Whether you are coming or going, there is something about seeing a pile of unused items or and overflowing junk drawer that can strike fear in just about anyone. The upside? As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
With a savvy garage sale strategy, you can declutter your home while putting some money in your pocket. Here’s how:
Block Off Two Prime Days:
Hosting a successful garage sale requires some good old-fashioned elbow grease—so don’t do yourself a disservice for all of that hard work by limiting your sale to a few hours on the morning of, say, a Husker football game. Check schedules for local events, which could serve to either bring some new potential buyers to your neighborhood or could keep people away. While you’re at it, plan to host your sale on two days (typically Friday and Saturday) to maximize the return on your effort.
Advertise in Advance:
Putting a sign down the road will attract people to your garage sale. But getting specific about the items you are actually selling—especially if you have quality children’s, jewelry, outdoor or furniture offerings—in well-placed posts online makes it more likely that buyers will come your way. Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and other local event calendars make for great options.
Clean Your Inventory:
This may sound like a no-brainer, but when we’re talking about items that have been sitting in storage for who knows how long, it might be tempting to leave that dust alone. But, if it takes five seconds to swipe something over with a wet wipe and will earn you more for the sale, just take the five seconds.
Label Everything—and Include Bulk Prices:
When it comes to putting price tags on items in a garage sale, the most common debate is that sticker shock will scare would-be buyers off. Trust us, this is a risk worth taking. If you instead expect people to ask about prices, you are definitely going to turn away people who are shy or uninterested in haggling. Better yet, strike a middle ground by clearly offering bulk pricing discounts and clearly stating on a sign that you are willing to accept other offers.
No matter how long an item has been sitting unused in a closet, you’ve likely held onto it for a reason—either because of sentimental value, perceived actual value or well-meaning plans to use it again. Even when you’ve made the decision to part with it at a garage sale, you will probably be prone to overpricing due to your history with the item. But, what do you really want? To declutter and make a few dollars, right? To make this happen, you need to think like a buyer and get honest with yourself about how much someone will really spend on your book collection, figurines or 20-year-old ski pants.