The Garage Sale Guide

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Spring is a perfect time to host a garage sale: the weather’s warm and you can clean out your home of things you haven’t touched in the last year – or ten! My friend Kelsey is an expert garage saleist and sent me this list of tips. I found it extremely helpful and thought I would pass on her advice!

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1. SIGNS!! LOTS AND LOTS OF SIGNS! I’m putting this first for a reason. This is the #1 way people will find you.

o   Placement: I put them all the way up and down the busiest street near my house, in addition to our own street.

o   Hanging them: MUST use hammer and nails. Staple gun will NOT work. Don’t hang them until you are set up – people start coming immediately! I wait to hang them up at 7AM the morning of.

o   Making them: The best way to make them is with cardboard and craft paint. Keep them simple and consistent in color. Don’t really need address if you are good with the arrows. You could also put “at the end of (your street)”.

o    I always hang one up that says “Keep Going” so people didn’t think they are lost.

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2. Post on Craigslist a week before the sale and again the day before. List as many things as you can. Post some pictures of some interesting/big items you have. You might get a few emails about you posting too.

3. Price as many items as possible. People like to see prices on things. You will sell more. I just printed out labels on the computer (.25, .50, $1, $2 etc.) and started sticking them on everything.

4. You will need help. People always have questions, need help with something or are “checking out” with their purchases. Plus, even when no one is there, you’ll need to keep things neat, which brings me to my next point…

5. Keep things neat and organized. One table for household items, one for kitchen, etc. This kind of stuff on the ground does not sell as well. And nothing in boxes sells. Spread things out. I put a sheet down and put all the shoes out on the sheet – same with purses.

6. Hang as many clothes as you can! I hung all the nice stuff and folded the rest (t-shirts, jeans) on round tables like in a retail store. I also had a sign that said the clothing prices so I did not have to mark each item, although some jackets etc. were priced individually if they were worth more. I also sold a ton of clothes by “bundling”. Tell people that you’ll give them a deal if they buy a few things.

7. Have paper and plastic bags for people’s purchases.

8. Speak up! If someone is looking at something and it appears they are interested, tell them “I’ll give that to you for $10!”

9. Candles melt in the sun.

10. People LOVE LOVE LOVE jewelry, but keep it close to you. People also steal jewelry. I always sell out of jewelry.

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11. People buy everything. Don’t be afraid to put anything out there. I’m telling you….everything.

12. Use signs at the sale. I also put signs on the kitchen table “Set of Four Champagne glasses – $3” or “Set of 6 Coca-Cola Mugs – $5″

13. Start with some change. I always had a bunch of $1, $5 and quarters to start with. I wore an apron to keep the money organized and on me at all times. Then I just took $20s in the house as we collected more money so I didn’t have a ton in our pockets.

14. WATCH OUT FOR FAKE MONEY. If someone offers to buy something with $100 bill or even a bunch of $20s, don’t be afraid to check it. People use counterfeit money ALL THE TIME at garage sales.

15. Don’t be afraid to tell people NO if they are not willing to give you a fair price.

Hope these tips help you as much as they helped me! Thanks Kelsey!

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