how to hold a profitable garage sale

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Garage Sale Tips
How to have the best ever garage sale

Prepper's love shopping yard sales and garage sales to find
barely used camping equipment, cast iron pans, gardening tools,
and other equipment for their preps. Scavenging through other
people's junk is half the fun: finding ways to repurpose or restore
cool finds is the other half.

While
shopping garage sales is both thrifty and satisfying to
preppers,
holding a garage sale is highly profitable and a
worthwhile prepping activity! Having a garage sale is #12 on the
Prepper's TO DO list.

Need to earn a little extra money for your preps? Then it's time
to hold a garage sale! The bonus is you'll create more room in
your closets and cupboards and your attic, garage or basement to
make room for new preps. Here's how to have the best-ever
garage sale...

Garage sale tips for preppers

  • Garage Sale Tip #1: Plan weeks or months in advance of
    your event to gather, sort and price your wares.  The
    task of gathering all the unused and unwanted merchandise
    from your home is not an overnight task. It can take weeks
    or months to sort through your stuff. You will find emotional
    attachment to some objects, and you will most certainly run
    into disagreements with family members about which pieces
    to sell or not to sell. And finally, a successful garage sale
    takes advance work of pricing and sorting wares for sale.
    Thoughtful consideration about pricing is the most
    important. You want a price enticing for the customer, which
    is also a fair compensation for you to release it t their
    custody.

  • Garage Sale Tip #2: know what NOT to sell. Antiques and
    collectibles are better sold on eBay where you can reach a
    competitive audience. If you have something old, be sure to
    have a careful eye towards value. Describe it as best you
    can into the search box of eBay.

  • Garage Sale Tip #3 Plan sales for a Saturday morning
    with good weather. Knowing when to hold your garage sale
    is the most important factor of garage sale success. Check
    weather reports to anticipate a good weathered weekend
    sale, and be flexible to cancel or postpone. Hold your garage
    sale on a Saturday from 8 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., not on a Sunday
    when parishioners are at church and not late in the
    afternoon when the good stuff is supposedly all gone. And
    while you may post an 8 a.m. sale, know the professional
    shoppers will arrive earlier (at 7:00-7:30 a.m.) to get first
    dibs as you set up shop. Professionals won't visit late in the
    afternoon, because they know your good stuff is gone by 9:
    00 a.m.!

  • Garage Sale Tip #4. Grab attention by being bold with
    signage. In the old days you'd place an ad in the newspaper
    to attract shoppers to your garage sale or yard sale. Today,
    you may like to post on Craigslist.org! Beware however, that
    pacing ads will only encourage even more professionals to
    come and grab your good stuff early. Such ads aren't really
    necessary. You need only place some clever signage to
    attract visitors, and this is the important part about
    signage: BE BOLD:

  • Keep the signage simple. No need to list what's for sale,
    simply write "Garage Sale," the date, and your address.
    Make sure the address on your signage is as large and bold
    as possible. Write in block letters. Use a Sharpie or a bold
    print on the computer. Skip the word "street" or "road"
    unless there are similar streets in the area. Your signage
    might read simply:
  • "GARAGE SALE! 725 Pine, Sat. 8-1"

  • Use your vehicles for signage. Park vehicles on an adjoining
    street to direct traffic. This gives shoppers the best place to
    park, and also helps draw shoppers. Print large letters
    individually to spell "G A R A G E   S A L E." Affix the
    individual letters into a message and post onto your car
    windows with strong clear packing tape. Below the words
    "GARAGE SALE" include a directional arrow and large print for
    the address.

  • Put signs on the nearest cross streets to your home. Affix
    signs properly with strong tape and balloons to attract
    attention. Shoppers will give up if your location is too far
    away.

  • Signage should go up in the morning of your event, not the
    night before. This will help ensure the dew and wind don't
    destroy your advertising.

  • Garage Sale Tip #5: Set up shop like a professional.

  • Make sure you have a good location. If you have a remote
    location, then be realistic and save your wares to sell at a
    swap meet or rummage sale opportunity, instead of doing
    your own garage sale. Make a good business decision before
    you invest your time. Remember, you can always "borrow"
    someone else's garage.  Ask a family member if you can use
    their driveway if they live in an area with more foot traffic
    possibilities.

  • Get enough display tables. Turn your driveway, garage or
    yard into a shop with display tables, shelves and coffee
    tables. Borrow folding tables if you must. Give thought to
    how people might flow into your "shop." Make sure there is a
    path. Generally, shoppers will head to the right as they
    make their way around your store. Ensure there is plenty of
    space to highlight you wares.

  • Group "like" items: It may seem logical to put all the books
    in one spot: but refrain from doing this! You'll have a better
    chance of selling books when you strategically place them
    near the items you're selling. For example: place kitchen
    merchandise and cookbooks on one table; children's books
    with the toys and clothing; tools, garage equipment and
    manuals on another table, and so on. In this way, a
    gardener looking for equipment may actually pick up a
    gardening book; a young mother may pick up toys and
    storybooks, etc.

  • Price everything! Don't wing it when it comes to price.
    Thoughtful planning must go to every object. If you hold a
    successful garage sale by following these tips, you'll be
    extremely busy talking with customers and producing
    change. You won't have time coming up with prices on the
    fly! This only opens the floor to negotiation.

  • Have plastic bags and empty cardboard boxes available.
    Encourage extra sales by making it easy for your customers
    to haul away their wares. You can save plastic bags and
    boxes long in advance of your garage sale to prepare.

  • Finally, treat your customers professionally. The cashier in
    particular, can greet all the customers and announce "Pay
    the lady."

  • Garage Sale Tip #6. Keep an eye on the money, honey!

  • Stash a supply of cash. Start your morning with a supply of
    quarters, one dollar bills and fives to make proper change.
    Expect big sales and start with $50 in change.

  • Have one only cashier. Do not have more than one cashier
    or clever thieves will take advantage and say they paid your
    spouse. In all the confusion, you will believe them. Not if
    you have a plan! Having one cashier resolves this problem.

  • Make the cashier easy to spot. Wear a baseball cap that
    reads "pay here" on the front so it's clear who is "in charge."
    Have the cashier stand at the entrance, so shoppers don't
    pass out of your shop without paying.

  • Invest in a fanny pack to use as a money belt. Do not have
    a cashiers box. That is inviting an easy theft. Instead, stash
    your money the Girl Scout way: have a fanny pack tied
    through your belt loop to keep money secure.

  • Garage Sale Tip #7: Know what to expect.

  • Plan in advance for your family's hunger, thirst and
    bathroom breaks. Sleep well the night before. Eat heartily
    before your event. Have a bottle of water nearby and snacks
    to keep you energized. Visit the restroom before you open
    shop. It will be a non-stop event from 7:00-1:30. Have
    sandwiches ready for when it's all over. Plan for a garage
    sale the way you prep!

  • Know you will get questions. Neighbors and real estate
    professionals will question your garage sale. Neighbors may
    be "concerned" you are moving, or hard up for money.
    Realties may want your business. Don't tell them you are
    prepping. You can allay some concerns with one simple
    statement: "it feels so good to get rid of this unwanted
    stuff. You ought to try it yourself!" Soon you may see
    neighbors holding garage sales and you can swoop in and
    get their unused camping equipment.

  • Prepare for negotiation. Professional garage sale shoppers
    often feel compelled to get a lower price. You can handle
    this by pricing key items a bit higher than the lowest you are
    willing to take. In this way, you have some flexibility and
    you may well sell stuff. If you are not willing to negotiate a
    lower price, then post a sign that informs your customers:
    "prices are firm!" You may still get shoppers who feel
    compelled to negotiate, in such instances explain an
    emotional connection to the object. Tell the shopper you will
    keep the original offer open to them, but that you are happy
    take it back and keep it for yourself.

  • Expect theft. Even in the best neighborhoods you'll find
    theft rampant at garage sales. The garage Sale "professional
    robbers" don't feel bad at all stealing your stuff. They figure
    because you wanted to "get rid of it anyway," they are doing
    you a favor. Assign family members with the task of
    "security guards." Have someone inside the house with the
    kids and lock all the doors. Theft happens sometimes in
    broad daylight.

  • Garage Sale Tip #8: Wrap up the sale.

  • Have a plan to donate or dump the unsold stuff. If your
    wares didn't sell at the garage sale, it's highly unlikely you
    will sell them at the next garage sale. If you didn't have any
    foot traffic, then you may like to try again in some other
    venue, but if you followed the tips for a successful garage
    sale outlined here, the good stuff will be gone. Donate or
    dump your remaining wares and free yourself from the
    burden of storage. In this way you will have more room for
    prepping!

  • Tally up your profits! If you've had a successful garage sale,
    you should have at least $300 in your hands at the end of
    the day, not including your original $50 change. Depending
    on your wares you may have hundreds more. It's not unusual
    to more than break the one thousand mark if you are
    unloading furniture or large equipment. It all depends on
    your wares.

  • At the end of the day, remove all signage. You don't want
    people showing up at your property next weekend at the
    same time.

Now have at it! Have the best ever garage sale! Be happy that
having a garage sale is prepping. In fact, holding a garage sale is
#12 on the
Prepper's TO DO list. Read the other 98 ideas and
tips by clicking the graphic, immediate right.

  • NOTE: These garage sale tips are from the primary author of
    HappyPreppers.com. She is a former Platinum Powerseller on
    eBay and has held many successful garage sales.

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