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The Perfect Garage Sale

Sheetal Bhandari Sheetal Bhandari
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Have you realised lately that you own too much stuff? Do you think you have things that you no longer use and are just lying around the house with no purpose? Do you want to get rid of this stuff and still make some money? A garage sale is the answer to all the above questions. It's the ideal way to reduce clutter and earn some monetary benefit out of it plus it's a great bargain for the buyer as well. A successful garage sale requires some amount of planning and good execution. You need to make sure you have ample audience and consequently interested buyers. From big items like paintings, furniture and art sculptures to clothes and utensils, a garage sale is a no hold barred sale for all things that you want to give away/ sell. Do remember though that the idea is to get rid of stuff and not make a huge profit. So be prepared to let go of your favorite items at throw away prices. Here are a few tips to have organise a successful garage sale.

Choose items: clothes, kitchen goods, books and games

 Garages & sheds by de-cube
de-cube

Garage Shot

de-cube

Scan through your bedroom, living room, kitchen or even the bathroom and look for the things are are no longer needed. Did you buy a miniature laughing Buddha from one of the exhibitions but are not particularly fond of it? Did your aunt gift you a toaster that you already had? Or you have moved to a kindle so you no longer want to keep that huge pile of books anymore in your bedroom? Choose all such items and arrange them in your garage for a neat display.

How do you identify what to get rid of in the first place? Here you can check out some tips on Decluttering.

Put a price on all the items

  by Metalarte
Metalarte

SHOELACES

Metalarte

Start labeling the items with the price tags. Though the original purchase price is important, don't be hung up on it. Think of it as a giveaway and put a price at which maybe you would like to buy as a customer! The intention is to sell, so keep prices real. A garage sale is assumed to be a loot, as these are preloved items. Keeping price tags also makes it easier for the buyers to choose stuff instead of inquiring repeatedly. If you like, add the original price too. People love bargains, so this may be a good strategy.

Choose a date (best days on weekend)

You need the maximum number of people to visit, so a weekend or any national holiday during the week makes a lot of sense. A garage sale during the day on a Saturday or Sunday ensures that visitors have enough time and good day light to see stuff clearly. They are also relaxed days, so they can browse at leisure. Avoid weekends that are longer or have a festival during those days as many go on holidays or are busy preparing for the celebrations.

Do you need a municipality permission?

 Event venues by Traces London
Traces London

People reading the paperwork in Bonny's desk

Traces London

A garage sale means lots of visitors. Check if display of items and sale and purchase is allowed with or without local body permissions. This may fall into commercial activity and hence they could be restrictions. Also have a look at your items and check if there are any items that cannot be traded freely. Additionally bigger yard sales may need similar permissions as there can be more number of visitors and therefore more traffic in the area. 

Do advertising

 Office spaces & stores  by Kiki Voltaire
Kiki Voltaire

Contemporary Notice Board

Kiki Voltaire

Advertising cannot be emphasised enough. Whenever there is something to be sold, advertising is crucial. You want the garage sale to be successful, you advertise. Digital advertising is the cheapest and fastest way of advertising, but do not ignore other forms too like putting a notice at your society's notice board or distributing pamphlets. The good old word of mouth always helps while for bigger ticket sales, advertising in the local newspaper and local radio is not a bad idea at all. Include the date, time, address and some pointer about the stuff that you intend to sell. 

Be prepared to negotiate

 Event venues by Staged Homes Italia
Staged Homes Italia

Corso di Staging per CFP Architetti—Ordine degli Architetti di Firenze

Staged Homes Italia

Yes you did label the items with an asking price, but be prepared to negotiate. Buyers love a bargain and a product seems more attractive when there is a further fall in price. It is also possible that the price you have quoted is not really practical. Maybe you had an emotional connect with the item and hence the sale price, but it's not really worth the value. So be prepared to know the market as and when the garage sale is on.

During the garage sale: be kind and friendly

  by Nimble Scooters
Nimble Scooters

Farmers Market with Nimble Scooters

Nimble Scooters

Act like a store owner during the garage sale. Happy customers equal higher sales. So start with being kind and friendly. There will be lot of questions about the product details; how old, original price, how often used, return policy if any, where was it bought from. Be patient and help the prospective buyers. If you feel it could get overwhelming, involve family members or friends who could assist you. True, you are selling your stuff at a great bargain, but being rude can be a bad ingredient leading to failure of the garage sale.

Donate the rest

 Corridor & hallway by Baltic Design Shop
Baltic Design Shop

Aufbewahrungs-Ideen für Flur, Büro oder Gästezimmer

Baltic Design Shop

So you still have some stuff left. What do you do? You never wanted them so no point in taking them back inside the house. Donate all the remaining things to charity. Wouldn't it be great if someone in need could use your stuff instead of it just lying idle with you? One person's trash could be another's treasure and there is a good chance that the item will be put to good use in an NGO, orphanage or an old age home. Furniture, clothes, appliances etc are all that will be welcome at these institutions. 

Garage sales are therapeutic when you let go of things that you were holding onto for no reason. It is highly recommended for reducing clutter and making a small fortune in the bargain. Garage sales can be great fun but it is hard work. It can get overwhelming if you are not prepared. Do take your time and plan it really well. Take note of all the factors and follow these tips for a smoother run.

Want to know more what to do with unwanted stuff? Here is an ideabook you will love: Downsizing? Here’s what to do with your stuff

Which tip did you like the most? Let us know in the comments below.
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