Buying a Home Lifestyle

How to Prepare for a Garage Sale

It’s summer! Which also means its prime garage sale season. The nice weather keeps your valuables in decent condition. Meanwhile kids and parents are more available in the summer months and more active. Making it the ideal season to de-clutter your home and try to make a few bucks in the process. If you have considered the idea of hosting a garage sale or have done so in the past and looking for some tips, we can help!

Give yourself a minimum of two weeks for preparation. This is generous considering some people plan two months in advance. We understand how easy it can be to procrastinate such a strenuous event, that’s why we’re letting you off easy. Two weeks will give you two full weekends to prepare. One weekend spent going through your home. Second weekend preparing the items you plan to sell.

Key items to sell in the summer

  1. Old sports equipment
  2. Back-2-school clothes
  3. Patio furniture
  4. Outdoor/gardening tools
  5. Books

Cleaning& Preparation
Materials needed

  • Trash bags
  • Boxes/plastic tubs
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Labels
  • Marker/pen
  • Rubber bands
  • Poster board

We know. It can be dreadful going through your entire home in search for belongings you no longer need. But think of the great rewards that will come with it: more space, a cleaner home, and some extra cash in your pocket.

Start by clearing out a spare room or garage as a dumping ground for all the things you plan to sell. It is best to start grouping your items from the beginning. You can do this by simply piling them together or placing them in boxes. Group your items whatever way makes the most sense to you. For example: clothing, accessories, electronics, kid’s toy, etc.  As you decide groups, label them to eliminate confusion for yourself and anyone else that may be helping you. If you stumble across items you know won’t sell, THROW THEM AWAY. Don’t hold onto anything you or your family doesn’t need. This is the time to purge.

Things to consider selling or throwing away:

  1. Tupperware with no matching lids or containers
  2. Pens/markers with no ink
  3. Cords for electronics you no longer use
  4. Old electronics (ex. stereo, VHS player, cassette player)
  5. VHS or cassette tapes, CD’s
  6. Old makeup past its expiration or no longer use
  7. Duplicate kitchen utensils
  8. Worn towels
  9. Worn linens
  10. Outdated holiday decorations
  11. Useless alarm clocks
  12. Unloved pet toys
  13. Instruments (ex. middle school plastic recorders, harmonica)
  14. Worn sports equipment
  15. Phonebooks
  16. Books you’ll never read
  17. Mugs or cups that are never used

Once you have categorized the items you plan to sell, take the time to clean them. We’re not asking you to polish your shoes until they’re sparkling. Just give your valuables a little attention so they appear more sellable.

If you have a category you’re planning to sell like books that are better displayed together in a clear tub go ahead and do so and label the box with one generic price.

Pricing is very subjective. Some garage sale “coinsures” believes labeling your sale items will decrease the value of them. Bidders are more likely to talk the value down or be turned away by the price. On the other hand, some people argue not having your prices labeled could annoy potential customers and deter them away as well. It could also become a hassle having to repeat prices over and over again. Whether you decide to label your rates or not is entirely up to you.

Twet, share, text, or blog about your upcoming garage sale! Search for websites that might share the location of the latest garage sales in your neighborhood. Post flyers on local bulletin boards and place signs around town. Some cities may have restraints on advertising. There’s a chance you may only be able to post signs around town a week prior to your sale before the signs are taken down. No worries, that is plenty of time to get the word out.

Use old political signs or neon poster board to make your yard sale really stand out! Also, don’t be afraid to be “that guy” that tapes balloons to their mailbox.

It is also suggested to have some sort of incentive for people to come visit your garage sale. Perhaps you will give away free water or lemonade. Maybe your peers want to host a bake sale at the same time, or simply give a hook like “Back-2-school clothes” to persuade buyers.

Day of garage sale
Materials needed:

  • Cash box
  • Tape
  • Notepad
  • Markers/pens
  • Tables
  • Extension chords
  • Old grocery bags

Stock your cash box with plenty of change and smaller bills.  Also invest in a lock just incase someone turns their back on the box for a second. If you run out of pricing stickers, colored tape works just as well. A notepad is also wise to keep handy to write down any names and numbers of people that claimed to be coming back for an item. Extension chords near the electronic table are wise for anyone wanting to test them before purchase. Lastly, you finally have a way to clear your drawer filled with plastic bags. Use these to wrap breakables and help customers carry away their belongings.

Place children items lower so they’re at eye level for kids. Keep electronic chords bundled together and attached to the electronic they belong to. Fold or hang clothes so they’re easy to look through. Package small items together like earrings, in small plastic bags and sell in an abundance.

When you’re totally successful yard sale is complete, keep the leftover items in their groups. This will help you with tax purposes later when you give the rest away to local shelters.

Finally take a deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back for all your hard work. Maybe even use that hard earned cash to treat you.

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