Garage Sale Tips: Organizing, Pricing, And Cleaning Time Effectively

How to prepare for a garage sale long before it happens. Orgainizing, advertising and having the sale and then dealing with unsold items.

A garage sale can be a fun and profitable venture, as well as a way to free up family living space by getting rid of things the family no longer wants/needs.

Organization and preparation for the sale can increase the enjoyment and profitability of the sale as well as making cleaning up after the sale more time saving. This article outlines some ideas for preparation for, organization of and clean up following a garage sale.

Ideal preparation for a garage sale should begin long before the sale as individuals make decisions to sell the items they no longer want. A place in the home that can used for storage (perhaps in the basement or shed) where items can be kept dry and out of the way could be used as the area to place items for future sales. While there will be far too many items to have a categorized container for, certain things are likely to be a part of the sale . Keeping a container for clothes, a container for toys and a container for kitchen items should assist in pricing and preparing the items for sale. Miscellaneous items could be in a separate container. The categories of needed containers will vary with each family. The containers of items for sale should be placed in the area designated for storage (as suggested above).



When considering when to have the sale, collaboration with neighbors to have a neighborhood sale tends to increase the amount of customers, even if it is just two sales in the same area. For those who have fewer things to sell, partnering with a friend or relative to sell things at a garage sale allows for advertisement of more items and generally all selling parties split the expenses for the sale. When placing the ad in the local newspaper, the individual should emphasize the things that there are the most of and the things that are of the most value or are unique in nature. Most cities require a permit to be on display throughout the sale and along with obtaining this, it is a good idea to have about $ 25.00 worth of change to begin the sale with. Denominations of several $1.00 bills along with several quarters, nickels and dimes work well to make to make change with. Advertisements on poles by way of signs and balloons should be placed at busy intersections in the neighborhood of the sale. Each sign should contain the residential address of the sale and an arrow pointing drivers in the direction of the sale.

As the day of the sale approaches, sorting through and displaying items for sale becomes the task at hand, as does the pricing of the items. People prefer a well organized sale to those where items are scattered. There is a certain amount of scattering that occurs as customers look through items but starting out organized and tidying up things occasionally maintains the order of the sale. Sale items should be categorized and displayed according to their use. Clothes are best viewed by potential customers on hangers unless they are pajamas or shorts. Men's, women's and children's clothes are best displayed in a manner that designates their category. Marking the size of the clothes is also very helpful to the potential buyer, especially if tags are worn and not readable. Keeping clothes for the same sex that are of the same size together with a written note, such as "Men's size 12" can be helpful, if several items fall into that category and they can be displayed far enough from other categories of clothes to prevent mixing categories. Clothes not hung on hangers should be folded neatly on tables.

Pricing can be done in a variety of ways. Some prefer to affix something to each item being sold and write that particular items' price on it. Masking tape is a favorite for this type of pricing method. A more time effective way of pricing items is to use colored round dots (sold at many local retail stores) which are placed on each item to let the customers know the price of the item by the color of dot placed on it. An example might be for an item with a red dot to be .25 cent item. At least one poster board must be displayed to show what price each color represents and if the yard is very big, two or more might by necessary for clearly communicating the pricing system to all customers. Like items such as books, some clothes etc. that are being sold for the same price could just have a piece of paper with the price on them such as .25cents per book. As the last few hours of the sale approach, the seller might consider selling items for ½ prices and/or as much a person can get in sack, for a fixed price.

It is important to have a plan for the garage sale items that do not sell. Many charitable organizations will take the items that individuals want to get rid of. It is a good idea to get an itemized receipt for the donated items, if there is a possibility of needing to verify the donation at income tax time. When placing items on display to sell from the boxes and/or containers, it would be helpful to place the empty containers just below the table or place that they came from, so that the unsold items can easily be returned to the container they were stored in. If the sale is more than one day, the individual having the sale might consider bringing the more valuable items inside but merely covering the rest of the items with a weather proof tarp.

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