We’ve written about cleaning your garage, protecting your garage and even turning your garage into a haven for the men in the house but what about that age-old tradition of using your garage for commerce? Of course we’re talking about a good old-fashioned garage sale!
The 21st century garage sale is a bit different than your mother’s garage sale (there’s even an app for that!) but the idea is still the same: get rid of some stuff, make a little money, and have some fun.
We’ve put together a few tips that will help you have a successful garage sale and you might even be able to put your car back inside when it’s over!
- First, check with your city for any permits that may or may not be required. Then, well before the sale decide what you are going to sell. Start collecting items in one place in your basement or garage. You’ll be amazed how stuff adds up. Also create a stash of plastic grocery bags, wire hangers and newspaper to wrap breakables.
- Advertise! Online resources such as Craigslist and PennySaverUSA are free. Don’t forget your local newspaper as well. The tried and true method of posting signs around the neighborhood and on local bulletin boards still gets results. Make them big and make them colorful. Some cities are cracking down on posted signs so this is another good reason to check on your local rules
- Don’t go it alone. Always have at least one or two adult helpers. When things get busy you’ll be grateful for the extra hands.
- Play music at a low volume to make the event seem festive. This is a great time for a sunny, happy playlist from your iPod.
- No matter how much you advertise and how many people stop by if your items aren’t presented well you’re just wasting your time. Don’t expect buyers to pick through ratty boxes of stuff. Separate everything into categories, appliances, books, tools, DVDs, etc.
- Hang clothes to make it easier for buyers to look through. Children’s clothes sell much better than adults.
- Keep most of your best items in the back so customers have to walk through your entire stash. Keep a few up front so the drive-by browser will stop. Adding tools will entice any husbands roaming the area.
- Have containers with categories of smaller things will keep them organized and not rolling around the table. Did we mention you should have tables?
- Speaking of small items-bundle them with other similar items. CDs, books, even jewelry can be sold together. Bag toys together and mix the more desirable ones with the Happy Meal toys that might not sell alone.
- If you’re selling electronics, appliances or anything that needs batteries have power sources like extension cords nearby. You don’t have to use new batteries, keep a box of older batteries that can at least power something for a few minutes.
- Price items clearly so you’re not constantly being asked, “how much is this?. Be ready to negotiate but having prices visible means less confusion. Haggling can be fun so tag pricier items a bit above (a tiny bit) what you’d settle for to leave some room.
- Make sure you have plenty of change. There will always be someone who shows up early, buys a book for 25 cents, and hands you a twenty. A good start is between $80 or $100 mixing denominations with plenty of loose change. Wear a fanny pack and keep the change on you at all times.
Having a garage sale can be a fun way to meet people, make a little money and maybe even some space in your garage. And while Raynor Garage Doors of Kansas City doesn’t do garage sales we do garage doors so come and see us for the top quality selection that can make you want to have a garage sale just to show them off.