Remember all that touchy feely talk of “emotions”, “letting go”, blah, blah, blah…… Well a lot of it gets thrown out the window or cast aside a bit as you prepare for the GARAGE SALE!
As that pile of immensely valuable stuff begins to build in the staging area (i.e., garage), you begin to see dollar $ign$! You know your garage sale is going to be better than anyone else’s, because your stuff is actually good. It’s amazing that you’re actually getting rid of it, and at such bargain prices to boot. You’re going to make a killing!
Our timing couldn’t have been better as our Community had a bi-annual garage sale that they advertised in the papers. We place our own ad on Craig’s list as well. If you are going to have a garage sale, one of the best things you can do is start on Friday morning, early! We did a land-slide business by 8:00 am as we had people, who were out garage sale-ing, neighbors on their way to work and all of the landscapers/home service providers stop by.
We knew the Community Garage sale was running through Sunday, so we decided we’d only run our sale until noon Friday and Saturday, unless there were customers. We might even end earlier if it was slow. Our goal was to be sold out by Saturday noon.
I’d say we easily sold 50% of our highly valuable treasures by 1030 am on Friday. We were so happy with our haul that we actually walked around the house looking for more stuff to sell. That commercial grade BBQ, sell it! That lamp, table, and a few more tools, pots and pans, sell ‘em! Friday night we even decided we should sell our big screen TV!
Saturday started off with another flurry and by 1030-ish we were mostly sold out. We had a few big items left and decided to run the sale on Sunday morning for a few hours. Whatever didn’t sell, we’d donate and take the tax right off. Sunday started off slow and we didn’t think it would be any good. In the 9:00 hour we had a final rush and sold anything that was worth a buck. We had a very small pile of stuff left. We piled it together and hung a sign on it that said “FREE”. By the time we were showered and ready to run errands, it was gone.
I don’t remember exactly how much we made, but it was a substantial amount. Most of the big ticket items; furniture, the TV, etc, we placed on Craig’s list. All told we made enough to completely refurnish our new home, buy a new/ better TV, buy all the odds and ends you need whenever you move and still had a small “home fund” left over. Money is better than sentiment any day!
A few tips:
· List big ticket items on CraigsList. You’ll get more.
· Price everything as you add it to the pile. If you wait until the day of the sale (no matter how early you start to set up) there will be a line of people asking you “How much?”
· Make sure you have plenty of change ($5’s $1’s, quarters, nickels and dimes). Also, make sure you know how much change you started with, IF, you are interested in knowing how much you actually made.
· If at all possible, keep the sale items on the driveway or at the edge of the garage. This gives you a barrier so people aren’t rummaging through the stuff in your garage that isn’t for sale.
· Be realistic when pricing things. People come to Garage Sales to find bargains. All that valuable stuff you are parting with is not so valuable to them. Even if it is brand new!
· Don’t be offended by haggling. It’s actually fun.
· If people are looking at things, but not buying, your prices are too high! Keep lowering them.
· Place a “Free” box at the end of your driveway and occasionally add a few of the real cheap items to it. (It’ll save you a trip to Goodwill). You’ll be surprised at how many people will take something from the “Free “box, then buy something from you.
· If someone wants something, don’t hold it back unless you know them, or they leave a deposit. Your goal is to sell this stuff ASAP! We learned this the hard way as the first person that looked at our BBQ asked if we’d hold it while she went for the truck. While we were waiting at least 5 other people wanted to buy the BBQ. When the lady didn’t show up as promised, we put it back out and sold it immediately.
· Don’t run the sale by yourself if you can help it. Have at least one other person help you as you’ll get overwhelmed.
· And, designate one person to handle the money/make change. This way nothing walks off without being paid for.
Now an empty house waiting for final close. So what next?....