How to Make Your Garage Sale a Success

Like to exchange that gold mine of junk in your basement for a fistful of dollars? You can, by holding a garage sale.

You don't necessarily need a garage to hold a garage sale, but you do need to know the secrets of success. Some careful planning will assure you of a successful sale.

First, consider your location. If you're too far off the beaten track, you might like to ask a friend if you can hold the sale in their yard.

Next, check the bylaws in your area to find out if you might need a permit to hold a garage sale. You may be required to pay a fee, or to collect sales tax. Also, find out if you can put up signs in the neighborhood to advertise your sale.

Choosing the date and hours for your sale should be easy. Naturally, a weekend day would be the best and the morning (not too early, though) and afternoon the best hours.

Make use of free advertising bulletin boards in your community to publicize your sale. You can also advertise in your local newspaper.

Now, what to sell. You may be surprised that what you have no use for and in fact think is junk, someone else is thrilled with. The following list will give you some ideas of what you
can sell:

appliances - large and small
books - paperback and hard cover
costume jewelery
sports equipment
plants
linens / bedding
children's toys
flatware - silver and stainless steel
baby equipment
records / tapes
shoes / boots
patio equipment
garden tools
kitchen utensils / gadgets
china / bric-a-brac
clothing, especially children's
pictures / frames

Now that you've decided when your sale will be held and just what you're going to sell, the following tips will help make your day a success:

Put a price tag on every item. Mark your prices clearly. This makes it easier for a customer to browse. Masking tape is excellent for price tags.

Make sure your merchandise is very clean. Goods that are polished and in good condition will sell faster than old dusty items.

Be ready to deal with customers promptly at opening time. Have everything ready and be wearing a smile.

Be prepared to give your customers change by having coins and small bills on hand.
Save your bags for a few weeks before your sale, so you can offer your customers some wrapping for their purchases.

Be prepared to haggle with customers.

After your sale, if you should have any leftovers, perhaps you would like to donate them to a local charity. Or you can always save the leftovers for your next sale.

Garage sales are a lot of fun. Plan yours properly and you'll be assured of a good time and a successful sale.

-------- more tips and ideas by Linda Mackay --------

1. Put a sign up about a week before at a major crossroads intersection in your community. Bargain hunters plan early in the week on where they will go. Gives great exposure.

2. For linen, bundle up the linen;ie.bath towels, hand towels etc that match. For bedroom linen put the size on it; i.e. Queen. Put a ribbon around the bundle to make it look attractive and to prevent people from taking things apart.

3. If you have the time and personal to help offer coffee and donuts (you charge of course) to increase their browsing time.

4. Rent tables to make it easier for people to view versus boxes on the floor that may be difficult for older people to sort through.

5. Use your network of friends and business associates by sending them an e-mail of your impending sale. They will send it on to others as well who they may know are interested in purchasing items at a reduced cost.

6. In addition to plastic bags, get small boxes of various sizes to give to people who buy more than two or three things. Makes it easier for them to continue browsing if they know they have something that they can cart their new purchases in.

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