Start Planning Your Best Garage Sale Today

It's never too early to start planning your next garage sale, and the more planning and preparation you do, the better. Yes, it's a lot of hard work, but if you put in the time and effort, you'll reap the rewards at the end of the day.

We had our first garage sale since we've moved back home, and we were blessed to have Danny's parents' downsizing efforts, too. Between the four of us, we were able to fill our driveway with treasures.

Here are just some of the tips we suggest you try the next time you're ready to purge, downsize or whatever word you're applying to your situation.

Scheduling:
* Don’t schedule on a holiday weekend so shoppers aren't dividing their time.
* Consider being open both Friday and Saturday.
* Be open in the evening on Friday.
* Be open from 8-2 on Saturday.
* Schedule early in the month when people have their paychecks.
* Check the 10-day forecast so there won't be any weather-related surprises.

Advertising:
* Place ads anywhere and everywhere you can think of.
* Use bulletin boards all around town with an eye-catching flyer.
* Use websites and social media to advertise your sale.
* Add as many pictures as you can, too.
* Make directions signs no more than two lines.
* Put up signs early that morning so passersby will see them.
* But put up signs after your items are arranged because you'll probably get early birds.
* Think about using some balloons and streamers to attract attention.

Preparation:
* Make sure you have a large quantity and large variety of items.
* Clean and wash those items so they look their best.
* Separate clothing according to size, age and gender so shoppers can easily find them.
* Make signs for categories of items and display them prominently.
* Bundle smaller items for a single price using plastic baggies.
* Have lots of change on hand in case someone brings large bills.
* Save your plastic shopping bags.
* Save empty boxes.
* Save newspaper for wrapping up fragile items.

Pricing: 
* Ask yourself if you’re selling to make money or selling to be rid of things.
* Price everything.
* Use removable stickers so they're easy to take off.
* Make discounts for buying several of a similar item.
* Set a price on a bag full toward the end of your sale.
* The bigger the item, the bigger the price tag.
* Have a “free” box near the road to draw people in.
* As a general rule, price 15-30 cents on the dollar.
* Price lots of items under $1.
* Price many of your items under $5.

Setting up the sale:
* Use as many tables as possible so no one has to bend over.
* Label each table with its category.
* Put the “free” box by the curb
* Set up table items attractively, like you'd see in a store.
* Place similar items together.
* Use a clothesline or clothes bar for hang-up clothing.
* Place breakables up and out of reach of children.
* Place more expensive items near the checkout table so you can keep an eye on them.
* Have a drop cord handy for electronics to show they work.
* Put “men” items near the front of your sale.
* Put out a trash can and encourage people to use it.
* Post an “all sales final” sign on your checkout table.
* Clean up the yard and driveway so they're attractive.
* Move your own vehicles out of the way to make more room for parking.

During the sale:
* Keep the house locked or be in front of the door at all times.
* Be ready by the start time if not before.
* Keep your dogs away from the sale or on leashes and under control.
* Greet each customer and make them feel welcome.
* Accept cash only just to be safe.
* Keep your money on your person.
* If you want to know specifics, have a notebook handy to write down what sells and the prices.
* Keep a calculator handy.
* Rearrange items as others sell, making your tables look attractive and full throughout the sale.
* Drop prices in the afternoon when you're ready for stuff to be gone.
* Sell snacks and drinks in a bake sale for some added revenue.
* Say thank you to everyone, whether they bought something or not.

After the sale:
* Sell leftovers online.
* Give appropriate items to charity.

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