Get Ready to List-Host a Successful Garage Sale!

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Real Estate

Hello & Welcome back to #FabulousFriday!  When it's time to sell your home, you need to declutter your belongings and decide what you want to move with.  You may discover there are several items you no longer want-creating piles of clothes, furniture and other items that you want to discard or donate.  One way to prepare for listing--while making a little money--is hosting a garage sale.  

There are many benefits to hosting a successful garage sale before you move.  Other people might want the items you are no longer using, which can give them a second life and avoid simply adding to the local landfill.  

What to Sell

Because variety is the spice of life, garage sale shoppers prefer sales that feature a little bit of everything. 

When deciding what to sell, never underestimate the value for absolute junk. If you haven’t used something in the past year, put it up for sale.

Since dealers and antique collectors frequent garage sales, proudly display one-of-a-kind items.

Dressers, bookcases, baskets, tables, toys, and tools attract traffic.

If you sell appliances, make sure they work. Have an outlet handy so buyers can plug in that old TV set before buying it.

Register and Promote Your Garage Sale

Your customers will make or break your garage sale.  If no one shows up, then you can't sell your items.  Create a marketing plan to make sure people know what is happening.

Check city codes to see if you need a garage sale permit.

Create a Facebook event and post in Facebook Marketplace.

Make a Craigslist ad

Look for unique sites like to market your event.

Take out an ad in the local paper where the editors promote moving sales.

Make physical signs and post them around your neighborhood and by major roads to attract customers.  

The more people you can attract with your moving sale, the higher your chances of success.  

How to Price

Put price tags on items. Customers may assume that unmarked items are out of their price range.

Be prepared to haggle. Price everything at twice the price you really want for it so you can accept offers for half price. Most garage sale enthusiasts love to negotiate. But it’s okay to say, “I’m firm on that price.”

Take a hint from retail vendors who mark down slow sellers. If an item doesn’t move, ask a little less.

Don’t charge more than half the retail value of your merchandise. In fact, most Web garage sale sites recommend pricing items at 10 to 30 percent of retail.

How to Display

Clean everything. Dirty dishes fetch a far lower price than their clean counterparts.

Large items bring the most foot traffic. If you sell a couch or table early in the day, ask if you can keep the item with a “sold” sign on it until the end of the day.

Clothing on racks sells higher than similar items thrown on a blanket. If possible, hang a line in your garage or buy a portable rack. People who dig through boxes expect to pay much less for those items.

Clearly mark your sales area. If you have a sale in your garage, cover the lawn mower, shovels, and rakes.

Attract attention with eye-catching balloons and signs.

When to Sell

Check the weather forecast before planning your sale. Even if you plan to have your sale indoors, inclement weather may keep your customers at home.

Saturday is often the best day for a yard or garage sale, though this varies regionally. In some places, people tend to favor Thursday or Friday sales. If you are new to an area, ask around to see which days are the most popular for sales.

Accept Digital Payments

Consumers are increasingly reliant on digital payment systems, and your moving sale customers are no different.  Set up PayPal and Venmo accounts if you don't have them already.  This will allow customers to pay you even if they don't have cash.  During the garage sale, make sure you have a strong WiFi signal and a clearly-displayed password so customers can pay you.

For cash-based shoppers, make sure you have small bills on hand to provide change.  

What to Do with Leftovers

Make arrangements to have unsold items picked up by the Salvation Army or other charitable organization. Most provide receipts for taxable donations. To calculate the fair market value of donated items, talk to your accountant. You will probably be surprised by how much you can claim.

Give the items away. What doesn’t sell is usually snapped up when placed near a sign that says, “FREE.”

Hire a Realtor When it is Time to Sell

Once your garage sale is over, you should be able to finish decluttering and list your home for sale.  When it's time to attract buyers, turn to the experts at Shaffer Realty and Real Estate.  We help sellers save money by pairing them up with expert agents who get the highest sales price for the lowest reasonable commissions.  Set up a complimentary consultation today!  See you next Friday.  Warmly, Susan