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Updated: April 24, 2015

Holding a successful garage sale

Keep your garage sale organized with these surefire tips.

Mike Mozart/Flickr Creative Commons

Holding a garage sale is a very effective (and profitable) way of getting rid of stuff you no longer need, especially if you’re about to move to a new home. But with all kinds of people clamoring for a good find, things might get a little out of hand, so here are a few helpful suggestions to keep things running smoothly.

Before the sale:
1. Gather all the items you’ll be selling and place them in one area of the house. This will help keep you and your family members from mistakenly selling things that you actually still want.
2. Price each item right. Overpricing turn off potential customers and pricing too low will have you selling at a loss, so be careful.
3. Choose a time and date when you know you’ll get a good turnout. Weekends are always good, but make sure it’s not during long weekends, when people usually schedule vacations.
4. List all of your items so you can keep track of the things you’re selling. Make sure to also note how much items are priced.
5. Put signs on your yard and all over the neighborhood. Post your signs a few days before the sale so people know when and where to go. If you live in a gated community, ask the association if you can post a sign on the gate, where residents are sure to take notice.

During the sale:
1. Give each family member a copy of your inventory, and check with each other every so often to find out which items have already been sold.
2. Be sure to have lots of change on you. Many people come to garage sales carrying large bills, and opening the sale with no petty cash will only slow down the selling process.
3. Assign one family member as security; their task will be to monitor the entire place and look out for people who seem suspicious.
4. Lock all the doors, and give each family member a key to only let in people who will be looking at for sale items that are inside your home. In the commotion, you never know if someone might suddenly slip through and take something that’s not for sale.

After the sale:
1. Donate the remaining items to charity. Even if you don’t make money out of every item on sale, knowing that you’re helping out is a reward in itself.
2. Don’t forget to take down your signs so people won’t mistakenly show up after the sale. This’ll also lessen garbage around the community.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not selling your home; a yard sale is still a good way to earn money on things you're not using anymore, especially if you’re looking to replace some of your old things and are a little short on cash.  Don’t be upset if people start to haggle; that’s part of the whole process. Try to offer a fair trade every time for a win-win situation.


(Thumbnail from Nomadic Lass/Flickr Creative Commons)

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