One of the most culturally universal events throughout North America is the garage sale. Garage sales are synonymous with both junk and hidden gems. Everyone has, at some time in their life, driven past a sign on a telephone pole for a garage sale, seen an advertisement in the local paper, or even attended one in person. If you have never thrown a garage sale before, or have tried and not gotten the results you were hoping for, below are some tips for throwing a successful one.
Start by making the unemotional decisions
One of the major risks of a garage sale is that you will get rid of something that you will later regret having sold. The best way to avoid doing this is to focus on those things that you know you won’t regret selling. This includes old books, magazines, and CD’s that have been lying around in boxes for ever, or gifts you have been given that are still in boxes and have never been, nor are likely to be, used. If you have any items that take up too much space but you’re not quite ready to sell them, consider self-storage.
Make sure things look clean
Just because people are knowingly buying something that you and your family have used in the past, and probably at a hefty discount, doesn’t mean that they are willing to buy something that looks old and dirty. If you are selling things covered in dust and dirt, people are probably not going to look twice. Break out the dust rag and wet cloths and give everything you are trying to sell a once over.
Extension cords for electronics
If you are selling any electronics, people will probably want to make sure that it works before putting their money down. Having some extension cords running into the house so that an old blender, stereo, or lamp, for example, can be plugged in, showing people that they still work, will incite more people to make a purchase.
The main reasons most garage sales are a bust is because they were not properly advertised. It takes very little effort to walk around your neighbourhood, spreading out for a couple of square blocks, and placing some flyers on the telephone poles, or hitting up the local rec-centres and placing some homemade print ads on their community bulletin boards. If you are willing to splurge, you can even place ads in your local newspaper for garage sales.
A garage sale should be something you approach as a business venture, as well as a way to declutter. You want to get rid of things that you know you are not going to be using anymore, you want the people who show up to be impressed by the quality and cleanliness of the sale, and most importantly, you want people to know you are having a garage sale so that they actually show up.