Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Having a Garage Sale - A Way to Get Organized and Make Some Extra Cash in the Process
Holding a garage sale is a great way to eliminate clutter in your home and make some money for your efforts. But first, ask yourself if the time and effort to prepare for a garage sale is worth the money you will make.
Compare the cost and time of having a garage sale versus donating your items to charity and taking the charitable deduction.
If you determine that it’s worthwhile, here are some tips to have a successful and profitable garage sale:
First off, purge, purge, purge. Be ruthless – it’s time to de-clutter your home. A good rule-of-thumb is anything not used for the last 6 months should go. (This does not include seasonal/holiday items but purge through those as well). Go room by room and pull out any items you no longer want or need and take them to a designated spot in your garage or other clear space.
The best type of items to sell at a garage sale include:
** Garden Furniture & Supplies
** Kids Clothing
** Bedding in Good Condition
** Sporting Equipment
** Kitchen Utensils and Appliances (in good working order)
Most adult clothing does not sell well except for special occasion items (wedding dresses, leather coats, costumes). Don’t sell anything that is torn, stained, missing parts or any older baby furniture that does not comply with new safety codes.
Two Weeks Before:
Clean the items you are selling, price them fairly (you will probably knock off a dollar or two at selling time), sort items keeping like items together. Collect plastic and paper grocery bags and newspapers for wrapping breakables.
One Week Before:
Advertise in your local paper, Recycler or Pennysaver – making special note to discourage dealers or early birds prior to the start of the sale. Clear a space in your yard or driveway where you will hold the sale. Do not hold the sale inside your garage as buyers tend to focus on non-sale items.
Two Days Before:
Get tables cleaned and ready. Go to the bank and get two rolls of quarters and $50 worth of one and five dollar bills for change. Don’t price any items for less than 25 cents to make giving change easier.
One Day Before:
Make signs to post around your neighborhood. Make sure you are aware of any permit or sign posting regulations in your city. Make your signs legible and accurate.
Day of Sale:
Start setting up about 2 hours before start of sale. If you’ve already priced and sorted your items, this should be easy. Have someone post your signs around the area. Place your change in a fanny pack or money belt and keep with you at all times.
Send the kids to play at a friend’s house or to Grandma’s for the day. Crate or board any dogs.
Have a friend or relative man the check-out table at all times.
Do not allow anyone to enter your house for any reason – including using the bathroom. Direct them to the nearest gas station or coffee house in the area for that purpose.
If someone is interesting in purchasing a large ticket item and does not have all the cash, take a deposit to ensure they will return to make the purchase.
Only take checks from friends and neighbors.
See if your neighbors are interesting in participating in the garage sale as well. This will save on advertising and sign costs.
Lower prices as the day goes on to try and sell as much as possible. At the end of the day, donate what’s left to your favorite charity. Pack everything into the car and take it that day so it doesn’t end up cluttering your garage. On your way back, take down all the signs you have posted in the neighborhood.
Reward yourself with a nice dinner out. You’ve done a great job!