A Garage Sale-r’s Guide: Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Amy Hannold, 247Moms.com Frugal Living Editor

Preparing for a garage sale at your home is simple when you follow the golden rule; prepare for the sale you would want to attend.

Friends and Family: Pre-arrange details, divide up the work, and be sure to have the contact information of those not attending the sale, for pricing and merchandise questions.

When?! Some sellers believe that choosing a weekend around the first or the fifteenth of the month is more profitable. Inform neighbors of your sale. Advocate respect of their property from your buyers.

Best Signs, More Profit!: Durable homemade signs work as well as purchased kits.(Larger cardboard boxes or poster board reinforced with sticks or sandwich-board type signs with balloons attached?) Don’t list what you’re selling onto your sign -drivers can’t read the inventory of your sale—just get them there!

Can You Be Found?: Use wide-tipped permanent markers. Write in block letters, with arrows large enough to follow from several feet away. Uniformity in your signs leads buyers to your sale. If there is more than a mile or two between a sign and your sale, a brightly colored arrow steers drivers in the right direction. If your home is off the main road by several miles, writing “5 miles” on your sign may avoid buyers getting lost.

Find your good stuff: Ensure you have the manuals or accessories for items being sold. Presenting your items in good repair & cleanliness will increase selling value. If an item needs repair/replacement accessories, note it on the tag.

Let’s Make A Dollar!: Successful sellers price their item at a certain percentage of current retail, leaving room for some negotiation. Price clearly and fairly!

Fuel-Up!: Crock-pot(or potluck) meals for lunch or the post-sale dinner meals prevents the temptation of buying convenience meals.

Catch Those Drive Bys!: Placing nicer/popular, more enticing items at the front will attract drive-by sale-rs. Have a kids’ table lower to the ground for toys & children’s items.

Ambiance: Children can be a distraction and a hazard, both for you and for your buyers. If your children are not ok with their items being sold, the whole process can be excruciating for everyone. Clear any hazards buyers might encounter. Label any items that are not for sale. Keep your out-of –sight home/garage doors locked, as people will wander around your yard

Safe Selling: Take precautions for anything you don’t want to have stolen. In between waves of buyers, take some of your money into your house.

Closing Time: Take down your signs. If the signs are re-usable, note on the back of them where they were posted. Set aside items for your “seed box” to sell at your next sale. Thank your neighbors for their help and patience with your buyers. Have your sale accountant total everyone’s sales, subtracting any amounts agreed upon for division of sale expenditures. Enjoy your profits!

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