Monday, 4 June 2018

Behind the Garage - Tips for Hosting a Garage Sale

I've made it one of my goals to get rid of a lot of clutter in my life. It's amazing just how much stuff you amass over the years, and when you have children it's like you have tiny hoarder versions of yourself.  I still have no idea why Jack feels a need to save the box and instructions from every single Lego kit he's ever received, even though I've never, ever seen him return to a set of instructions to rebuild something that he completely dismantled two days after he and Chris built it.  I digress, this weekend we held our first garage sale since we had the kids and I'd say it was a mild success, earning us enough money to pay for all of us to go on a family trip to Ripley's Aquarium to feed Molly's need for more information about sharks - her current favourite thing in the entire world.

14 Tips To Up Your Garage Sale Game

Yard Sale

  1. Pick your date & a rain date well in advance 
    Try to avoid long weekends when a lot of people are away.  Look for weekends when other things (like street sales and fun fairs) are going on in your area to increase the foot traffic.
  2. Know what to sell ahead of time
    Some items, like bikes, scooters, skates, and old hockey helmets are best sold ahead of time. You can advertise online, or trade in for the next size, and will usually get more money for something you post on Kiji or Craigslist than you would at a yard sale.
  3. Get your kids involved in clearing out their stuff
    Pick set times, this often works best in three to four sessions spread out over a week or two to go through old books, toys, stuffed animals, and clothes to figure out what you're going to sell.
  4. Sort & Price Your Items
    Get boxes and bins to help sort your items by type and price, and be sure to make the price clear to potential buyers.  Nothing makes me walk away from a thrift shopping experience faster than no pricing.
  5. Talk to your neighbours
    Tell them you're hosting a sale, maybe they'll join in and add to the buzz about a huge street sale in your area.  At the very least they may pop over and buy something.
  6. Make Posters
    Posters printed on bright colours (think Neon) will stand out best.  Make sure the printing is large and legible.  Include your address, the date and time of the sale and don't forget to list what you're selling to help generate the right audience.  (i.e. have old records or baby gear, list it)

    Yard Sale
    Image Courtesy of Wikipedia
  7. Promote Online
    You can post your event in community Facebook groups or on Kijiji a few days in advance to help spread the word.
  8. Poster placement
    Put up your posters on high traffic corners in your neighbourhood, think lights, near crosswalks - places where people are passing through on foot and stopped in their car at lights.
  9. Be prepared to poster more than once
    People rip down posters, and sometimes it rains.  Poster 2-3 days in advance and then again the night before or morning of.
  10. Prepare a cash float
    A $20-$30 float in various change and small bills is all you'll need.
  11. Have more than one adult on hand
    For coffee runs, snack runs & bathroom breaks
  12. Be prepared to bargain
    People love a haggle for better pricing.  If they're taking big items off your hands, particularly as the sale is ending, it's less stuff you need to deal with.
  13. Make part of your clean up a donation runDon't just put what doesn't sell back in your home or garage.  Load up a vehicle and take it straight for donation.  For bigger items you can leave it at the end of your driveway with a giant 'free' sign and most of it will go in a matter of hours.
  14. Tear down your signs
    Take a walk around your area and pull down the signs, no one likes a litter bug.

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