[PRESENTED BY JUSTJUNK]
Now that winter is behind us and warmer weather is finally on its way, we’re entering one of the best times of the year in Canada — garage sale season.After being cooped up through the long, cold winter with basements and garages packed with stuff, many Canadians are eager to do a little spring cleaning and make a few dollars at the same time by selling furniture, clothes and other items cluttering up the house that are still too good to go to the dump.
“Garage sales are a great way to recycle and reuse items by giving them a new life in a new home,” says JUSTJUNK President Mike Thorne. “They’re also great entertainment for treasure hunters looking to find antiques and other items that have been buried away for years in an attic or a storage room under the stairs.”
But organizing a garage sale isn’t as simple as hauling all your stuff to the end of the driveway. JUSTJUNK offers the following tips to make sure your garage sale is a hit:
1. Advertise Early and Clearly
Getting a buzz around your garage sale is important. You can’t just put up a sign and hope for the best, not when there are tons of free tools to help. Posting online, on Facebook in local buy/sell groups or in local newspaper classifieds early can help build buzz. Find out if neighbours are having garage sales and try to time everything together so you can appeal to the biggest audience. A small amount of quick planning can get more people interested and out. Are you selling something special or large? Old appliance need to go? Let people know beforehand what you’re selling and they might even make the special trip.
2. Be Organized and Priced Properly
It’s one thing to lay everything out, set tables up and put signs on grouped items, but if they’re in a mishmash of piles, unorganized and forcing your customers to absent-mindedly flip through them their interest will wane. Put the most popular stuff first in your piles, drawing attention and make sure the pricing is proper. Price according to the goal of the garage sale. Is this downsizing? Do you just need to clear stuff out? Then you’ll be more successful pricing at points where people feel they’re getting a deal. If you want to make money, then highlight the value of the items you have for sale. However, a garage sale might be less appropriate. Try selling on-line through those Facebook groups if it’s something you think might have value but you don’t want anymore.
3. If it’s broken, don’t sell it
You can always put a discount on something with some minor cosmetic or exterior damage, as long as it still works. If you’re not sure if it’s broken, or if that book has all its pages, then put that in a second pile (we’ll get to that pile in Tip five.)
4. Don't be afraid to get creative
People are going to haggle. It’s a garage sale. Unless you’re firm about the price, be willing to see a deal when it’s in front of you. After all, if your goal is to get rid of stuff, then you’re more free to be creative with 2-for-1s, group bargains and more on-the-spot deals. Would you budge on the price of a large TV stand, if someone offered to pick it up themselves? Would they be willing to pay a little more to have you deliver it? Expect some unexpected questions and be flexible.
5. Know You Won’t Sell Out
You’re not likely going to get rid of everything in your garage sale. Foresight like this can help. Remember that book that you have? That old copy of “A Tale of Two Cities” that is missing the pages about one of those cities can be put into the pile that you know you’ll have to get rid of some other way. A removal company can help by picking up everything and sorting through the garage sale leftovers, donating things that can be donated and used again, recycling that which can be recycled and more. But think ahead. Create those piles early so that you can be a little less surprised about how much is left behind.