So you just finished your decluttering process. You sorted through your entire house, went room by room and created your four piles: one to keep, one to discard, one to donate and one to sell. You’ve already put away the keep pile, you threw away the discard pile, and after reading our last blog post about local places to donate your unwanted items, you have just one pile left- the sell pile!
Here we will discuss how to plan and throw a successful garage sale. Move It With M&S LLC understands how important the decluttering process is, so we have compiled a list of steps to help you out with your sale. It also helps our movers when we don’t have to take your unwanted belongings ourselves. An added bonus- you’ll save money by not paying us to move them for you!
In this post, we’ll include the pre-garage sale process, how to organize your items, how to price, the specific guidelines for Saint Joseph, MO, and more.
The planning process is perhaps the most stressful part about having a garage sale. However, since you have already made the decision on what items you want to sell, the rest should be nice and easy. The biggest rule you want to follow is start planning early! The more time that you give yourself between now and when you want to sell your stuff, the less hectic everything will become.
Next, you need to gather your supplies. Things like fold-up tables, blankets, boxes, and storage containers are perfect surfaces to lay out your sellables. It’s also a good idea to have a designated spot to collect money when customers decide to buy. You also need to choose your pricing method. You can go budget-friendly with masking tape and a permanent marker, or you can visit your local dollar store and pick up some pricing stickers or tags. Grab some poster-board while you’re there to make your garage sale signs too! Lastly, you’ll need some cash to give back for change to the customers. That way, you’ll be ready in case someone stops by with a one-hundred dollar bill and is only purchasing twenty dollars worth of stuff!
Now it’s time to worry about your pricing. You have your stickers or tags ready to go, but need to decide what the best price is for each item. First things first: bundle your items together. This will make pricing go by much faster, and also make laying out your items easier on the day of the garage sale. All kitchen items should be together, toys should be in a bundle, etc.
Once you have similar items together, it’s time to put those stickers to use. Remember: you are pricing to sell. Don’t hike up your prices hoping to haggle with the customers. If people notice that you are pricing everything a bit high, they’ll just leave your garage sale and go to another one with better prices. They are already interested in buying, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. So make sure you are giving them the best possible reason to go home with your stuff, not someone else’s.
If you need help with naming your prices, visit https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/garage-sale-tips for a thorough list of common items and suggested prices.
Now that you have all of your supplies and items ready to sell, you are ready to choose when to have your garage sale. The best time to have one is spring-fall, and always on the weekends. Not as many people work on the weekends, so you’ll get more foot-traffic this way! Also, the earlier you start, the better. Many shoppers like to stop at garage sales in the morning as they are running their errands.
Lastly, you need to get the word out about your garage sale. Make signs and flyers to show people where you are located and possibly hang some balloons to make them more noticeable. The more that you attract attention, the more people will come! It’s also a good idea, in this new world of technology, that you post about your garage sale on social media. Have your Facebook friends help you spread the word with a push of a button, and post some of your available items on Swap and Shop groups. This an easy way to get the word out without having to do as much work!
Saint Joseph requires that you purchase a garage sale license and register your garage sale with the city. To obtain your license, you just need to fill out an application at least one day prior to your garage sale. And they only cost five dollars! To pick up your license, you can visit City Hall at 1100 Frederick Avenue, Room 101A, from 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday.
For more information regarding city guidelines on garage sales, visit their website here.
With all of your preparations complete, the hard part is over! Now it’s time to lay out your items and wait for the customers to roll in. When laying your items out, make sure they are clean and ready to catch someone’s eye. People are more likely to buy something if it’s nice and clean, free of layers of dust and ready to sell. Also, put your more interesting items in front of others or closer to the street to attract the attention that you need.
There are going to be customers who try to haggle the price. Just keep it friendly and remember that you don’t have to move these items yourself!
When your hard work is done, you’ll have a bunch of extra cash to do with whatever you please. We recommend that you use it to help with the cost of moving, but Move It With M&S LLC understand how hard it is to resist buying new shiny toys!
After the sale, you might have some items left over. You can either donate them, or simply put them next to the trash cans on trash day. That way you don’t have to use your garage sale money to pay us to move your unwanted belongings for you! For more information on where to donate items, please check out our last blog post here.
We hope that this helps with the long, arduous task of throwing a garage sale! Keep an eye out for our next blog post on Sunday!