You’ve been purging your belongings, and you’ve been finding things that you’ve outgrown or no longer want — but that seem to have enough life left in them that you hate to put them in the landfill. One option for getting rid of the things you no longer use or want — and making a little cash along the way — is to hold a garage sale. A garage sale can be a huge undertaking, but here are 7 tips to make it a little less daunting.
Figure out what permits you need. Some cities and municipalities require a permit for a garage sale. The last thing you want is to have gone through all the trouble of planning a sale and setting items out to then be shut down by local law enforcement. If you are in a neighborhood with a Homeowner’s Association, check their guidelines as well. As a general rule, those living in apartment complexes are not allowed to have garage sales but check your lease to be sure. Then acquire whatever permits you need — most cost around $25 — or go forward with your garage sale plans with a clear conscience.
Consider teaming up. Neighborhood or block garage sales can increase your chances of success. Ask your neighbors if they’d be interested in having a joint sale. Another option is to ask members of your faith community or other organization if they want to have a group sale. This helps drive more traffic to your sale and shares out the cost of advertising. You may be able to rent a community hall or other building for your sale and thus get around HOA regulations or city ordinances against outdoor sales.
Price your items to sell. The goal is to get these things out of your house, not to become a millionaire. Yes, there are things you could get more money for on eBay or through a reseller, but pricing things to sell is more likely to put cash in your pocket. Bundling items — 5 vinyl albums for $4, or an entire set of glassware for $10 — will also help things to move.
Price items by type or group rather than individually. It will save you time and hassle to group like items and price them the same, rather than evaluating and tagging each item individually. Offer all baby clothes for $1, for instance, rather than tagging each onesie. People are also more likely to buy multiple items if you have a set price that’s easy to see.
Advertise your sale. Make sure to advertise your sale ahead of time. A least a week’s lead time is recommended. You can put ads in the paper and online. Flyers and signs are your best bet, though. First find out what regulations your neighborhood and city have about putting up garage sale signs, including whether they can be posted on telephone polls, how far in advance they can be put up, and when they need to be taken down.
Organize your sale space. People are used to doing some digging at garage sales, but having an organized sale will help you have a successful event. Group like items in the same area. Hang clothes on a rack or clothesline. Make prices visible and easy to find, through signs and colored tags. Have a separate, clearly marked table where people can check out. Consider offering shopping bags or baskets for shoppers. And tidy up throughout the day when racks and stacks get jumbled.
Be prepared the day of the sale. Be sure to have everything you need on the day of the sale. Have plenty of change, especially in small bills, on hand. If you plan to take Square or another such payment option, have your technology ready. Have bags on hand for people to take their treasures home. Also be sure to have water and snacks for those working your sale, as well as a chair or two and some sunscreen.