sale season has arrived. Here are the top 10 things you
need to do to make the most money at your garage sale.
the right date. Yes, it must fit into your busy
schedule, but it also must work well for everyone else.
This means avoiding major holidays and choosing a date
near the 1st or the 15th of the month, which lands on or
around payday for most buyers, said Jamie Novak, New
Jersey-based author of "Keep This Toss That."
A weekend in the early or late summer, when itís not
as hot usually does best, said Andrew Schrage, co-owner
of Money Crashers Personal Finance, a personal finance
it a group event. Multifamily sales get about 50 percent
more traffic, so before you do this alone, ask neighbors
if they want to have a block sale, Novak said. If you
canít get a group together, then ask friends and
family if they want you to sell their items at your
sale. "The more things you have, the more people
will stop," said Denver-based Aaron LaPedis, author
of "The Garage Sale Millionaire."
out the value of your items. If you have something that
your grandmother gave you, then Google it and make sure
itís not a $100,000 item that youíre trying to sell
for $10, said Lynda Hammond, author of "The Garage
Sale Galís Guide to Making Money off Your Stuff."
You donít want to see your items on "Antiques
Roadshow." "You can even get an opinion from
an appraiser," Hammond said. "When in doubt,
have it checked out."
time on your expensive items. If you have bigger,
pricier items, then make sure they look good, LaPedis
said. Put air into the tires of the bicycle; dust and
wipe down the table. But donít put in a ton of time on
items that are priced at just a few dollars. "Itís
not cost-efficient," LaPedis said.
the items. Transform your yard into a story with a
little staging, Novak said. For example, group a dress
with a bag and a necklace that go together, along with a
full-length mirror; place a picnic basket with a fishing
pole, and make a sign that says, "Gone
fishing." You could also have a board game area
with a popcorn bowl, some blankets and a sign that says,
"Family game night." "Taking an extra
moment to make these little groupings will really pay
off; theyíll fly off the table," Novak said.
up a childrenís table. This table should be stocked
with crayons and coloring paper for kids to keep busy
while parents shop, Novak said. Fewer distractions will
lead to more sales, she said.
measuring tape. Keep measuring tape handy for customers
to check the dimensions of your furniture, Novak said.
You may even want to put little pencils and paper
throughout the sale, so everyone can jot down the
dimensions, along with notes about their favorites ó
spare change. Have this handy ahead of time, so you donít
miss out on a sale, Schrage said.
the event. Use social media to get the word out about
your sale, Hammond said. Start about a week before the
event with a Craigslist ad, and then bump the ad up the
day before the sale. Use Facebook and Twitter as well,
letting as many people as possible know about your sale,
and as soon as youíve organized your items, post
your signage. This will make or break a garage sale,
said LaPedis, who makes 20 signs before each of his
garage sales. These need to be large (so donít bother
with any 8x10 signs). LaPedis suggested doing them on
either white foam board or on bright, bold cardboard.
"Put them within a few blocks of your sale at
really great intersections, plus the exit of
supermarkets and libraries, and go at least 3 miles
out," he said. When you get closer to your house,
use signs with arrows. Put the signs up the morning of
your sale because the weather may ruin them if theyíre
up any earlier, or a competing garage sale host may take
yours down, LaPedis said. Go back right before your sale
begins to make sure your signs are still up.