This is the fifth and final part of the garage sale series. Finally, it’s time for the day of the sale. After all that planning and setting up, I’m always more than ready to see my cast off things walk out the door! If you missed parts one, two, three and four be sure to check them out.
Here’s my best tips for hosting your sale. By the way, if you haven’t already done so during the planning and pricing stages, make sure to check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s 24 Page Handbook for Retail Stores and Product Resellers. Thanks to Living Rich with Coupons for the reminder to include this tidbit. You don’t want to sell a recalled item and put someone else at risk!
Start early. As much as possible, begin setting up for sale the day before. The morning of the sale, start prepping at least an hour before the start time in anticipation of the early birds.
Advertise an end time, but be prepared to stay late. Your sale may still be going strong at noon even if you advertised noon as your end time. We close up shop when the traffic dies down.
Wear an apron with pockets of a fanny pack for keeping lots of change and a variety of bills on hand.
Leave at least one person at the “check out” desk. We set up a card table in the back of the garage with a notebook for recording each person’s sales and extra price stickers for marking any item we may have overlooked. We also keep paper for wrapping fragile items and a large supply of plastic grocery sacks for bagging purchases.
Start marking items down an hour or two before your sale is set to close. We begin offering items at half price at around 11am. In the last hour of the sale, we are able to sell many of the items left over because the prices are so low, and we make a few extra dollars as well. I’ve also attended a couple of “Fill-A-Bag” garage sales where customers could a bag of clothes for $5 or less. The family hosting those sales got rid of a lot of clothes that way.
If your goal is to get rid of stuff, don’t bring items that don’t sell back inside. Instead, pack up the leftovers and drive them straight to your local thrift store. Some charities offer pick-up service for larger sales. Even though it wasn’t a particularly large sale, Big Brothers/Big Sisters recently called a friend of mine after seeing her garage sale ad on Craigslist and offered to pick up all leftovers. You may also be able to have your stuff hauled away for free if you place an ad for garage sale leftovers on Craigslist.
Compared to all the planning and set up, the day of the sale is a piece of cake. What did I forget? What other tips do you have for planning or hosting a successful sale? I’d love to hear!