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Dos and Don’ts of Having Garage Sales

Dos and Don’ts of Having Garage Sales

It’s easier than ever to turn unwanted clutter into cold cash. Yet some things never change. When you need to sell lots of individual items quickly, your best move is a decidedly a Garage Sale. Although throwing a garage sale is no easy feat. If you don’t plan and execute the event properly, there’s a very real chance it will pass more or less unnoticed, leaving you with a bit less cash, a lot less self-respect, and a mountain of unsold inventory to unload. To make the process a little easier, here are a few little hints. 

More people will show up at your sale if the timing is right 

If your sale is outside, you definitely want to make it when the weather is nice. I have found that spring is better than mid-summer. People are much busier in the summer months with things like kids’ softball games, picnics, parties, and vacations. Yet, I have also found that a good time for a garage sale is at the very end of summer, just several weeks before kids go back to school, especially if you have lots of children’s clothing and school items.

Plan Your Garage Sale Layout on Paper

You want to use as much space as possible. The bigger the garage sale appears, the more likely people will stop to look. It will also make it easier on garage sale day when you have help with the setup.

Luring Customers Place Most Significant, Showiest Items in the Front

Place desirable merchandise at the street end of your yard or driveway, especially seasonal items and large pieces (such as furniture). Even if you’re setting up most of the merchandise in the garage, it makes the sale more prominent and gives drive-by browsers a reason to stop. You want to create that festive atmosphere. They are driving by hoping to see good stuff so let’s put that where they can see.

Clarify What Is and Isn’t for Sale

If you bring out your breakfast table from the kitchen, that’s the one thing every shopper will want to buy, even if it’s marked “not for sale.” They’ll ask about folding tables too, but not as often. So, beg and borrow tables from whoever you can.

Group Items Together in Distinctive Areas

When you group like items together, the goods look abundant and make for a better display. Also, shoppers looking for a specific item can easily find it, encouraging them to buy multiple items. Having extra grocery bags will come in handy as well—start saving those now. 

Display Small Valuable Items Close to the Checkout Area

Just like everywhere in the world, shoplifters go to garage sales too. Although this is rare, it can happen. Keep valuable objects close to the house or at the checkout table so you can keep an eye on them, especially if they’re small or fragile. As much as we want to believe people will not take your belonging, there’s no guarantee they won’t. Also, some people may ask to use your bathroom. Be prepared to direct them to the nearest public restroom.

Keep Breakables Out of Children’s Reach

Some shoppers may come with children, and accidents do happen—it’s best to prevent the breaking of items to the best of your ability. 

Clean and Mend the Items You’re Selling

Dusty furniture, sticky glassware, and stinky, stained clothing scream neglect. Clean, well-tended pieces appear more valuable. Spruce up old coats, draperies and curtains, and upholstered furniture with something to get rid of that musty smell. Make antique wood furniture shine with a fresh coat of wax. Remember not to go overboard; it’s one thing to polish wood and wash the dirty clothes, but don’t iron the outgrown onesies or go crazy with the furniture. You won’t make enough money to recoup the time you invested.

Don’t Place Tables and Clothing Racks Too Close

Remember, we want space and distinctive areas to make your garage sale look attractive. Don’t place tables and clothing racks so close together that shoppers can’t comfortably get through. If space is an issue, you don’t have to cram everything into the garage sale. Spread out across the driveway and yard. It makes your sale look more significant anyway. 

Display Adult and Big Kids Clothing on Hangers

Hang the clothing on racks and arrange it by size. It’s far more presentable, and it’s easier to look through. It’ll also be less likely to end up on the ground.

Display Baby and Children’s Clothes on Tables

Fold and stack baby and young kids’ clothing on tables and arrange it by size and type. It takes up less space than hanging them, and trim pieces are easy to straighten and refold. 

Have an Outlet, Extension Cord, Tape Measure, and Other Small Tools

Customers expect to check electrical items. Run a heavy-duty extension cord from your house or garage if you don’t have an outside outlet. Keep a light bulb on hand for testing lamps and a tape measure just in case

Use a fanny pack for your cash

I know many people tend to use a cash box; however, just to be on the safe side (remember not everyone is as honest as we are) you’ll want to have the cash on you at all times. We recommend wearing a fanny pack to carry the cash in. Never take checks! Do yourself a favor and refuse to accept personal checks at your yard sale. While most people are honest good people, there are some who aren’t, which unfortunately ruins it for the rest of them. The last thing you want is to sell a valuable item to someone who pays with a check and the check bounces. Boo! Avoid that entire scenario by accepting cash or card only

Expect the Unexpected 

Just like everywhere in the world, shoplifters go to garage sales too. Keep valuable items such as coins and jewelry nearby where you can keep an eye on them. Although this is rare, it can happen. Also, some peop

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