So you’ve sold your house and now moving has gone from a “most-likely” to an “it’s happening”. And if you’re like most homeowners, you’ll probably start packing up your things by pulling everything out of every closet, every cupboard and off every shelf. And again, if you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably noticed that you have A LOT of stuff— some of which you forgot you even had. So rather than packing it all up and moving it to your new home, it’s time to get rid of things and let someone else enjoy them. Lucky for you, there are many options when it comes to getting rid of perfectly-good belongings. One of which is a classic garage sale. But as simple as this option might seem, there’s some strategy to them that will help ensure you get rid of as much as possible. Continue reading below for some helpful tips when planning your garage sale.
First things first are selecting the date and time for your garage sale. The key here is to choose a day when the majority of people have a flexible schedule that allows them to stop. Most people prefer Saturday or Sunday. This is because other than the odd practice or commitment here or there, most people don’t have any obligations that would prevent them from stopping. Unlike weekdays, where most people tend to have to work. It’s also important to mention that not just any weekend will work. You want to choose a date when you know the weather will be comfortable enough that people won’t mind being outside. Again, this is why you’ll often only see garage sales held from late April to early September. And once you’ve selected your date, it’s time to choose a time. If you’re holding your garage sale in the summer, you’ll want to have it early on in the day so that the temperature is a bit more manageable. Early morning also seems to be the most common time for garage sales so this should help maximize the number of people who stop at your sale.
Remember, when it comes to setting a date and time, early in the morning on warmer weekends is the absolute best.
Now that you’ve chosen your date and time, it’s time to start gathering all the supplies you’ll need. Use the list below to make sure you’ve got everything.
- Pricing Supplies – You can choose to use masking tape and a sharpie or pre-made price tags, but whichever you choose you’ll want to make sure you have plenty. Don’t be afraid to group similarly-priced things into a box and simply place a sign on the box with the price. This will cut down on the amount of tape or tags you need.
- Tables – Nobody wants to spend their entire time bent over searching through boxes so the more you can put up on tables, the happier people will be.
- Money – Yes, we know you’re selling your stuff to make money, but you’ll want to have a cash box and float (money) on hand so that you can make change if need be.
- Calculator – Once and a while you’ll meet that one person who will buy three trips worth of stuff. For these shoppers, you might want to have a calculator handy to help with totalling up the cost.
- Help – Some garage sales can be very busy so having one or two more sets of hands to help out makes the day a lot easier.
Organize Your Things
It may just be a garage sale, but people are still expecting it to be somewhat easy to shop. They want to be able to walk through your sale and move from likeminded group to likeminded group. We recommend organizing your things by price (one table per price) or by room category (kitchen items, home décor, sporting goods, electronics, etc.). This way it’ll be easy to shop and hopefully it will maximize your sales.
Spread The Word
Now that your date and time are set, your supplies gathered and your things organized, it’s time to start spreading the word. In past times, people would turn to the classifieds section of the newspaper to share their garage sale, but with the significant drop in newspaper readers, we might suggest supplementing this method of advertising with some of the other options as well. We recommend using social media, and online classified websites like Kijiji to spread the word about your garage sale. You can include all the details a reader might need as well as highlight some of the items you’ll be selling. And if all else fails, creating large signs to place at the corner of your street or on telephone poles the day of your garage sale will be extremely helpful in getting people to stop.
Some people do it for fun, some people because they’re actually on a budget. But regardless, you’re bound to deal with many negotiators on the day of your garage sale. Our recommendation here is to remain flexible without giving everything away. Be willing to budge on your price slightly or create multi-item deals so that you can sell more and the people purchasing can leave feeling like they got a deal.
Have A Plan for Unsold Things
As the day drags on, you’ll begin to see less and less people until it’s time to call it quits. If your garage sale was on a Saturday, you might choose to hold it on the following Sunday in hopes of selling off remaining items. But if you’re stuck with unwanted items that didn’t sell, it’s essential to have a plan for them. You can choose to donate them or (if there’s not very much) you can decide to try and sell them another way— whether on social media or a classifieds website.
Garage Sale Alternatives
For some people, the thought of organizing and hosting their own garage sale is too much. But that’s ok. There are lots of proven alternatives to garage sales that can help you limit what you’re moving to your new home.
Classifieds – Classifieds websites like Kijiji are perfect for selling unwanted items. Each item gets its own individual listing which makes it incredibly easy for searchers to find your item, make an offer or ask any questions they might have. Just be prepared to answer a lot of “is it still available?” questions.
Social Media – Social media is another excellent place to sell unwanted items. With most users having an extensive friends list, it’s easy to create a post and gain a ton of exposure. Facebook has even gone as far as to create their own marketplace where all Facebook users can search for items whether being sold by their friends or not.
Consignment – If a lot of your unwanted items include high-quality furniture, you might want to consider consigning it. This is a unique process that is proven to have a high return on investment. If you’d like to learn more about furniture consignment, we recommend you check out one of our past blog posts “Next Time Around on The Benefits of Consigning Unwanted Furniture Before a Move”.
A lot of work goes into holding a garage sale. But using the tips above and a little sweat equity, we’re sure yours can be successful in getting rid of unwanted items in your home while making a little extra money at the same time. And if you have any questions regarding your upcoming move, we encourage you to reach out to us by phone, email or on social media.