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Advice for garage-salers

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Guinness23 posted 5/31/2014 14:51 PM

If you want more money, DUST it off!

What is yours?

GabyBaby posted 5/31/2014 15:07 PM

If I see it, I might buy it!
But I don't want to have to paw through piles of stuff.

Lay it out neatly!
If you have clothes, rig a rope to something and hang them up!

Want2help posted 5/31/2014 15:25 PM

If you smoke inside your home, wash the clothes. If you smoke inside your garage, DON'T have the sale in your garage, where you're smoking!!

(This just happened last weekend).

Dreamboat posted 5/31/2014 15:33 PM

Make sure you can answer the question "Does this work?"

I was trying to sell some of my X's stuff and I had no idea of the stuff actually worked or not At least I was honest about it, allowed them to plug it in to see if it even turned on, and was willing to negotiate.

looking forward posted 5/31/2014 16:01 PM

Fill your pockets with loose change, not bills!
Now, here in Canada, we have coins for the dollar and two dollars (loonie & twoonie), so stack up the quarters!!!

Oh, and this one is for my H: If you wanna have a garage sale, then don't get in the car on Saturday mornings and cruise the neighbourhoods!

It was our church's yard sale today......hmmm....H came home with more stuff! And guess who had to hold it all on her lap 'cause he decided to take his two-seater sports car instead of the roomy van?

Guinness23 posted 5/31/2014 16:57 PM

Yep. This is for people holding the garage sale...

Arrange it nicely

Dust it off

Know that it works

Have all the parts/box/etc with it if possible

Don't make your customers strain to look. You have 4 seconds for them to pass you up

Advertise honestly

If you have a lot, group the items

Know that Ebay vulchers will be along within the first negative 30 minutes and an hour of your sale

Price you items JUST A LITTLE higher than you want for people will always try to get you down.

Recent paperbacks DO NOT sell for a lot

Beanie Babies are DEAD = NO MONEY

If I think of more, I will post.

My background? Flea market/garage saler all my life conditioned by my mother. Ebay and seller since 2004.....

gypsybird87 posted 6/1/2014 12:22 PM

So glad to see this thread! I will be having a sale soon and need all the advice I can get. Great tips here!

A question... Is there any advantage to calling it a "moving sale" instead of a garage sale? I AM moving, and everything "must go", but I also need to make as much $$ as possible so I don't want people aggressively low-balling me (beyond the normal, of course).

I'll be watching this thread eagerly for any other tips.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/1/2014 12:38 PM

Gypsybird are you having a one day sale or will it be at least a couple of days?

My rule is that I usually don't come down on prices (on the more expensive items) on the first day. I will ask the person who wants to pay less to give me their name and number (and price they offered) and I will tell them to either come back the next day when I would be more willing to negotiate or I will call them, along with the others who made offers on the item. Most of the time, if they really want it, they will give me my price right then and there.

gypsybird87 posted 6/1/2014 12:48 PM

SMS, I'm hoping to do it in one day, but I'm open to suggestions on that. I was thinking of a similar response though. Leave your name/number and if the item hasn't sold by this afternoon, I'll call you, etc.

Since I'm downsizing from house to apartment, I have a lot of bigger items, furniture etc. And things like yard equipment and home repair stuff. Everything I don't sell is getting tossed or donated, depending on what it is. So, even a dollar per item is better than nothing...

SisterMilkshake posted 6/1/2014 13:01 PM

If you can do it for two days, that would be best, I feel, for maximum money earning.

For the second day, everything 50% off, first come first serve that day. No taking phone numbers. Once again, if they really want it, they will pay your price. The traffic you will have the next day will be unbelievable. I have done this. I barely had anything left the second day. Make sure you have at least one other person working with you the next day, if not more.

I put on my sign at the garage "Saturday Sale - Whatever doesn't sell today, 50% off tomorrow." Wow. The response was great. I got the prices I really wanted the previous day, and I got rid of everything else the next day. Just a few bags left that I brought right over to Salvation Army.

These strategies have worked well for me in my part of the country. Maybe in other parts this wouldn't work, for whatever reasons.

Want2help posted 6/1/2014 14:28 PM

Beanie Babies are DEAD = NO MONEY

My daughter just bought a bunch for $3 each.

She's 5. Little kids still live them.

purplejacket4 posted 6/1/2014 14:46 PM

I need to find my reading glasses. I thought this said advice for garbage eaters. Sigh.

SisterMilkshake posted 6/1/2014 15:14 PM

^^^ ^^^^

Guinness23 posted 6/1/2014 15:54 PM

Leave your name/number and if the item hasn't sold by this afternoon, I'll call you,

Keep in mind that the traditional garage saler is one that always wants a bargain so sticker price always means "try" to get a better deal. I have seen people come to mine that if you don't budge on price, they walk away. If you come down a dollar on their first item, they will buy more. Of course then theirs the idiots who always want to give you a dollar for everything expensive with knowable value. THOSE people can just turn around and get the hell off my property.

Garage sales also attract impulse purchasers. If you tell them to leave their name and number, the mood will be gone and you have lost a sale.

Moving sale or garage sale? Garage sales in my opinion denote things, toys, clothes etc. Moving is furniture and big things. The word "Estate Sale" is better in my opinion. It gives some class to the sale AND with Estate sales, the rules of thumb are over two days with no deals being cut on day one and half off on the last day. It is expected.

Oh..and if you can, ALWAYS group your sales with other people in the neighborhood. Nothing makes a garage saler happier than to know they are stopping for MANY chances at finding "IT" than just one house.

Cally60 posted 6/1/2014 16:00 PM

Don't do a sale alone: you need more than one pair of eyes to reduce theft, especially while you're completing a transaction. (You'll probably lose some stuff anyway.)

Decide in advance whether you will sell stuff to the people who, as has been pointed out, will arrive long before the start time.

Don't keep all your money in the bag you're using for the transactions. It's a security risk and if people think you're making a lot of money, they may haggle more. You can wear two bags, for example - one for storing some of the bills.

I don't know whether this happens at garage sales, but when I helped out at a school jumble sale, I noticed several parents sending their children to buy items on their behalf. They knew that the adult helpers would probably sell it to a child for a lower price!

[This message edited by Cally60 at 4:02 PM, June 1st (Sunday)]

gypsybird87 posted 6/2/2014 19:26 PM

Great advice, everyone! Thanks! I'm dreading the sale... so stressful. I'll try to keep all these great tips in mind.

wifehad5 posted 6/2/2014 20:47 PM

My Mom and her friends have a sale just about every year. There are usually 4 people working the sale. They start Thursday, and go through Saturday. She cleared $4,000 a few years ago.

Make sure your ads list the big ticket stuff. Any tools or antiques will get more people.

Make sure prices are clearly marked. If I have to ask how much it is, I probably won't, so no sale

Have everything ready the night before. As someone said upthread, the serious people will be there early the day it starts.

Plan for something to eat. You may not have a lot of time

absolut posted 6/2/2014 22:08 PM


If you are moving, post those big items on craigsist.

They might not sell but it's worth a shot. A lot of people look for appliances and stuff on cl.

painpaingoaway posted 6/3/2014 06:46 AM

Oh Lordy, I just had a garage sale this past weekend and I broke every rule listed here, lol!

Everything was in a pile, nothing was dusted off, I don't price anything,when they hold up stuff and ask how much, I just pull a number out of my butt for the whole bunch, like "$10.00 for all the things in your hand", that way I don't have to waste time pricing things individually, or deal with adding up lots of little items. I never have change. If anything is less than a dollar I just give it to them, and if any child wants anything, I just give it to them and say, "you look like such a good little boy/girl, I just want you to have this, and you go home and put that quarter in your piggybank and save it".

Any large item that doesn't sell, I immediately list it on Craigslist, and usually get rid of it within a day or two. I don't make tons of money, but I don't care, I just want to to be rid of the stuff.

Any little stuff leftover goes to Goodwill.

Guinness23 posted 6/3/2014 11:56 AM

Oh Lordy, I just had a garage sale this past weekend and I broke every rule listed here, lol!

I didn't start this thread to make people feel bad. I started it to help. I was at garage sale on Saturday where I bought a wrough iron coat rack that was FULL of dust and dirt at the bottom. The seller balked at my lowball offer saying what she had was worth a lot. So: if you THINK what you have is worth a lot and you don't want to give in to lowball offers, make the items look like they were valuable to YOU. Dust it off, present it well.

Nothing flusters me more than if I missed pricing an item before hand and I HAVE to reach out of thin air. For me, I always price when no one's around and the night before so I can't be caught off guard and give something away because BTDT.

Don't feel bad folks if this isn't for you. I just thought it was something I wanted to share to help people because I have been a buyer and a seller for life and I have a lot of marketing experience.

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