Summer is almost here. What better reason to clear all the junk out of your apartment? Not only will the people you live with thank you for getting rid of your clutter, but you’ll make some money too (and we all know that margarita budget could use a little cushioning). We know it’s hard to let go of that boot shaped beer stein from Germany, but you don’t want to end up on an episode of Hoarders, right? Take preventative measures now and follow these 7 steps to hosting the perfect garage sale.
1. Choose what you want to sell
Be prepared to part with your belongings, so you don’t have an emotional meltdown. Because let’s be honest, tugging your favorite Seven jeans away from a customer as you shriek “they’re mine!” is a little embarrassing. Gather everything that you want to get rid of and organize it. Clothes can go on racks, books on shelves, cooking ware, jewelry and other knick knacks on folding tables. You need to sell the right stuff in order to be successful.
If you’re lacking big ticket items like exercise equipment, furniture, or a bike – put a call to action on Facebook. You know you’ve got a friend or two who’s trying to get rid of an ancient futon, and you need the curb appeal. It’s time for the two of you to combine forces.
2. Advertise your garage sale
You want people to come, right? Photocopy flyers and pass them around your neighborhood a couple days prior. Get creative and make fun signs with balloons. If you want more buyers, then by all means, use the internet! List your location on Craigslist along with the date and time. If you live in an apartment complex, please alert your neighbors (and invite them to join in!). Remember to clean up your unsold junk afterwards, or the folks in your building can and will hold a grudge. Go ahead and use Facebook to spread the word. Your friends might want that Crock Pot you never learned how to use.
You might feel compelled to get creative in your sign concocting. Be advised, however, that not everyone has the same sense of humor as you do. In creating something like this:
or like this: ,
you might actually be scaring away potential clientele. While we’re all for “shock value” and “offending people”, we’re also here to help you rake in the dough. And for that, may we recommend sticking with the classics.
Bold letters, arrows (pointing the correct way, mind you), balloons, and brightly colored poster boards are the way to go. Pro tip: Don’t stop at one or two primary signs. Make sure you’re directing traffic to your sale from every possible direction and side street. Paint the town neon pink.
3. Price your belongings beforehand
You’ve watched multiple episodes of Pawn Stars. You’re the queen of haggling. But it’s easier to get the price you want when it’s written down on a color coded sticker. That’s right, price your goods before the sale and have a system in place. Sadly, yourcustomers don’t care what you paid for your coffee table, so be ready to bargain. Don’t make things hard on yourself (unless you love math) with weird prices like $5.67. Keep it simple and cut the change. Also, cheaper buys will mean higher sales.
Remember, there are few things the citizens of this fine country love more than a dollar bin.
4. Create an atmosphere
Making your garage sale fun and visually appealing will increase its chances of doing well. Have music playing in the background (may we recommend classic rock?) set up your wares in an organized way and pretend you’re the visual merchandiser for your favorite boutique. The neater and cleaner things are, the better the customer’s shopping experience will be. Color code your clothing, untangle all electrical cords, and clearly display book and DVD titles (unless you own something really embarrassing like 1 Night in Paris. Eww.)
5. Provide Refreshments
Food attracts customers. Don’t feel like baking cookies from scratch? Buy boxes of your favorite brands instead. With hungry and thirsty shoppers, you can sell sodas from a cooler for $1 each and mark up the price of those Oreos. See? Now you’ve made a nice little profit. Though adult refreshments would make for a pretty awesome garage sale, you don’t want to get in trouble with the law. If you’re itching for a party, bring it indoors and have friends over for a clothing swap instead.
6. Get that cash money
Unless you work in a profession where you’ve got tons of dollar bills lying around (I won’t ask), then you’ll need to visit the bank. Have plenty of fives, ones and rolls of quarters on hand to make change for your customers. You’ll want a cash box set up to organize your money, unless you’d rather wear a fanny pack like LMFAO. Party rockin’ in (front of the) hooouuse tonight…
But in all seriousness, a fanny pack is a lot harder to steal.
7. Have friends come by to help
While you’re bringing out your inner salesperson, your friends or family members should be there to keep an eye on the customers. Maybe it’s not a big deal if that creepy guy pockets an old snow globe, or the kid from two doors down sticks an army figure up his nose (for keeps), but you don’t want nobody walkin’ off with the fine china! Also, if you need a bathroom break, someone will be there to hold down the fort. As stuff gets disorganized, have friends put the merchandise back where it belongs. The more relaxed you are, the better your sale will go. Remember to smile, be friendly and make everyone feel welcome!
Got any garage sale tips of your own? What’s worked for you? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!