If there’s one thing Aussies love, it’s a bargain. Garage sales are not only a great place to find one, but they’re also an excellent way to unload years of clutter and unwanted items, and surprisingly, almost anything will sell. Hosting a garage sale can be a pretty stressful, chaotic event, so you’ll have to plan well ahead of time to maximise the small window you have to re-home your belongings. If you’re a first-time Freddy when it comes to garage sales, don’t stress, we’ve got 12 hot tips for making sure your garage sale is a success and expertly executed.
1. Set a sensible date and time
This is the first step for ensuring people actually turn up. Choose a day and time that doesn’t conflict with holidays or special events that will compete for attendance. Most garage sales are hosted on a Saturday when people generally have a day off and are keen to get out and about.
2. Advertise, advertise, advertise!
Nobody will come to your garage sale if nobody even knows about it. Put ads on local Facebook Community Boards as well as in the local paper. Make sure you have signs out front so drive-bys can find you, and consider putting signs in surrounding streets to direct more traffic to your sale (just remember to remove them afterwards!)
3. Be very clear about your start and finish times
People will start arriving while you’re setting up thinking they’ll get a bargain while you’re distracted. Being strict about which times your sale is operating will help deter the early birds and will inform people that you won’t just be sitting around all day waiting for last-minute buyers. Finish times can help create a sense of urgency.
4. Plan and optimize display options
Just like in a supermarket, group similar items together. Nobody wants to fish around in an odd-box of junk and they’ll probably lose interest and leave if they have to. Neatly stack and clearly label everything so buyers can locate what they’re looking for faster.
5. Research other people’s sales prices
It’s a good idea to do a bit of pre-sale research before you pin a price tag on your items. Check out online sales on community groups to see what things are selling for – you don’t want to undervalue your stuff, but also don’t be greedy or you’ll be keeping it.
6. Know your rule-of-thumb prices
Generally, prices should sit at around a quarter to a half of their original value, depending on condition, of course. It’s not always easy to find out what similar items are selling for, so if you’re unsure, this is a good rule to stick to.
7. Be prepared to haggle
We know you’re probably quite sentimental about your stuff, but remember that other people are not. It’s normal to negotiate on price and knocking a few extra bucks off something if someone asks probably won’t make too much of a difference. So don’t take low offers personally, just joke and say no, what’s your next offer? Also, having facilities to accept all types of payment means people are able to spend more than just the cash amount that’s in their wallet.
8. Have plenty of change
Most people will have $50 and $20 notes, but make sure you have enough notes to cover whatever amount they give you. Also have some gold coin handy for those lower priced items.
9. Be smart with handling transactions
When giving change, always keep the original amount in plain view to avoid someone claiming they gave you a higher amount than they did. Most people are quite honest, but unfortunately, there are professional thieves and con-artists out there, so don’t leave yourself vulnerable.
10. No money, no holds
Lots of people say they will come back to pay or buy later they, but they rarely do. Don’t hold items unless someone has paid.
11. Know that not everything will sell
No matter how good the price, some things just won’t find a new home. You can arrange for a local charity to come and collect what’s left to save you dumping the leftovers.
12. Have fun!
Guys, garage sales are supposed to be fun! Bring a friend with you, play some music, be friendly – do whatever it takes to make it look like you’re enjoying your garage sale. The happier and nicer you look, the more people will want to stick around, otherwise you just end up looking like a weirdo sitting on your lawn, surrounded by junk.
Happy selling, and best of luck turning your trash into cash!