Garage sales are an excellent way to clear the clutter out of your home and make a little stash of side money at the same time. While it probably won’t fund your dream trip to the Bahamas, it can help give you a little extra cash to go towards savings, debt, or moving costs if you are moving. On top of the financial benefits of selling your unused things, the space clearing benefits will double up to positives. A space cluttered with “stuff” is harder to upkeep and clean, making it easier to damage and lose the things that you need and want in your house. So how do you go about getting rid of your excess stuff and making some extra money with a garage sale?
1. Research your city rules on garage selling. Some cities require you to obtain a permit from the city in order to conduct a garage sale at your home. In some areas, there are also restrictions on how many garage sales you can conduct in a given time. Make sure to pay attention to the rules so as not to get shut down and fined, defeating the purpose of your garage sale to begin with.
2. Pick a date: Pay attention to the calendar and look out for holidays, big sporting events, or anything that takes people off the streets and into their homes. You want to attract as much traffic as possible, so don’t set yourself up to fail from the getgo with a poorly timed garage sale.
3. Go through each large category of items in your home (clothes, books, dishes, decor) and gather anything that you haven’t used in the last 6 months or that you have identified as not being something you want to continue owning. Put the “maybe’s” in this pile as well. Go through these items and put aside (in the garage, a shed, somewhere that you won’t see regularly making you doubt your decisions) anything that you are sure about. Leave the undecided items alone and come back to it later. Go through the house again and make another sweep. Add these items to the leftover pile and take out anything you have definitely decided to keep. Everything that is left you can add to the original sell pile you put aside. Now you have your inventory ready to go.
4. Pre-price your items prior to sale day. You can purchase small round stickers cheap and by the hundreds to use for marking prices. If items have prices on them, it starts the conversation with a potential buyer right off the bat. You will be haggling (most buyers do) so expect to be flexible. Serious garage sale shoppers will show up bright and early, some purposefully to catch you off guard while trying to set up. By being prepared and pre-priced, you won’t be caught off guard and selling items too cheap because you are flustered and not focused.
5. Have bins for small items that are all at the same price point- a quarter, $.50, $1.00, etc. This makes it easy to identify and makes the setup less tedious. It also makes it easier for buyers to visually organize your garage sale depending on what they are looking for.
6. Set up signs with the type of items you are selling. This gives buyers a preview of whether they want to visit your garage sale. Let them know quickly what you have so you can attract the right buyers. Again, check city ordinances for rules and regs.
7. Advertise online. Advertise your heart out. Post on social media pages that allow it, any specific garage sale websites in your area, nextdoor.com, etc. When available, post pictures of some of the more popular items to entice people to come to your garage sale.
As always, keep safety in mind when advertising or holding your garage sale. Keep the house doors locked, sell with a partner, and don’t give out personal information publicly or online. Try not to post your address until necessary on your advertising. Keep it lighthearted and don’t let the extreme hagglers get to you. Keep a positive attitude and pick up a little cash along the way!