I am quite stressed about my garage sale this year - I had tons of stuff boxed, organized with some of it already priced in our basement, but during a family gathering at my house, the kids ransacked the boxes. Add this to some major procrastination on my part and now I am finding myself wound pretty tight this week.
But, I know it will be worth it. A garage sale allows me to clean through my shit - metaphorically and physically. I know that come Sunday, I will be jangling pockets full of dimes and nickels with a gleeful satisfaction that is only brought on by dragging my junk out to my own front yard and watching it get hauled away by someone else willing to actually pay me for the priviledge.
A few weeks ago, Goofy Girl asked for some tips on having a garage sale. I wrote a quickie email, but thought it was worth a post as well!
Helpful Hints for Your Next Garage Sale/ Yard Sale/ Tag Sale
- Overall, I really recommend having a designated space for donation/garage sale items - be it a box, a closet, or corner of your basement (lucky me!) this will go a long way in identifying sale items. I throw things into the Garage Sale Corner all! year! long! Seriously, it is such a time saver.
- If you do not have a desiganted spot in your house, allow yourself a few months for this step: begin going through every nook, cranny, closet and room of your home. The simplest way? Take a garbage bag and a box with you everywhere you go throughout the house. Garage sale? Goes in box. Goodwill? Goes in garbage bag.
- When you have all your stuff in boxes, designated for the garage sale, this is a good time to park your ass in front of the TV and catch up on your DVR backlog while you price things. I buy garage sale stickers, that makes it go much more quickly.
- Tips for pricing your garage sale items? First, keep in mind this is a garage sale - this is not eBay or Craigslist. Folks coming to your driveway want a steal, not a deal. The general rule of thumb is to price things about a quarter to a third to a quarter of what they cost new, but only if the item is fairly new to begin with. The bigger item? The bigger the price tag! Putting a pink dot sticker on a sofa is silly and just creates work for a potential buyer as they hunt for the price tag.
- As things are priced, this is the time to set them in the garage. Make it a rule, only priced things go in the garage, it will be easier to keeps thing sorted.
- The day before the sale, get about $25 dollars in change. I get about $1 in dimes, 50 cents in nickels, $5 in quarters, $10 in ones and and $10 in fives. Early on the 1st day, you will be receiving loads of $20 bills as folks make change for the rest of the day (if you are holding the sale a 2nd day, you will already have plenty of change to hand out!)
- The day of the sale? Be prepared for Early Birds. They come every year, worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. These are the folks who cruise garage sales before they officially open and begin digging through your boxes as you are unpacking them in your driveway. Many of them are "professionals" - folks who are hoping to score some gold in a pile of pyrite so that they can turn around and sell it in their rented space in your local antique mall. Some of these folks can get a bit aggressive with their dickering as well.
- Display? Drag big-ticket and/or more desirable items closer to the curb. I will be hauling a freakin' desk and loads of "big" baby toys to the curb this year.
- Ah, dickering. Haggling on prices is fun - as a buyer, I do it myself. However, most White People do not like to dicker. Steel yourself mentally towards this - on high priced items, decided how low you will go. Stick to your guns, folks! If someone offers an insulting price, just politely say "No." That's it. In general, when holding a 2 day sale, I dicker less on the first day.
- Handling the money? I prefer to keep the money on my body - a box is too easily lost or stolen. Therefore, I wear pants with pockets - as the $20 bills pile up, those get taken into the house. Also, when giving change after someone hands you a large bill, lay the bill down on a table as you count the change to prevent confusion or a possible scam (ie. someone claiming they gave you a $20 bill, when they really gave you a $10 bill.)
I suspect I am forgetting something, but I just came across this site called Yard Sale Queen - these are tons of great tips here as well!