Garage sales can be an important step in the moving process. Over the years, you’ve accumulated a lot of things you either no longer need, or never wanted in the first place – as much as you love your Aunt Pat, why she thought the collection of commemorative Days of Our Lives plates was your style you’ll never know.
There are a lot of ways you can get rid of these things, but one of the most fun is to have a garage sale. It gives you a chance to remember moments from your life before sticking a price tag onto some junk that’s been sitting in your garage since the days before Lana Del Rey was a thing. But how do you set it all up? How can you get the most out of your sale?
Here are some helpful tips to get you started!
Timing is Key
You can have a garage sale anytime you want, but you’re going to have a better chance of selling your stuff if you have your sale at the right time of year. You don’t see many winter garage sales for a reason – people are less likely to make random stops to a stranger’s home and buy a dusty exercise bike when it’s cold and snowy.
Plan your garage sale for the late spring and summer. There’s less chance of being rained out, and people are more open to outdoor shopping in warmer, sunnier weather.
You can try a Tuesday through Thursday garage sale, but weekends work best. Work and school days don’t leave people much time to haggle over $1 salt and pepper shakers.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to properly plan your garage sale. Waking up on Thursday and deciding to have one that weekend won’t give you enough prep time. Plan out a few weeks in advance if you can.
Supplies are Key
Before you get too far into the process, make sure you have the tools needed for a good garage sale. You’ll need tables to lay out the items you’re selling, as well as one for the cash-out area. Make sure there are chairs for you and your fellow garage salespeople to sit in during slow periods or at the register area.
Buy sales tags to put on all items that are up for sale. Make sure the tags are bright so that they stand out. If the tags are sticky, make sure that you don’t place them directly on an item where the residue may stick around (no pun intended). Write the prices on the tags clearly.
If you’re selling any clothes, try to get a garment rack to make it easier for possible buyers to go through the items. This can also keep you from having to constantly refold and tidy up the clothes after that family from down the street tears through them.
If you have younger children, it can be a good idea to set them up with their own area to sell things – a lemonade stand or something similar can make your children feel included in the process (and bring in a few extra bucks to boot!).
Item Placement is Key
Take the time to go through everything you are considering selling and make sure you actually want to get rid of it. Discuss it with your family members – you don’t want to have a Toy Story 3 moment where you put out a box of Andy’s old toys without telling him. It is important that everyone in the house is comfortable with what is being sold otherwise, you could end up with some nasty arguments.
For younger family members, give them time to come to terms with the selling of some of their older things. Sure, Penny hasn’t played with her Wonder Woman figure in over a year, but she’s probably going to get upset with the idea of letting it go.
Layout is Key
While most people hit up garage sales with no real plan on what they are looking to buy, you want to set up your items in ways that make sense. Mixing up things from different areas of your home will make it harder for buyers to focus on what they’re looking at. A set of slightly used steak knives sitting next to a duvet doesn’t let either item shine.
Set up areas of your garage sale that will focus on specific rooms. A kitchen area, a living room area, ect… This will help people who come by better know what to expect in each space.
Advertising is Key
Try to start getting the word out early. Put up signs around the neighborhood that clearly state the days, times, and place of the garage sale. Make larger signs that you will put up at the site of your sale to try and catch the eye of passers-by on the day.
Placing ads online can help as well. Look for garage sale message boards and free online classifieds. Social media can also bring attention to your sale. If your neighborhood or town has a Facebook page, post about your garage sale on it. Use your own social media pages to help spread the word as well.
Salesmanship is Key
The day has come and your garage sale is going live! This is no time to be timid! You have to bring out your inner P.T. Barnum and get ready to hawk your wares! Big smiles all around!
No one comes to a garage sale and expects to pay the ticket price for your things. Be ready to haggle over your prices. You may even want to mark some items at a higher amount than you expect to get for them, but don’t go too far with it. No one is going to pay $50 for those Days of Our Lives plates, even if they’re still in the original unopened packaging.
Backup Plans are Key
There’s a chance you’ll sell everything at your garage sale, but it’s about the same chance that the Queen of England will pop by looking for some Days of Our Lives plates, so don’t count on it.
Have a plan in place for the items that don’t sell. You can, for example, bring what’s left to a local charity store. If you’re adventurous, you can try and sneak some of the leftovers into your neighbor’s house, but we don’t recommend it.
The important thing is that at the end of your garage sale you have significantly fewer toasters than you did at the start. If you end the weekend with more toasters than you started with, you clearly did something wrong.
Premier Relocations is licensed and insured, maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has earned ProMover and Michigan ProMover certification through the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA). The company annually earns the ‘Super Service Award’ through Angie’s List, for customer satisfaction surveys ranked in the top five percent.