Garage sale can be an excellent way to get rid of many of your unwanted items over a weekend. It can be so useful, especially when considering moving with kids and getting rid of the many toys and small clothes from your cupboards. We’ll go a little bit deaper into what is really involved in a garage sale, how to prepare for it and what to expect from it.
Time… time … time….
Whether you’re in it to save the environment, to make some quick cash or to clear out your unwanted items prior to your big move, a garage sale can be an excellent option. However, garage sales are all about time and preparation. To break it down to a few different steps:
- Pricing and ticketing
- Actual event
This phase is all about finding out what it is that you would like to get rid of or sell in your household. It usually helps to have a list…. Unless you want to accidentally sell of your grandparents’ old treasure…. I will explain why this list will come in handy.
Just a friendly note, that not all items have to be sold via a garage sale just because you are holding a garage sale. To find out more about what items are best sold via which method, read our post about ‘How to become a minimalist‘.
Now that you know what you want to put up for sale, you need to do some research. Yes, a little bit of research to find out what your items are worth. This can be very tricky if you do not have a good understanding of the second hands market place, but I think I can give you some valuable tips that I have learnt over the past years.
- Use eBay as your reference point. eBay is where the supply and demand meets. You can easily get a price check with a few searches for most items.
- Find out the ‘sold price,’ not ‘selling price’ of goods. With garage sales, you really only get one shot to price things. You want to get as much as you can, but your goal would be either to become a minimalist in general or to ease up on unnecessary items for the upcoming move.
I will demonstrate why it is so important to find the sold price, over the selling price on eBay. Let’s say that we’ve got a Logitech UE Boom, that we’re trying to get rid of.
Here is an eBay search result for Logitech UE Boom Bluetooth wireless speaker.
You can see that there are currently (at the time of writing), Great!!! There are four results, ranging from $100 to $189 (before postage, $110 and $205 after postage)
Yes, it’s $189 (or even $205) in your pocket!! Right?
Not quite. Sorry to burst your bubble…. But let’s have a look at sold listings.
Pricing your items
Search results return with a whole bunch of Logitech UE booms, 2nd and 3rd iteration of the UE boom that we’re trying to sell….meaning that these units (UE boom 2 and 3) are being sold at $90-107 ($100-117 after postage). We will have to drastically re-examine our pricing strategy, and we won’t be able to put a price tag of $189 anymore. In my opinion, you would have to offer a considerably lower price on your UE boom 1.
Just how much lower, is totally up to you. It depends how quickly you want to move the item. I would say that at the price of $70 it may offer some value to buyers, and at $50-60 range it will become an easy sell.
You can always put a price tag of 100, like some of the other postings on ebay that we saw earlier, but you can guess that these postings are there for a reason, they’re just too damn high!!
After you’ve done your research and pencilled in your price. Then you must sit at a table and decide how quickly you want to sell off your items.
You may be holding two garage sales over two weekends. If this is the case you can afford to price a bit higher during the first week, and mark prices down the following week. If you can’t afford to hold multiple garage sales, you’d best mark down some price to entice potential buyers!
And remember to prepare a name tag, or a masking tape to indicate your asking price on items. The last thing you want to do is to have your research count towards nothing. You don’t want to be stuck with a “errr… I can’t remember how much that was, let me ask my partner” or even giving away items for half price just because you can’t remember. Be sure to have price on every item!!! And once again your list comes in handy, if a ticket price ever goes missing, you can always refer to your list.
Advertising your garage sale
This is a great time for you clean up your items to make them more appealing. I have a more detailed guide on “Why clean your items when selling, how to make something out of nothing”
Now that your shop is ready with stock, it’s time to put out signs and advertisements. Let people know that you are in business for the weekend. Use bright colours to get passerby’s attention. Ensure your address and dates are easy to read from a distance. You can use balloons and sparkles to decorate your sign. (about 7 days in advance seem pretty healthy)
Make sure you place multiple signs, in way advance of your garage sale. Remember, if nobody knows that you’re having a garage sale, no one will show up.
It’s always very helpful to list a few of the items that you may be selling to entice greater number of people. Include popular items. “Gaming consoles, cameras, fishing gear, white goods” in your advertising material. Trust me on this, this will increase your drop by visits, reaching out to greater demographics.
Actual garage sale
Okay, it’s selling time!
If you have done your research, you’ve already figured out prices for all your items and have signs put up in advance, then the rest is a lot simpler. Just cash in on your items.
In comes handy for you to have items ready to be tested (TV,s Bluray players and consoles for instance). Buyers aren’t ready to fork out their cash oftentimes of the risk involved in faulty products. Clear their minds of worries and you’ll be selling!
Try to stick to your bottom dollar price for items for when professional hagglers come to haggle with you.
Don’t forget to take down and retrieve all the signs after the event.
If you’ve priced your items accordingly, then you are likely to have sold most of your items. Now you’ve got less to move, but more in your pocket! The upcoming move will be a piece of cake!
Don’t fret, even if you haven’t sold your items. You can always sell:
- via online classified services
- off line in person to a second-hand dealership
Read this article to find out more about the above-listed options.