Thursday, April 16, 2009

Spring is in the air and Garage Sales are down the block (Part 1)

As the weather warms up (ok...always warm in Phoenix but warmer still now than a month ago!)it is the perfect time to clean out your attic, garage, etc. and have a garage sale (note to readers in different areas - garage sale=tag sale=yard sale!) I am pro-donation of my old clothes and furniture, BUT if I can make some extra cash from some of it beforehand I'm all over that!

So to help you get the most $$$ from your sale, I have some suggestions for how to advertise, set it up, price items and close it down (that usually comes with a chilled glass of chardonnay!)

* First be sure you actually have enough items to make a sale worth the effort. If you only have a stack of used clothes, half-colored coloring books and some broken chairs, stop right there, do not pass go and skip immediately to the (cheap)chardonnay! No one is going to stop if that is all they see on your need at least a few quality items of furniture or lots of items in the kid realm (bikes, toys, games) or absolutely loads of a mixture of the odd, quirky and yes, even junky items to keep cars stopping.

* Have your items ready a few days before your sale and have them grouped (think in terms of store departments)by types of items such as books, games and toys, kids' clothing, adult clothing, shoes, furniture, holiday items (Halloween costumes, Christmas ornaments or knick-knacks, Easter baskets), office equipment and supplies, and so on...Having them set in one easy-to-get-to location for set-up the morning of the sale will make your work a lot easier!

* Decide in advance the times and date(s) of your sale. Here in Phoenix, sales are often held for 2 days, typically Friday and Saturday mornings, opening at 7AM and running until around noon.

* I've found that, while newspaper classified ads do increase traffic to my sale, they don't necessarily do enough to make up for the expense of placing them. Besides, what if I decide, oh say, sleep is more crucial than a sale that morning when I wake to a horrible alarm at 5:30AM?! If I've placed an ad, I'm stuck! With signs at the end of the street, I can at least remove them and lock myself inside and wait for another weekend. Plus, well-placed signs (not even particularly fancy) with clear PRINTED info on fluorescent posterboard seems to do the trick. Place arrows providing directions; not everyone will know how to find an address - in fact I usually rely on arrows along the route from the signs and leave the address off altogether. There is also the option of placing a free ad on "Craig's List" for your sale.

Day of sale hints coming up soon! Stay tuned!

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