Pre-Garage Sale Work - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-22-2006, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're having a garage/tag/yard sale next weekend and I need your advice as a seller or shopper. :

What kinds of tips do you have for making it go smoothly for us and tell me what appeals to you as a garage sale shopper?

How do you decide to price things? We don't need to make a ton of money, so pricing can be really cheap. I'm thinking of just tagging all items with a colored dot the making a corresponding price list, rather than pricing each item. Good idea or bad idea?

What hours should the sale be?

What days? Friday, Saturday, Sunday? Which 2 of the 3 are best?

Where should I advertise? Signs along the road? Newspaper? Craigslist? Where/how do you find out about sales?

What things sell well at garage sales? What things should just be donated because no one buys them?

And I guess my biggest question--how do you manage organizing the stuff you want to sell? I need to get it out of the basement and onto the yard/driveway. How can I do this without trashing the living room? Can I store it in the garage? It seems as though spiders and dust will take it over long before next weekend.

I really want and need to do this, partly because I'd like to make back a little of the $$ we spent, but more so because we can't really haul all this stuff away ourselves and would like some 'help' in that matter.
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Old 07-22-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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I don`t think you can ever know what will sell.... I live in Japan and have done a few flea market type events and have been amazed at what sold. (my friend sold a down coat in July).
Anyway I think simple pricing is best. Make buying more a deal, ie. 2 for a dollar etc.. this helps you get rid of stuff. If someone buys a lot toss in something for free. This creates good feelings. I remember when I was a kid that the cooler of drinks and cupcakes sold really well.... this will not reduce the amount of stuff in your house tho`.
Sorry I can`t help with advertizing.
Also at the end of the day you could do a deal, one bag of XYZ for $10 and let people go wild stuffing things in to bags. (we did this at a Community center where I worked at the end of our annual bazzar, worked great to clear out clothes)
hth
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Old 07-22-2006, 11:37 PM
 
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Lots of street signs if you're not in the boondocks. Or a couple of advertisements in Tag Sale sections of daily or weekly newspapers. Let us know how it goes!!
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:26 AM
 
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There are lots of threads about this topic. Do a search and see if you can find some. I'm sure you'll get lots of good info.

In the meantime, my best advice is:

Lots of signs, with BIG address and small garage sale. It kills me when the sign is on a phone pole on a Saturday morning and the words GARAGE SALE are gigantic and the address is in a 12 font. We KNOW it's a garage sale. We need to know where. Also, ARROWS are very helpful if folks don't know the neighborhood. I have been led to many a sale by nothing more than great arrows.

Price everything, or at least have signs that tell group prices . . . like all clothes $1. It's very annoying and off-putting to have to continuously ask, "How much is this?" Plus, people will pick up something they totally don't need just because it says 50 cents.

Price low . . . about 10% of what it would be new. Be willing to give bargains. If you price it $2 and they ask to get it for $1, come back in the middle with $1.50. Then you both feel like you win. If I ask for a price reduction and the person says no, I'll usually put it back just because I got my panties in a wad. Haggling is part of the game.

Don't just leave stuff piled in boxes or on tables. People don't like to wade through a big box. Clothes on hangers sell much better. While I'd never take the time to wash or iron stuff to sell, it should at least be easy to get to.

Good luck!
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:28 AM
 
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My sister, Mom, and I have had 3 yardsales and will soon have our 4th (in 5 years mind you). Yes, we tend to accumulate junk (me less so now). However, here are my tips:

*Organize everything in a room and write it down. Group stuff together whether by price or item type. You may have to live with it in the livingroom for a week. May take you that long to organize it anyway. But I think it will be fine in the garage for a week too. We've done that before.
*We always have TONS of books so we separate by type (mystery, romance, etc) and let them go at 5/$1.
*We have used the colored dot method which works out pretty well. But we did individually price larger or big ticket items. Also sometimes helps to provide a little information on a "price sign" for more expensive items.
*9-3 Sat-Sun are good hours. I don't know how much you have, but a second day may not be necessary. Generally the good stuff goes first and traffic drops off by noonish. You could try running a second day if you think what is left will sell.
*Advertise in the local paper as well as with signs in the neighborhood and main roads. Put them up a day or two ahead.
*IMPORTANT*Make sure you are set up and ready to sell by the advertised start time. People will be at your house before the start time because as every yardsaler knows, the good stuff goes first! Believe me, you do not want to be still hauling stuff out and setting up while people are browsing what is out there but not yet organized (been there done that!: )

Afterwards you should have way less stuff to haul away or donate.

Good luck and let us know how you made out!!

Lisa mom to Gillian (7) : and three : :
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Old 07-26-2006, 04:52 PM
 
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Make it easy for people to find your sale.

I personally like to go with the no-pricing method and sell it for what seems right.

Saturdays are best here. Early mornings- say 8, with the idea that some early birds may show up.

How much do you want to invest into advertising. Craigs list is free. YOur local paper may charge for an ad.
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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Big simple signs...that don't fall down, maybe an ad in local paper

Saturday 7-12 is good....around 11 or when your stuff is almost gone, tell people you are wrapping up to make an offer.....the more you sell the less you have to pack back up and haul off....
My mom has even put up a "free clothes..take what you want" sign when she was done and just left everything out so she did not have to take it off to goodwill

Do NOT just pile clothes on a blanket on the ground.....no one wants to bend down to rummage

Pin togeather sets of clothes, pj's etc

wrap sheet set with tape and label size

Make a sign with prices of items you have a lot of....shirts .50, jeans 2.00 purses 1.00 etc, then price other items

have lots of recycled bags and a few boxes on hand to put peoples stuff in

Its easier to read a price than to figure out color dots imo...and the dots will come off if clothes are piled togeather

Hang what you can, if they don't see it they won't buy it
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:49 PM
 
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We always have ours from about 8-2 on Saturday and maybe 9-1 on Sunday if we have a lot of stuff left.
I always price things individually..
I never advertise in the paper because it's $25 here and I think that's just too much.. Craig's List and a LOT of signs will do the trick
Good luck!
We are planning to have another sale towards the end of August and I'm hoping that we do well

~e, wife to my sweet T , mama to my turtleman (12) , sunshine (9 ), and monkey (6)
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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To make it easy on you, price nothing below .25 cents (saves making lots of little change!). Around here, 8-3 on Friday; maybe 8-12 on Saturday. And be ready EARLY!
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:55 PM
 
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If you want to get rid of stuff, price it cheaply.

Start at 7 or earlier
Friday and Saturdays are good days around here.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:49 AM
 
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How do you decide to price things? We don't need to make a ton of money, so pricing can be really cheap. I'm thinking of just tagging all items with a colored dot the making a corresponding price list, rather than pricing each item. Good idea or bad idea?

that works. I am also a fan of just saying "all clothes are $.25, all books and videos $.50, etc ./ . . " you will be shocked at how much sells this way. and since you are selling volume you make a ton of money. and yuo have less to donate. but what you do end up hauling in somewhere will be easy because you won't have to take any stickers off .

What hours should the sale be?

start by 9, earlier if you can and I like to go late. there is usually a rush right around 7PM. everyone els eis closed and people have time to putz around at garage sales that otherwise might.



What days? Friday, Saturday, Sunday? Which 2 of the 3 are best?
definitely Fri and Sat. thurs. if you have the time. not Sunday.

Where should I advertise? Signs along the road? Newspaper? Craigslist? Where/how do you find out about sales?
definitely signs and newspaper. and then anywhere else if it is free or cheap.

What things sell well at garage sales? What things should just be donated because no one buys them?
put somehting cheap on there. enough to give it value but cheap enough where someone will risk it. that way you don't have to mess with donating. also if yuo think it has no value yuo can just put free on it.

How can I do this without trashing the living room? Can I store it in the garage? It seems as though spiders and dust will take it over long before next weekend. you can't, yes, they probably won't

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Old 07-31-2006, 04:03 AM
 
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I start by making myself a list on the computer of things I think we can sell in the garage sale and give an estimated price. Then I total the list, if it's over $350, it seems worth it to me for the two of us to spend 8 hours organizing and 8+ hours selling. I have found that 80% of our money comes in by Saturday at 1:30pm. Start at 7AM on Saturday. I think 75% of our best buyers come from our ad in the newspaper...I think $25 is totally a good price, if you have at least $350 in stuff to sell. I always list in the ad some of the larger categories or odd items we have to sell, for instance, in the past we've had children's toys & clothes, dog crates, patio furniture, videos/dvds. and TONS of people came specifically for those but looked at everything else, too. I have friends who have made $50-100 at their garage sales and well, personally, that isn't even worth it to us, but it might be to some. We would probably donate all the stuff and keep the tax receipt, instead.

Our local classifieds give free ads for items priced up to $99 and I have found that if we have a few larger items, I will put a classified ad in starting Wednesday or Thursday, have a garage sale on Saturday, and when people call about the items, I just tell them that I am having a garage sale.

Check your local areas laws. One time, we had a garage sale but hadn't gotten a permit and it was shut down by the authorities (permits are free). Another time, we got a warning citation because we had signs up, and in our area, signs are not legal. (the way around it is to have signs with just "garage sale" and arrows and have them point near to your home but not at it so the inspectors can't prove it's your sign) Ads in the paper are mandatory if you want to make money at your sale.

Ask friends/family if they have anything they want to sell at your sale. You might get people donating stuff, as well. Or you might end up with an extra body at your sale, giving you a chance to take breaks, etc.

At an office store (Office Max or Office Depot), I purchased little round colorful neon stickers that were pre-printed with prices (10 cents, 50 cents $1, etc.) and included blank stickers, which made it SSSOOO much easier to price items. It was such a life saver and worth the $5 it cost. Of course, only do that if you are planning to sell a lot of stuff, otherwise it might not be worth it.

At our garage sales in the past, we have sold $950, $880, $820, $450, so we've always managed to have pretty big sales. Our first sale we thought we have $350 worth of stuff, after making my list, but as we started stacking priced items in the garage, we ended up finding more and more stuff and in the end, we sold $950 worth of stuff, not including friends & family items. I think a large garage sale tends to sell more, as it gets more interest in those just driving by, looking without getting out, etc. If there is so much stuff they can't see it all from the car, more people will get out.

Good luck & happy garage sale-ing!
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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Around here, Michigan, garage sales seem to always run Thur/Fri/Sat or Fri/Sat, we never see Sunday sales!

Make sure your signs are clear as to location. Make sure to mark your house clearly too. Sometimes I will drive by unsure if they are cleaning out their garage or having a sale!

As far as organizing-- when we did our last one (with a friend, at their house) we priced and sorted everything into appropriate boxes (because we had to pack it up and take it over there). Then when we got there, it was easy to pull it out and set it up. Try to hang clothes if at all possible. If not, group them by size/gender/etc. with clear signs. I WILL NOT dig through boxes/bins/disorganized tables of clothes when I am garage sale shopping. Takes too long!

I think you'll be OK in the garage for a week. Just toss sheets over the boxes/tables to keep the dust off. And don't forget to get change!

Good luck!

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Old 08-10-2006, 02:21 AM
 
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When selling kids and baby clothing what do you think if it is organized by size in a lot of about 4-5 outfits? My dtr has so many clothes, and I have saved EVERYTHING! I just want to get rid of things. I have gone through and sorted it all, but thought it might sell faster if there were groupings of outfits....
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