Planning a Garage/Yard Sale

Rather than discarding what you may no longer use or want, try selling it at a garage sale. A garage sale can be a profitable and fun way to make sure items are reused.

The following are some tried-and-true tips for a successful sale: Pick the Date - Make sure that the date will not conflict with holidays or special events that compete for attendance. Weekends are more successful than weekdays.

Check local requirements V Determine if you require any special permits to hold your garage/yard sale. Make sure you comply with requirements to avoid fines that might cut into your profits.

Bigger is Better - Check with your friends, relatives, and neighbours to see if they would like to join you or if they have anything for you to sell on their behalf. More people means less work and more items means more shoppers. Sharing on advertising costs increases your profit margin, too.

Get Good Sellers - Appliances, furniture, toys, tools, dishes, and other such practical household items are popular. Records are also good sellers. Clothing does not usually have a high resale value, although kids' clothing is the exception. Arrange kids' clothing by size, and label each item. Clean everything. Make sure your items are working. If not, label them as such. For specialty items, include important information on labels. If you have items that you do not think would sell, have a FREE BOX. You'd be surprised what people will take and find uses for.

Advertise, Advertise, Advertise - If you have a community paper that is delivered to every household in your area, advertise in the classified section. Otherwise, advertise in the newspaper read most often by people in your area. Include the date, time, address and list some of the more desirable and unique items. Use the blank side of coloured scrap paper for posters. Use large letters and write clearly. Place posters on bulletin boards in grocery stores, libraries, and other public places.

Signage is Crucial - Make sure the signs you make are large, clear and, if possible, waterproof. Use well made, creative signs because they will attract more buyers. You should have enough signs to place at the intersection closest to your house, in front of your house and on the main streets near your house. Always include the date, time, and address on the signs.

Mother Nature Has Her Own Plans - Have a contingency plan for wet weather. Consider putting up tarps or holding your sale under cover.

Price Reasonably - If you are not sure how to price your items, visit a local thrift store or garage sales. Don't price your items too low initially, because people will bargain with you. Put prices on everything using masking tape or removable stickers. If many people are selling their goods, use different coloured tags (or different coloured dots on masking tape) and record sales by colour so you can correctly divide the money at the end of the day. Have lots of change and small bills on hand.

It's Sale Day - Expect early birds. Clear all paths and move any car(s) out of the driveway. Set up some tables the night before and carry them out first thing in the morning. Display your goods in an attractive way on tables, boxes, or even the front lawn. Group similar items together. Have an electric outlet or extension cord accessible if you are selling electronic items. Cover any items you do not want to sell with old sheets or move them out of sight. This helps prevent potential theft and stops people from trying to buy your lawnmower or garden tools. Offer laundry hampers as shopping baskets. Have extra shopping bags and boxes available for shoppers who purchase numerous items. Keep the money with you at all times. Remember to lock your house. Be flexible and accept reasonable offers.

Remember to Clean Up - At the end of your sale, take down all signs and posters. If you have useful items remaining, donate them to charity or try selling them at a local flea market.