Spring cleaning fever has hit, and you know
what that means: Garage sale time! Don't let those boxes stacked in
the corner overwhelm you. Garage sales don't have to be a hassle.
Before you Decide to display your wares in the driveway however, ask
yourself why you're having the sale. Do you just want to get rid of
the clutter? If so, donating to the Salvation Army or a local church
is probably best. If your goal is to make some extra cash while
finally getting a chance to meet the neighbors that you've lived
next door to for five years, then maybe a garage sale is your best
bet. Here are 10 simple ways to make your garage sale a hassle-free
Advertise and they will come. Most small
community newspapers offer free garage sale notices, so take
advantage of that. If possible, organize a multi-family sale and
list a few of the items that will be available. If deed restrictions
in your neighborhood allow it, handwritten "bandit" signs
posted in the area will attract more people. Please remember to keep
the neighborhood beautiful by removing the signs when your sale is
The more, the merrier. People are more likely
to shop at your sale if there is a crowd gathered. This is another
reason multi-family sales work so well. If you're hosting your own
and family to stop by and help out. Their presence will
spark interest for the passers-by
and their help will come in handy when the "real" crowd
Cha ching! Be reasonable about pricing. As
proud as you and your mother are of the still-life bowl of fruit you
painted in the eighth grade, no one will give you $200 for it. If
you can't bear to see it sold for less, then keep it in the house.
Pennies belong in the piggybank. Don't give
items small price amounts such as a nickel or quarter because it's
too much change to deal with. Instead, group low-priced items
together such as paperback books 4 for $1, or silverware 4 for $1.
Hey--can I borrow your label maker? Instead of
pricing each and every marble and knickknack, groups same-priced
objects together and use a general price sign.
Piles and aisles. A table display that is too
neat and organized will make people feel uncomfortable about rifling
through your goods. You don't want the display to be too
disorganized either. Potential customers may think it's just a pile
of junk and keep driving to the next sale. Find a happy medium.
Don't forget the early bird. Even if your sale
officially opens at 9 in the morning, make sure to at least have the
higher-priced items such as appliances, baby strollers, carriers,
etc,. out at around seven. That's when the professional garage sale
shoppers claim their booty. You don't want to miss out.
Of course it works! Always have at least one
extension cord available for testing appliances. Veteran garage
salers won't take your word that a 10-year-old vacuum works as good
as the day you bought it.
Seeing is believing. If at all possible, hang
clothes on a rack or fence so they can be easily viewed from the
street. Avoid crumpled piles. If you have really nice clothes (no
stains or holes), take them to a consignment shop to get back a
little what you paid for them.
Your trash will not be your treasure. If you
still have leftovers near the end of the sale, put everything into a
"FREE" box. Nothing goes back into the house!
Deborah Shelton is
the author of The Five Minute Parent: Fun & Fast Activities for
You and Your Little Ones. Visit The Five Minute Parent for fun
rainy-day activities, family links, and a free email newsletter
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