How many things do you have at home that you haven’t used for more than two years?
“Put your hands on everything you own and ask yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, thank it for its service and get rid of it.”
Marie Kondo, author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”, advocates.
The last quarter of the year is the perfect opportunity to organize a garage sale, as it’s not too warm or freezing outdoors. It’s also one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash this holiday season.
Keeping that ridiculous kitchenware set out of guilt because it was given to you as a present last Christmas, or (see, you don’t even remember) on your birthday? Get rid of it. Broken-hearted and want to dispose of your special other’s possessions? Sell ‘em.
Here’s how to have the best garage sale just in time for the Holidays:
1) Make time for signs.
Antique or “vintage” items are definitely hot items this season. But without directions to your home, those objects may remain untouched and might just turn into relics.
You don’t need a flashing neon poster to promote your garage sale. All you need is a visible, bright and simple but straightforward announcement in every other corner leading to your street. It helps to post them up a day or two before the actual date.
Make it a family effort, especially if it includes hauling furniture around. The extra pair of hands will always be helpful. Also, ensure that organizing a garage sale is not against any ordinance in your community. Some places are strict and may require permits or licenses for these kinds of activities.
Scope out weather patterns and schedule them on Fridays or weekdays – when vehicle and human traffic is constant and abundant. In fact, some people will be more than eager to stop over and pick out a few items on their way to or from work or school.
Have plenty of pennies and $1 bills on hand for change, a calculator for more accurate computations, and a measuring tape for furniture and clothes.
2) The more you specify, the more they buy.
Make sure your boundaries are clear. Cover up the rest of your garage; they might think some items are for sale when they actually aren’t.
Color code stuff according to “new”, “slightly used” and “used” items for pickier bargain hunters. Put new things in plain sight. Group them according to cost or function as well.
Guys usually go for tools, DVDs, electronics. Electronics and utility materials should be marked with instructions in case it needs batteries, charger replacement or is faulty.
Antique junkies might target your garage sale, too.
It’d be a good idea to indicate details about the furniture, especially what year it was made or acquired. For clothes, you can make your own tag that indicates the brand, size, and a bit of personal commentary that give the items “character”. This will save them some browsing time.
3) Deals make an appeal.
Write the price on the items for faster transactions as buyers no longer have to inquire how much it costs. You can’t avoid hagglers though. There will always be a barter Carter who will exhaust your marketing skills. Remember that the lower the prices, the faster they sell.
Put yourself in the shoes of your buyers. Would you really be willing to buy that rocking chair for $90? “Buy one, take one” hooks also work for items that have the same functions. Kitchenware and appliances, for example, can be sold in pairs for the price of one.
4) Connect with consumers.
It has become a customary process to advertise pretty much ANYTHING on social media. Slip a message into your neighbors’ Facebook inbox, Tweet it, or Snap some photos of your garage sale preparation process. Craigslist also lets you advertise for free.
Once the first batch of buyers roll in, make it a point to lightly play some background music. One study shows that music influences shopping behavior. Slow tunes convince shoppers to move at a slower pace, encouraging them to take their time shopping and buy more.
Want those slightly more luxurious items to attract buyers? Play classical music.
Have plastic and paper bags ready for customers who grab more than one item. Old t-shirts that may not appeal to anyone younger than your parents can also be upcycled into a bag in less than 10 minutes.
5) Keep it easy on the eyes.
Passersby might not have enough time to sort through a rack-full of clothes. Pick out your best items. Don’t seem to have “enough” items on display? Rearrange them in a way that gives off the impression that your table is full.
Unsold items, mainly furniture, that you want to give up but still have some kind of value can be uploaded on Freecycle for possible takers. Designer and high-end items can also be sold on websites like Zupa! and Craigslist.
6) Offer freebies.
These include items that are no longer of any use to you (and which aren’t in the best shape, but are not damaged enough to be disposed). Giveaways you nonchalantly accepted, stationary, key chains etc. it’s a good way to ensure that you won’t have to take those unsold items back inside.
Towards the end of the day, if your mark downs still don’t entice the customers, just give them away. You can also gift them in bulk. A stack of books and magazines, a set of playing cards, old toys, or classic electronics work best with children. It’s the season for giving, anyway.
Don’t forget to set-up a corner in your garage sale for novelty items and Christmas goodies, too!
7) Be vigilant.
Don’t let anyone to go inside your home to “try on” or “test” items like clothing and kitchen appliances. Have an extension cord connected to an outlet ready, so buyers can test them outside. Tame your dogs and cats, or for absolute safety measures, keep them indoors.
You are accountable for your customers. You don’t want to end up spending more than you earned by paying for their medical bills. Not that it happens often, but taking precautions like keeping your valuable items near you may also save you from any possible thefts.
One of the best ways to get rid of belongings fast while earning is to host a garage sale. The answer lies right outside your doorstep. After all this, you will be at peace knowing your once cherished sweater is now keeping someone else warm.