So you've decided to have a garage sale? Good for you! It's a great way to get rid of things cluttering your house and make some extra spending money. But despite their benefits, garage sales can be a lot of work, and being unprepared can mean less money for counting at the end of the day.
Saleega will be making a series of blog posts in the coming weeks explaining a lot of these topics in more depth. But to kick it off, we've made a quick list of things to think about before the big day.
Figure out what you want to sell
Now is your chance to go through your cupboards, garage and pull the stuff from under your bed and potentially get paid for things that you think you'll use, but deep down you know you're not going to use that fancy juicer again. A good rule of thumb is, if you are 50\50 about whether you should keep it, put a price sticker on it and put it in the sell pile. During the clean-out, you might find some things and think 'I should just take that to the tip'. Instead, put $5 on it and see if someone will save you the hassle.
Now is also a good time to ask any friends and neighbours if they have anything they may want to sell. The more things you advertise at your sale, the more customers you will get. You might even end up with an extra pair of hands to help you throughout the day.
List all the things
When advertising your sale, you should put in as much detail as you can. The more items you list, the more likely you are to get people interesting in coming. You will be surprised at how many people are keeping an eye on garage sales for things like old Lego sets or trading cards, so make sure you add them!
You also need to decide if you want to allow “Early Birds”. What's an early bird you ask? They are people who show up early to try and snatch the best bargains before everyone else turns up. If you don't want this, it's a good idea to place that in your ad.
It's a time honoured tradition to put “Garage sale ←” signs and balloons around, but make sure you are in compliance with your local council laws. In some areas you aren't allowed to place signs anywhere not on your property, in others it's OK, but only 48 hours prior. It's no fun to make a bunch of money from your garage sale and then give it to the council in fines, so spend a couple of minutes googling it first. And make sure when you're done, you take the signs down.
Get everything together you will need before the day. You are going to need:
- Change – Lots of change. Big notes, little notes and lots of coins. You may need a trip to the bank. Also take the social hit and get a bum-bag.
- Paper, cardboard, tape and textas – You will at the least need to make price signs, and something to stick them down. Pro tip: Masking tape make great individual price stickers
- Tables – The more you can lay out, the more chance people will see and buy it. They don't have to be fancy, two milk crates and a door will work.
- Time – Leave plenty of time in the morning to get everything done. Tables, organising, cleaning etc.
- Snacks – You're going to be stuck keeping an eye on everything for hours. Make sure you have snacks and drinks handy
The hard work is done, it's time to reap your rewards. There's not much to it, just exchange your goods for those sweet dollar bucks. But there's a few things that people new to garage sales might not realise...
You are going to need to haggle... a lot
Haggling will get it's own post in the future, but for now, if you have a sticker for a lamp for $10, be prepared to be offered $4 for it. Even if that price sounds fine to you, the fact that's the number they've offered almost always means that's their bottom price. Add a couple of dollars back on and everyone will be happy. $1 - $2 per item will add up over the day.
Keep an eye on your things
Try and set your chair up so you can keep an eye on everything. Most people are honest and simply looking for an antique credenza, but some people are just trying to fill their pockets with whatever they can. You don't need to make people feel unwelcome, just a general eye on your things is good enough.
That should get you started. We'll cover all of these in the future, but for now that should be enough to get you going. Happy selling!