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  1. #1
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    having a garage sale

    I have decided to have a garage sale and I'm looking for some helpful tips for having a successful sale. Any of you done this before? I'm real unsure about the pricing. I certainly want to get rid of this stuff but I dont want to get ripped off either. Any tips on pricing and organizing or anything else I need to know, for that matter?

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  3. #2
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    For our last yard sale we wore those little half aprons things from the hardware store. Can't think what they're called but it's the same thing waiters wear. It really helped to have the money safe and ready to make change. Definitely go to the bank and get lots of ones.

    Sometimes I preprice items and other times I tell a price depending on the person who asks, how they ask or how I feel. For example, one lady was so rude about offering me a quarter for something and I just didn't need her quarter bad enough to take her crap and so I told her. Another young man was buying stuff to take back to the kids in his hometown in Africa and so I gave him a bunch of stuff. I was happy to get rid of it and think it was going for good. Just remember you are in charge.

    Make the lettering on your signs really large, clear and simple and include arrows to direct folks.

    Have fun with people and unless you are planning another yard sale this season, donate what's left over or advertise it on freecycle and craigslist and just let the folks come scavenge on your curb, they will pick it clean and you won't have the clutter

    I'm having one next month and I'm going to try and take my own advice about not letting anything back in that doesn't sell!

    Good luck!

  4. #3
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    we usually end up selling stuff at a local flea market (they rent out tables outside) at least once a year for extra cash. some of the specifics might be different in a flea market setting vs. you by yourself. (if you can rent a table at a flea market for cheap, do! you know anyone who goes there is there to buy stuff . . .) anyway, a few things we've learned:

    price stuff at what you would be willing to pay for it if you saw it in a thrift store. but be willing to do creative pricing, like, if someone wants to buy 3 $5.00 items, knock it down to $12.00, etc. unless the person is a pain in the ass (like Selah said). actually, there are a lot of people who will grab a handful of stuff and ask if you'll take $x for it, sometimes they're nice about it, sometimes it's absurd, like the woman who tried to buy a bagful of my mom's collector bears for $15. if you have, say, a bunch of VHS tapes that you're selling, putting a sign out that says "$4 each or 3 for $10" seems to work well. (that price is just an example of course, you know the area you live in and what your prices should be better than anyone else does.)

    if you have CDs, try not to just have them in a big stack. I haven't figured this one out yet, but I've been thinking maybe sort them out in stacks according to type of music? the only person who's ever looked through my (giant) pile of CDs is a guy who bought all the recent pop stuff to resell, I think if I spaced them out or displayed them better I might have gotten a little more action there. I don't know, though, if it's a garage sale, you might have more teens/music fiends show up. if you're even selling CDs. wow what a tangent.

    my pet peeve at yard sales/flea markets is stuff that's not marked with prices. I hate trying to track someone down and ask them how much something costs, and I especially hate when they give me a price that's way too high and I have to just abruptly set the item down. I'd rather know ahead of time that it's beyond my price range.

    if you have books, price them cheaper than you think you should. if you really want to get rid of them, anyway. I actually gave a bagful of books away for like 50 cents because no one else wanted them.

    I would say make sure you have lots of bags because people get pissy if they have to carry stuff around, but I think that's just a flea market thing.

    space your stuff out well so that you don't have a big pile of stuff that everyone will ignore. make sure you are visible and it's obvious that you're the person to pay/talk to about prices. (the apron would come in handy for that purpose, too!) have plenty of change, more $1 bills than you think you'll need. if it's a hot day, think about having a cooler full of icy cold sodas or water (if no one else buys them, at least you won't be thirsty).

    I also ditto the large clear simple signs. our newspaper publishes yard sale announcements in the classifieds, all the hardcore yard sale people check it out every Saturday, so that might be something to look into (if your newspaper does that). and around here people start going out looking for yard sales in the wee hours of the morning, (okay, like seven o'clock, but on a Saturday? insanity, I tell you!) so you might want to start early, or if no one around your area does that, forget I suggested that.

    and make sure you have some nice big boxes to tote leftovers to Goodwill or whatever afterward so that you're not tempted to bring it back inside!

    I think that's a long enough post, hehe, I hope some of it is helpful anyway! :)

  5. #4
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    My two cents was going to be what Moon Lemming said about having boxes to take to Goodwill after you're done. By all means get the leftovers out of the house right away!

  6. #5
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    pretty much anything you sell at a yard sale is going to go at a price so low that you're essentially getting ripped off. the way i look at it, you want to get rid of the stuff and it's more money than you started with anyhow. i'd rather sell at low prices and actually make some money rather than price what i think is fair to ME and not make anything at all.

    the thing that really gets to me is when someone totally lowballs you, you give in and then they pay for the $2.00 item that you were asking $5 for with a $20. i usually make a bit of a fuss over that! whenever i try to bargain, i make sure i have exact change!

  7. #6
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    Group things and pick a price for them - books 50 cents, clothes 1.00, for example.

    Advertise and put signs at the end of your street. Get ready, they'll show up early.

    Have a game plan for afterward so you don't just put the stuff back in your basement - bring them to goodwill right away for example.

    Have change ready, especially small bills and coins. Also, stock up on plastic grocery store bags beforehand.

    You would be surprised what goes. For example, my husband's old jeans were really popular with people who work in construction - they go through them so fast, they don't care how well they fit. Our books also sold like mad.

  8. #7
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    I like having things priced. I did a yard sale where we didn't and a lot of people seemed like they couldn't be bothered to ask. I did better at one where I had price lists posted: sofa $25, white bookcase $12, skirts $3, jeans $4, etc.

    Everyone asked for a bag. Finally, a use for all those carrier bags clogging your kitchen drawers!

    Keep everything cheap and don't be offended when people don't buy things. Yard sales are as much about clearing out your clutter as making any money. Probably more, now that I think about it...

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by brdgt
    Advertise and put signs at the end of your street. Get ready, they'll show up early.
    That is the understatement of the year. I once had a sale and, because our landlords wouldn't let us use the garage for it, we had to haul everything out onto the driveway first thing in the morning. There were people with vans parked outside who came up to the door and tried to bargain with us as we carried pieces of furniture across the yard. If you can, get it all set up beforehand.

    Another suggestion is to make sure you have more than one person there to watch the sale with you. Theft is not uncommon at garage sales, especially if you have valuable small items like tools. I don't have a good strategy to suggest, but you might think about what to do if you have to confront someone for stealing.

    Also, if you do put an ad in the classifieds, do NOT put your phone number in it. You will have every yahoo calling to ask "do you have X for sale?"


    Good luck, hope you make lots of money!

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lalamark
    Keep everything cheap and don't be offended when people don't buy things. Yard sales are as much about clearing out your clutter as making any money. Probably more, now that I think about it...
    That's a great point, I remember these "professional yard salers" muttering under their breathe that most of my stuff was going to end up at the dump - well, duh! It's a yard sale, not a boutique buddy!

  11. #10
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    --Another suggestion is to make sure you have more than one person there to watch the sale with you.--

    That's so important! When I had my huge "dismantling my life" sale, I was on my own for much of the day--from 8am to almost 6pm. I didn't eat all day and ended up all over-heated, shaky and cranky.


 
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