Garage sales. Get rid of your junk, and get some money to buy new junk. How is that not appealing?
I am a first-time garage saler. My family has accumulated a lot of stuff. And we are starting to feel like we would rather have more space than stuff. So when my new neighbor approached me and said, “Hey, I’m having a garage sale. Care to join me?” I said, “Absolutely.” And then I thought of all of the glorious space we would have after our garage sale and we could go up into our spacious yet sweltering attic and dance around, throwing our quarters in the air.
But here I am, after Garage Sale Day 1, I have all of the change that I got from the bank except the $21.50 that I gave to my husband for tolls or something. I did not sell a single thing!
So, as an amateur garage saler, here are a few tips on how to sell nothing:
- Do not advertise in your local paper.
- Have your garage sale on a day where it looks as if there may be a torrential downpour at any moment.
- Hold your garage sale on the same day as a giant community garage sale across town.
- Hold off having your garage sale until your road is restricted to one way traffic because of construction.
Preparation for a garage sale is something else. And by something else, I mean a giant ridiculous ordeal. Garage sales are not for the pessimist. You must think, “These hours in my 105 degree attic in my sweat drenched clothes, sifting through all of my junk are going to reward me handsomely with fun and pretty things purchased by the piles of cash that people will throw at me while they run away with my junk.”
So anyway, how to prepare for your garage sale:
Decide to have a garage sale. Congratulations, you’re going to have a yard sale. Now you can move onto the giant ridiculous ordeal part of the process.
Accumulate all of your junk. If you’re really thinking ahead, a few weeks/months before your garage sale date, as you move through your house, tidying or vacuuming or dusting, or thinking about how much you need to tidy or vacuum or dust, put items that you want to part with in a designated box. If you’re like me, four days before your garage sale date, you could have as much as an entire half of a box of junk to sell! But this is where it starts getting real fun. Go to where you like to accumulate your junk—your attic, basement, garage, closets—and pull out all of the junk you no longer want to have in your junk areas. And again, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be finding that instead of accumulating lots of junk to be sold, you think about how sentimental all of your junk is. Note: I’m going to refer to junk as stuff from here on out. Anyway, try to get as much stuff together as you can. Really think about the usefulness of your stuff and whether or not it is just taking up space. And don’t think about whether or not someone will buy it. People buy weird things.
Set a date for your garage sale. Allow some time to prepare, and maybe even talk to all of your neighbors to see if they’re interested in having a community sale.
Advertise. Get in your local paper, craigslist, and facebook and smear your garage sale info all over the place. The more people that see that you’re having a garage sale, the more people there will be to come and throw money at you while they run away with your stuff. Also, if your town requires you to register your garage sale sign, go ahead and buy (or make) one now so you can get that taken care of.
Now back to the giant ridiculous ordeal. Clean your stuff. Make sure it looks nice and dust free and also doesn’t smell weird. At least try your best to get it there. A basin of dish soapy water and some wash cloths will take you far!
You’re getting closer. Go get some change. How much change? I don’t know! Really, no one does. And no one can. Will you turn away someone who wants to buy a pair of socks for a dollar using a twenty? You go go through a lot of change quickly that way. Or everyone wanting to buy your stuff might be prepared with small bills and quarters.
I went and got 20 ones, 3 tens, a few fives, and a roll each of quarters, dimes, and nickels. Really, I hoped that I would not be accepting any offers less than a quarter, but what I came across while researching this topic suggested having dimes and nickels, but the dimes and nickels remained unopened.
So get some change.
Clean and organize your garage. Or pretend to. This is your temporary store, so make room for all of your stuff. Pull out your card tables and work benches and wash your table clothes. Try to make things look niceish. Or at least something close to niceish.
Alright, it’s about the day before your garage sale. Go ahead do your best to kind of arrange it in your garage. Ideally, the weather will be nice, and you can pull out tables and large items to make things less cramped.
You can do this one along with step seven, but if you’re anything like me, you would rather put this off until the morning of your sale. Price your stuff. Some say to double the price that you really want for an item, so when buyers haggle, you have wiggle room. Others say to price low so your stuff sells. It seems like either way, it’s a roll of the dice.
Step ten.It’s garage sale day! Wake up early, pull your hair back, eat some breakfast, grab some water and your change, and get ready to say hello and good morning and are you looking for anything in particular to a lot of strangers. Ideally, you will be talking to a lot of strangers. In your garage. Did anyone ever say that garage sales are kind of weird? Because they are.
Good luck and have fun!
Garage sale day 2 went much better-I sold stuff! Woohoo!
So, do you have any garage sale advice? Go ahead and share your garage sale wisdom!