Is it hard to find things or just move around your garage? Time to put some order in your life, and you can start by getting rid of unused items stored there, and what better way than with a garage sale! Here is a good primer on how to pull it off successfully.
It’s great to start off the warmer months with a clean and orderly garage. Certainly, some of the objects you’d like to get rid of still have value, so don’t throw everything away – instead, have a garage sale! You’d be surprised how many folks still love cruising around neighborhoods, looking for a little lost treasure at a bargain price. It’s really a win-win-win situation – you clean up your garage or basement, make some cash, and others find a steal.
Not sure how to go about throwing a garage sale? Here are some inside tips on making yours a home run!
First, is a garage sale right for you?
If your only motivation for a garage sale is to clean out your closets and basements, then you might as well give it all to a local charity and spare yourself the hours and headaches. Garage sales aren’t for the faint hearted. You’ll need to invest time and energy.
However, if you are in the mood for a day of haggling over prices, chatting with those just looking, and making a little cash, then a garage sale could be right up your alley. But being prepared is the golden rule! So the first step is to put pen to paper and start a list of what you need to do.
How to be well prepared
- Check with your city or town
There are some local governments that have specific days set aside for events such as garage sales. Make sure you can hold yours when you want, and whether or not you need a permit.
- Collect and sort
It’s best to get started early for a stress-free experience. Even planning months in advance isn’t unheard of. Take a few weeks to round up those unused belongings in and around the garage, even in the home. Place them by category, such as toys, sports equipment, clothes, tools, books, kitchenware, etc.
- There’s strength in numbers…
The bigger the garage sale, the more people show up, it’s as simple as that. Maybe you don’t have a wealth of items to sell, but if you get together with some friends or neighbors, you’ll be increasing your chances of success!
- Try to avoid holidays
Although it’s strongly advised to hold your garage sale on a weekend, just be sure that there isn’t a conflicting activity in your area that will draw people away from your house. As well, holidays are popular times for folks to leave town which will reduce your potential customers.
- Check the long-range forecast
We are all at the mercy of Mother Nature, and it is almost impossible to be 100% sure of upcoming weather, but at least check one week in advance to have the best chance of not getting rained out!
Spread the news
It’s a good idea to start publicizing your garage sale 10 or so days ahead of time. Here are various ways to do it:
- Look for websites there you can register and post a notice for free.
- Talk it up with friends, family and neighbors, and don’t forget Facebook.
- Post brightly colored signs on telephone poles in your neighborhood.
- The day before, put up coroplast (plastic cardboard) signs at intersections indicating the location of your sale more precisely.
The time is near…
With only a couple of days before your garage sale, make sure everything is ready for the big day. Try not to leave these tasks to the last minute:
- Arrange your items by theme and check each of them is in good condition.
- Thoroughly wash clothes, dishes, toys, etc.
- Collect plastic bags at home and from friends for buyers to take home their purchases.
- Group together small similar items in clear plastic bags.
- Make a list of all the objects for sale.
- Write prices on small stickers (or masking tape for larger items). Round prices to nearest 25¢ to make it easier to give change.
- Children’s clothes can be placed together in a plastic bin and sold for a fixed price regardless of the item.
- Even if an object has sentimental value for you, only take into account its actual dollar value.
Attractively present the items for sale
Just like in any retail store, goods sell more easily if they are well displayed. Use this same philosophy for your garage sale.
- Place your items on a table rather than on the ground. This saves potential buyers from squatting down to touch them or to get a better look.
- Make sure everything you sell is really in good working order.
- Leave no open spaces on your tables. Buyers will think that only the worst items are left. It’s psychological, but has proven to be effective.
- Your driveway should also be neat and attractive.
The day has come!
- Go once around the neighborhood to make sure the signs you put up the day before are still in place.
- Tie some balloons at the foot of your driveway to attract attention.
- If you publicized that your event starts at 8 am, then be ready to see greet visitors at that hour. In fact, regulars at garage sales arrive at the start (or even a little earlier!).
- Be prepared with a variety of small bills and coins to make change.
- Try to be hospitable and cheerful – it’s the best way to attract buyers.
- Have a cooler with bottles of water. Offer them to young children. Their parents will then be more inclined to buy one.
- Accept that you’ll need to bargain. Even suggest lower prices yourself if someone seems ready to buy several items.
- Think about some appropriate music. Isn’t it better to shop with upbeat tunes? Just make sure you choose songs that everyone likes.
- If cooking is your thing, why not sell some baked goods? Kids just love cookies!
- If the weather looks iffy, get some plastic tarps that you can use to protect your items from scattered showers.
- If you have very young children, it might be a good idea to have them babysat by a friend or relative. Older kids can certainly participate, maybe with a lemonade stand?
So the day was a success…
Once your event has come to an end, take some time to straighten up the area you used. Get your bigger kids to help, by picking up any trash that was left and organizing any unsold items. As well, take a tour around the neighborhood to remove any signs or balloons you may have put up.
Lastly, those unsold items could still have a second life. Why not donate them to a local organization for those less fortunate? That warm glow you get will be an additional benefit from the effort you put in.
And maybe your garage door deserves a facelift?
Then contact us anytime, toll-free at 1-877-794-4223. We know garage doors better than anyone else. We will be able to advise you on the best choice to make based on your needs and budget, whatever they may be. We can also email you a quotation if you’d like.
We would also like for you to visit us at our showroom. Another way to see what a new garage door would look like is to use our design center, or even just spend some time looking through our image gallery to get some inspiration.