It’s that time of year again! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and you’ve tackled spring cleaning! Once you’ve cleaned out your houses, attics and garages we bet you have enough things on your “get rid of” list to have a garage sale.
Holding a garage sale can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. So we’ve put together a list of tips that can help you prepare for your best sale ever!
Make a Plan
When setting your date, be sure to consider the time of year; it might not be the best idea to set a date during the dead of winter or hottest part of the summer. Choose a time that is likely to have pleasant weather. That way people will be out and about and not rushing inside from the cold or heat.
In addition to weather concerns your plan should include getting any and all permits required for your sale. Many cities and homeowners associations require a permit before you can host a garage sale; make sure you know your neighborhood’s rules so you don’t get shut down on the day-of!
Location, Location, Location!
Now that you’ve chosen a date, it’s time to decide where your sale will be held. You might have a home that would make for the perfect location; on a block that has a lot of foot traffic or maybe within eye shot of an intersection. But for those of us that are a bit more off the beaten path, it’s a good idea to check with friends and family to see if someone else has a better location. They can even add to the sale and help run it on the day of the sale!
Get The Word Out
Now that you’ve set a date and chosen a location, it’s time to create buzz and get the neighborhood excited! Of course, you’ll want to use traditional advertising methods like news paper ads, signs around the neighborhood, flyers on community bulletin boards, and good-ol’ word of mouth but don’t be afraid to think outside the box! There are several resources available online that can help you get the word out. Using social media is a great way to alert your friends and followers about your sale. There are even community pages that will let you share your event. In addition, many online news sites will let you post an ad for free. Lastly, there are actually sites dedicated specifically to helping people find and advertise for garage and yard sales. Sites like garagesalefinder.com will let you list your sale for free!
Some of the following items may seem like a no-brainer, but believe you-me, sometimes it’s easy to be so focused on the items and the sale itself that we forget the most basic things. First on our list is tables. Make sure you have enough tables! You’ll need them for displaying merchandise and also to act as your check-out station. If you’re selling clothes, make sure you have portable clothes hangers so shoppers can see the full length of dresses and pants.
For your check out station, make sure you have chairs for the person manning this station and also make sure you have either a cash box or aprons with pockets for anyone handling money. If you opt for a shoe box or something similar, use an empty egg carton to keep coins sorted. Lastly, make sure you have change! It’s inevitable that someone will want to pay with a $20 bill for something that costs 25 cents, so be prepared!
Consider Your Layout
You’ll want to make sure your layout makes sense. Of course you’ll want to group items together (clothes together, shoes together, toys together) but don’t be afraid to break it out even further; putting winter clothes on one end of the rack and summer clothes on the other will make it easier for your shoppers than if you just hung everything at random. Maybe you have toys for several age ranges; you can break those up so that someone looking specifically for toys for preschool-aged kids can find them easily.
Get Your Kids Involved
So what do you do with your kids while the sale is going on? Get them involved! If they are old enough to handle money, having them man the check-out station is a great way to get them involved! If they’re a bit too young for making change, you could set them up with their very own table where they sell toys or books for a low “exact change only” price like a quarter or dollar. They’ll have a blast collecting the money and won’t have to worry about doing the math. Lastly, if you have a young entrepreneur around, maybe they’ll want to set up a lemonade and baked goods stand that customers can visit on their way out of the sale.
If you follow these tips, once the big day comes we’re sure it’ll be a great success! Let us know how your sale goes and share your own tips and tricks for successful garage sales with us in the comments!
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