When people embark on a garage transformation, the question they’re faced with is “How do I make room for the cars and get rid of the mess?” In a previous blog post, seasonal garage anxiety disorder, I discussed an easy way to sort through the clutter. A lot of what you’re storing may not be of use to you, but it may be useful to someone else.
A garage sale can be an effective way to sell some of the stuff that’s in your garage and generate some money to put towards your transformation, but it has to be done right! Here are some tips on holding an successful garage sale:
Before the sale:
- Advertise. Keep the posters simple with your address, dates and times. Many realtors will have signs they’ll loan out that you can prop up around the neighbourhood to direct traffic, but you can also put posters up on lamp posts. Don’t discount an ad in the paper – many people still check the local newspaper for garage sale listings.
- Price your items in advance and keep the prices realistic. Often people think their stuff is more valuable than it is. The people that go to garage sales are mostly bargain hunters. For things that are clean and in good shape, try pricing it at about a fifth of retail value. If it’s new or almost new, the piece could command a third. Repair something if it needs it. Wash it if it’s dirty.
- If you’re unsure about an older appliance or baby product, check with Health Canada’s Product Recalls
- Be prepared for early birds who will arrive before the scheduled opening time!
During the sale
- Be friendly. Nobody likes a silent shopkeeper.
- Have lots of change ready (10 fives, one roll each of quarters, loonies and toonies should do).
- Don’t use a cashbox, it’s too easy to forget. A money belt or fanny pack is better.
- Designate one person as the cashier, that way there’s no confusion over what’s been sold and for how much.
- Selling electronics? Make it easy for people to test these items by having an extension cord or putting in fresh batteries.
- In the early afternoon, start reducing prices.
- Have a plan for the items that go unsold. You can drop them off at a charity at the end of the day (some will do a pick up).
You’ve now freed up space in your garage, gotten rid of the clutter that’s been holding you back and the garage is now ready to do the job it was designed to do.