Garage sale season has arrived. Here are nine things you need to do to make the most money at your garage sale.
1. Choose the right date. This means avoiding major holidays and choosing a date near the 1st or the 15th of the month, which lands on or around payday for most buyers, said Jamie Novak, New Jersey-based author of “Keep This Toss That.” A weekend in the early or late summer, when it’s not as hot, usually does best, said Andrew Schrage, co-owner of Money Crashers Personal Finance, a personal finance website.
2. Make it a group event. Multifamily sales get about 50 percent more traffic, so before you do this alone, ask neighbors if they want to have a block sale, Novak said. If you can’t get a group together, then ask friends and family if they want you to sell their items at your sale.
3. Spend time on your expensive items. If you have bigger, pricier items, make sure they look good, LaPedis said. Put air into the tires of the bicycle; dust and wipe down the table. But don’t put in a ton of time on items that are priced at just a few dollars. “It’s not cost-efficient,” LaPedis said.
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4. Stage the items. Transform your yard into a story with a little staging, Novak said. For example, group a dress with a bag and a necklace that go together, along with a full-length mirror; place a picnic basket with a fishing pole, and make a sign that says, “Gone fishing.”
5. Set up a children’s table. This table should be stocked with crayons and coloring paper for kids to keep busy while parents shop, Novak said. Fewer distractions will lead to more sales, she said.
6. Stock measuring tape. Keep measuring tape handy for customers to check the dimensions of your furniture, Novak said. You may even want to put little pencils and paper throughout the sale, so everyone can jot down the dimensions, along with notes about their favorites – “Ikea-style.”
7. Get spare change. Have this handy ahead of time, so you don’t miss out on a sale, Schrage said.
8 Advertise the event. Use classified advertising and social media to get the word out about your sale, Hammond said. Start about a week before the event with a Craigslist ad, and then bump the ad up the day before the sale. Use Facebook and Twitter as well, letting as many people as possible know about your sale, and as soon as you’ve organized your items, post pictures.
9. Get your signs. This will make or break a garage sale, said LaPedis, who makes 20 signs before each of his garage sales. These need to be large (so don’t bother with any 8-by-10 signs). LaPedis suggested doing them on either white foam board or on bright, bold cardboard. “Put them within a few blocks of your sale at really great intersections, plus the exit of supermarkets and libraries, and go at least 3 miles out,” he said. When you get closer to your house, use signs with arrows. Put the signs up the morning of your sale because the weather may ruin them if they’re up any earlier, or a competing garage sale host may take yours down, LaPedis said. Go back right before your sale begins to make sure your signs are still up.