Well, it has finally happened, and the calendar has turned from winter to spring. We know what that means: families are going to start holding garage sales in an effort to facilitate spring cleaning. Between now and the end of summer, there are going to be garage sales of all shapes and sizes.
Given our many years of experience in helping people downsize, we are also intimately familiar with garage sales here at My Divine Concierge. We would like to pass along some of the knowledge we have gained over the years in order to help make your garage sale run a bit more smoothly. So consider this blog post our annual reminder about spring garage sales.
Plan, Plan, and Then Plan Some More
The key to every successful drive sale is planning. Actually, isn’t that the key to success all the way around? Be that as it may, planning your garage sale will prove a lot more successful than just setting up a few card tables on a whim. Planning involves a number of key factors:
Dates – Planning exactly when you’re going to have your garage sale is important. For example, don’t plan to have it on the busy Memorial Day weekend. People will be out of town. Plan for a weekend when there aren’t a lot of public events going on. If you can, scheduling on the same weekend as other sales in the neighborhood will help.
Merchandise – Contrary to popular belief, not everything in your home is suitable for a garage sale. You do have some junk that would be better occupying space in a garbage can. You might also have some items that are extremely valuable. A better choice for them might be an antique shop or a collector.
Labor – You really should plan for who is going to take control of your garage sale for the entire weekend. Enlisting multiple people for shorter shifts can keep things fresh.
Advertising – Generating traffic for your garage sale is a matter of advertising. You have to plan for this. You may want to advertise in the local newspaper; you might want to make signs and post them in strategic locations; you might want to send out some social media blasts.
A well-planned garage sale is one more likely to go off without any complications. That said, do not stress over little things that go wrong. No plan is foolproof.
Pricing Your Merchandise
The other thing we want to remind you of relates to pricing your merchandise. We cannot tell you how many people we have encountered who were terribly frustrated at the end of a garage sale because they barely moved any merchandise. Often times, not selling is a result of pricing merchandise too high.
The reality is that garage sale shoppers are bargain hunters. They are not going to spend two dollars each on your collection of stemware when they can get something comparable for twenty-five cents per piece. You are never going to get what you paid for your stuff by selling it in a garage sale.
What many people forget is that garage sales are very much market-driven. How much you paid for an item you are attempting to sell means nothing to potential buyers. They will only pay what it is worth to them. Our suggestion is to set your prices moderately, and then be willing to negotiate on everything. If the best you can do is a quarter, isn’t that better than throwing the item away?
‘Tis the season for garage sales and downsizing. If you need help with either one, please give My Divine Concierge a call. We would be happy to help.