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third world country
emotional significance
staying home
garage sale
couple days
craigslist
hassle
How To Have A Successful Garage Sale
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For most people, it's more than just cleaning out the house. You're giving up a couple days, so why not make some money also? Having a garage sale doesn't have to be a hassle. . .if you do it right.

The day of the week is significant. Obviously, Monday probably wouldn't be a great day for a sale, unless you're hoping no one shows up. Traditionally, the best days are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sunday is generally a waste, unless you're planning on staying home anyway.

Advertise, advertise, advertise. First check for any city or town ordinances you may need for signage. Most don't require permits, but the last thing you want is a fine eating into your profits. I know in my town, the homeowners' association frowns on signs and actually has "spies" drive around and take down the signs. Should you be fortunate enough to not have to worry about that, make sure the signs are clear and easy to follow. A quick ad on Craigslist is a good idea, as is an inexpensive classified ad in your local paper. Believe it or not, people will actually plan out a route. You want them on that route, so an ad will always pay off. However, there are people who just go out looking for signs, so that's why you want to make sure yours are clear.

Before you even put anything out, make sure everything is well organized. Place similarly priced items together. "Everything on this table $1." A sign like that will prevent people from asking you the price and keep them from walking away if items aren't clearly marked. As far as clothes are concerned, keep them on hangers and clearly visible, if possible. I've never been more turned off than seeing a bunch of clothes tossed in a pile on the driveway like a third-world country.

When it comes to pricing, be realistic. Remember, people are looking for bargains. It's a garage sale, not Macy's. The item may have some emotional significance to you, but there's probably a reason you want to get rid of it. Just think of the show American Pickers. Everyone wants to feel as though he or she is getting a deal. And be flexible. You have to expect people want to haggle. Don't ever be put off by a lowball offer. After all, you don't have to sell it. But keep in mind that if you don't, you have to haul it back into the house and store it until the next sale.

Also, make sure you have change. Occasionally, you'll get that person who wants to pay for $2 worth of stuff with a $50 bill -- rare, but it happens.

Above all, just have fun. You'll meet some really cool people, and if you follow these basic suggestions, everything should go smoothly.

Keep in mind that everyone has his or her own garage sale tactics, but these general rules of thumb should help you out. Happy garage saling!


Street Talk

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