So you just finished your decluttering process. You sorted through your entire house, going room by room, creating four piles. One to keep, one to discard, one to donate, and one to sell. You’ve already put away the keep pile, thrown away the discard pile, and after reading our last blog post about local places to donate your unwanted items, you just have one pile left: the sell pile.
Here we will discuss planning and throwing a successful garage sale. Move It With M&S, LLC understands how important the decluttering process is, so we’ve compiled a list of steps to help you have your best garage sale ever. In addition to the money you make by selling your unwanted items, you’ll also be saving money by not paying our movers to relocate the things you don’t want.
In this post, we’ll cover the pre-garage sale process, how to organize your items, how to price things, the specific guidelines for Saint Joseph, Missouri, and more.
The planning process is the most stressful part of throwing a successful garage sale. However, since you’ve already made the decision on what items you want to sell, the rest becomes much easier. The most important rule to follow is to start planning early. The more time you give yourself between now and your sale, the less hectic everything will be.
Next, you need to gather your supplies. Things like fold-up tables, blankets, boxes, and storage containers are perfect surfaces to lay out your wares. It’s also a good idea to have a designated spot to collect money when your customers decide to buy.
You need to choose a 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. Last, 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 $100 bill and only purchasing $20 worth of stuff.
Now it’s time to consider your prices. You have your stickers or tags ready to go, but need to decide what the best price is for each item. First things first, group your items together. This will make pricing go by much faster, as well as making where you put things easier on the day of the garage sale. Kitchen items should be together, toys should be together, 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’re 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 Dave Ramsey’s blog post about garage sale tips for a thorough list of common items and suggested prices.
Now that you have all your supplies and items ready to sell, you’re ready to choose the best time for your sale.. The best time for throwing a successful garage sale is from Spring to Fall, and always on a weekend. Not as many people work on the weekends, so you’ll get more foot traffic. Also, the earlier in the day you start, the better many shoppers like to stop at garage sales in the morning as they are running their errands.
Time to get the word out about your garage sale. Make signs and flyers to show people where you are, and consider hanging some balloons to make your signs more noticeable. The more attention you attract, the more people will come.
It’s also a good idea to post about your garage sale on social media. Have your Facebook friends help you spread the word with the push of a button, and post some of your available items on Swap and Shop or Trade Post groups. This is 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. The permit costs $5. To pick up your license, visit City Hall at 1100 Frederick Avenue, room 101A, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information regarding city guidelines on garage sales, visit their website.
Other localities may have different rules and guidelines.
With preparations complete, 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 things that are nice and clean, free of layers of dust. Also, put your more interesting items in front of others or closer to the street to attract the attention you need for throwing a successful garage sale.
There are always going to be customers who try to haggle the price. Just keep it friendly and remember that you don’t have to move the items that you sell!
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 we at Move It With M&S, LLC understand how hard it is to resist buying shiny new toys!
After throwing a successful garage sale, you might have some items left over. You can donate them or give them away to friends. 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 them, check out our last blog post about local Saint Joseph options for donations.
We hope this helps with the long, arduous task of throwing a successful garage sale! Keep an eye out for our next blog post, about how to avoid moving scams.