This is actually a little rewrite of Jean Chatzky’s book, “Pay it Down!”
1. Form your idea and decide on a date a few weeks out. The best to plan for a garage sale is on Saturdays, Fridays and Sundays. Avoid the weekdays, holidays, and any days close to the April 15 tax deadline. People are probably worrying about paying their taxes. The best time to open up for business is in the early morning. The people tend to show in the morning and it trickles into the afternoon.
2. Inspect your entire house and figure what stays and goes. Try to be reasonable about what stays. If you haven’t used an item for as long as 2 years, it goes. Someone else can probably make better use of it. Try not to be so hasty about trashing your goods, many could be considered collectible to others.
3. The garage sale needs to be run like a business. Manage your merchandise like a store does. Put similar items next to similar items. Similar items help guide your customers through your sell-able things. When selling clothes, put them on a clothesline or rack so they are presented a little better.
4. Effectively Market. Put an ad in the paper, the internet, and post flyers in laundromats. Tell everybody what you are selling so they have a good idea on what to expect. People will show up who are more likely looking for your specific things.
5. Put some effort into your Garage Sale signs. A large portion of your purchasers will be following the signs to your house. Make the words loud and clear. Put directions that even a child can follow. Immediately, when the sale is done, remove your signs.
6. Recruit others in the neighborhood to partner up with you for the event. When more stuff is on display, it’s a delight for everyone to see. Only a few of your own things may not attract people as strongly. Keep track of who sold what stuff with colored tags. Also, keep a security code for the cash register and only let a few people access.
7. Negotiation is a standard practice at Garage Sales. If you want to be firm with a price, then indicate that on the price tag. Later, in the day, when you get more determined to sell, then you can drop prices. Perhaps keep the persons email, who was interested when the price was higher.
8. Does your city require a permit? many do. Also, put on an elaborate display that you are having a sale party at your house. This attracts more people and can lighten the mood into a more fun environment -use balloons and signs.
9. Do not take checks. Many bounce. Set up with Paypal or Square and swipe cards into your iPhone. Even if you are not online at the time, Square will hold onto the credit card numbers until you can get to a nearby WiFi connection to upload the transactions.
10. Have enough bills, change and bags. You could possibly make good use of old newspapers for glassware. Mark where the cash register is with a sign that says that, “All Sales Final”.
11. If the day is hot, sell cold water.
12. Feel free to donate anything that you have left. The Goodwill always seems to have enough room to sell your old, unused stuff.