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garage sale items

Garage sales are a great way to clear out the clutter, meet the neighbors, and make a little coin. Here are 6 ways to make a garage sale or yard sale a success.

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Organizing a garage sale can turn any weekend into a lucrative one, with the added perks of clearing out your old stuff and connecting with the community. If you want to maximize your chance of success, keep in mind the following tips when planning your next sale.

1. Embrace multimedia advertising

Today’s technology allows for so many more marketing options than the traditional marker-on-cardboard signs pointing the way to your house. You won’t want to skip those, by the way, since creative garage sale signs do attract attention and give would-be customers already in the area the vital information they need. But you’ll also want to advertise digitally to reach out beyond your immediate community.

Take clear photos of your wares and post them with ads on Craigslist, eBay classifieds, and social media. These online platforms can make for a virtual garage sale. But otherwise, Facebook events can help you to rally your friends and family to the cause when it’s time to do things the old-fashioned way; getting your saleable items on display for your neighbors in real time.

2. Choose your timing wisely

Depending on where you live, garage sales can be popular year-round, but they generate the most cash from April to June and in September. Try to plan it just after the 1st or 15th of the month, when people have just been paid.

You’ll also want to open up shop early, at least by 7:15am, to welcome the early birds. As for the day of the week, Friday is a good day during the week to draw in dealers and retirees. But nothing beats a good ol’ Saturday sale when people have  mind for shopping anyway.

garage sale in Ottawa

3. Consider your display

It’s tempting to throw out a few blankets and set merchandise on the ground, but make sure items are within easy reach on tables. Tablecloths and sheets provide a cleaner look, plus they offer a more pleasant shopping experience out in the yard as opposed to inside the garage.

And besides, good presentation lends a perceived extra value to the items you’re selling. Arrange items in a logical way, and think about symmetrical layout of items on your tables. Human senses are attracted to symmetry, making whatever is being viewed as more attractive as something to buy. It works for the big boys. It will work for you.

4. Offer freebies and other deals

Displaying a “free pile” right out front is a great way to draw in shoppers who may otherwise not stop. Simply group freebies by the curb with an eye-catching sign. Start to offer deals late in the day, such as a 2-for-1 clearance.

Another option is to hand out grocery bags or cardboard boxes for “if it fits” specials (for example: $5 a bag, $10 a box). You can advertise this deal before the event and encourage shoppers to bring their own bags between certain hours to take advantage of clearance items.

5. Join forces

Organizing a neighborhood sale is not only loads of fun, but it’s also the winning way to generate buzz in the community and draw in the best crowd. If you live in a rural area, invite friends and family to set up with you and advertise it as a “multi-family sale.”

The main advantage of a garage sale over purely turning to online listings on Craigslist and eBay is the sense of community connection, so embrace it! Garage sales are a great way to clear out the things you no longer want, and to meet your neighbors at the same time.

6. Price accordingly

You’re going to donate this stuff if it doesn’t sell anyway, so don’t be stingy with your prices. Price items low for a quick sale if you’re merely looking to clear out junk. Price collectibles and valuables accordingly, but don’t be opposed to hagglers who are hoping to knock a few bucks off the price tag. That’s part of the fun!

When it comes to pricing, think about this: the money you get is secondary to the reason you’re having a garage sale in the first place; to clear out your space for the things you really want, whatever it happens to be.

Clear out the old …

Garage sales are a fun way to clear out the old and make way for the new as weather gets nicer outside. Careful planning will go a long way in generating your most lucrative garage sale yet, so what are you waiting for? Get selling!

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.