With more people keeping a tighter hold on their finances in the recent years, the traditional estate or garage sale has become a popular resource for homeowners getting rid of their belongings and hopeful consumers looking for a deal.
It’s what we like to call a win-win: getting good deals and unloading excess clutter while making a little bit of cash is something that seems to benefit everybody. Although having a estate sale can be a great idea if you’re looking to sell your home, there are some people who don’t want to go through the process of planning.
Don’t let the hassle and other stress inducing experiences prevent you as a seller to make some fast cash. That negative understanding of a garage sale induced headache may deter you, but remember successful, hassle-free garage sale is all in the planning. A system and thoughtful preparation ensures you will have control over the garage sale, and it won’t run you into the ground.
This guide to holding an estate, garage, or yard sale will give you the best tips you’re looking for. Remember, if you are going to do it, make it worth your time.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find more information on estate sales and finding garage sales in Cleveland near you!
ORGANIZATION IS THE FOUNDATION
To have an effective garage sale, be organized and efficient. This means your garage sale should check off all these boxes:
1) THE ART OF CATEGORIZING AND ARRANGING
Try to stick with selling items that are in working condition and are not parts of something. If you do have these things, consider setting them aside so they can be hauled off with whatever is left at the end of the sale.
Put things near each other that relate to each other. For example, arrange your kitchen items with other household items, while another area can be focused on toys and children’s items. Not only will this be more enjoyable for your buyers, but you will also have a better idea of your inventory and direction. This also gives direction if someone inquires about a specific type of item.
2) A PRICE ON EVERYTHING
Negotiating can be the primarily emotionally draining and time consuming part of a estate sale, so price out everything don’t overprice anything regardless of its condition. You don’t have to cheat yourself, but be reasonable with that you’re offering. You will also find estate sale enthusiasts don’t enjoy haggling either. It’s the deal they’re after and you will have a more successful estate sale if you play to that.
3) SCHEDULING THE FIRST WEEKEND OF THE MONTH
If you are a strict budgeter, you know there is more money in the bank at the beginning of the month than the end. You’re more likely to get your things swapped up fast when deals are good and the money is there to spend.
4) “ONE DAY ONLY!” VS. “3 DAY GARAGE SALE”
Remember, our goal is to keep the irritation to a minimum, so we recommend to limit the garage sale to one day only, then get rid of your belongs that don’t sell. Also consider that garage sale enthusiasts typically don’t bother with second day sales because the deals and desirable items and are already gone.
If you are experiencing low traffic, bad weather, or still have a lot of items available, it may be a good idea to hold the sale an extra day.
5) START AND END AT REASONABLE HOURS
Research when other estate sales start. Typically you will find most estate sales start at 8 am, but enthusiasts get the jump start and come as early as 6:30 a.m. Never start too late, because your buyers might be lost to your competition. If they get too far down the road, you’re likely to be forgotten.
6) ADVERTISING WITH PURPOSE
Some local media charge a small fee garage sale listing, some don’t. Remember, most people are searching everything online, so consider posting your sale in online resources dedicated to garage sale listings free of charge. Once you decide where you want to advertise, jump on placing an ad ahead of time to get the maximum exposure.
Some details you might include in your ad are the date, your address, time range, and a very brief description of what will be available. Visuals such as pictures and maps are also helpful and grab the attention of the visual audience when placing an ad online. With all the talk of going digital, it can be easy to forget about more traditional methods. Make a compelling flyer with all the details listed above and post on local bulletin boards.
Lastly, you will want to have proper signage for your garage sale as well. Make your sign visible and durable by using anything from thick poster board to a weighted cardboard box. Make the lettering big and readable to passing cars, so they can read the sign. A garage sale sign should be simple and neat but branded with extra-large bold letters. Your address and arrows are also good indicators.
7) CAN’T SELL EVERYTHING?
The organization doesn’t stop when the estae sale is over. Having in mind a day and time a local second-hand store, such as Re-Use, can pick up leftover items will help make sure your unwanted belongings are gone for good. Have all your things organized per the instructions of the pick-up service.
OTHER GARAGE SALE TIPS
Don’t be afraid to engage your customers in friendly conversation. Not only is this a good way to meet interesting new people, but your customers will feel even more welcome and free to look around more. They may even purchase something that weren’t planning on buying.
Offering something for free can be a nice gesture, especially some early morning coffee, or even a smaller item that can be given away for free.
Hold Off and Wait for Everyone Else
Some communities and neighborhoods work together for a group garage sale that lure in crowds from local and surrounding areas. This can be an easier way to create more sales and get rid of stuff fast.
Efficiently preparing for a garage sale can be the one thing that keeps it close to a pleasant experience. Along with planning ahead, take time to briefly familiarize yourself with your local laws and ordinances. Not only are there some items that can’t be legally sold in a garage sale, in some areas, it is necessary to buy a permit to even have a sale.
Now all you will need is a power strip plugged into an outside outlet, a calculator, as well as plenty of change and one dollar bills and you’re ready for your garage sale. One last tip that can make or break your garage sale: Don’t forget to check the weather!