outside of the garage and close the door. It is best that you do not allow people access to the inside of your home.
  • Keep the money that you will use to make change, on you at all times. A fanny pack or money belt works great for this.
  • Keep the doors to your residence locked.

Wow, you did it!

Congratulations! You completed a successful garage sale with the help of Allied's garage sale tips. If there are items left over, consider donating them to the Salvation Army or local charities. With our garage sale tips, your sale is sure to be a success!

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