A garage sale is the perfect way to have a clear out and make a few dollars at the same time. You can sell your treasures without making countless trips to the second hand store, transfer station or loading individual images onto trade me. Great garage sales are well planned, so let’s look at a few tips to make yours a success.

Time to plan

Firstly we need to make sure there is nothing that’s going to clash with our garage sale date. Be sure to check the local papers for up and coming events, Its on, noticeboards at the local supermarket and Facebook. Think about sports, what games are on that your target audience may need to take children to? Aim for a Saturday as you can have the following day a s back up wet weather alternative. You should also run the date by friends and family, you will need some help to set up, run the garage sale and pack down.

What are you selling?

Like most of New Zealand, you probably have storage bins, boxes and shelves in the garage (or roof space) with things you want to sell. Don’t overlook your household items you may no longer need, this is a great opportunity to get each family member to go through their room and see what can go. The kitchen, living room and computer room may also have some items you haven’t used in years or no longer need. Put things in a box or take out to the garage straight away or you may forget about them and miss them from the sale by accident.

Advertising made easy

There are lots of avenues to advertising your garage sale. Online seems to be the best way and you can capture your audience several times rather than just the once. There are lots of local pages on facebook, a great example is ‘Nelson, NZ …buy, sell and trade’. You can set up a post with a few photos of what you have on offer and the details of your garage sale such as date, address and times. Most pages allow you to ‘bump’ your post daily, putting it back to the top of everyone’s viewing again. Be sure to include an advert in the local newspaper, a small expense. They can also supply you with a few garage sale signs to hang on the day. Some supermarkets have a notice board they allow you to advertise on. If you have a fence with visible street frontage, a sign on there the day before your sale is a great way to capture your neighbourhood’s attentions.

Prepare the sales area 

It’s a great idea to keep similar items together such as kitchen stuff, toys, garden tools, clothing etc. Tables with everything mixed in are too busy and distracting; people often miss the things they are looking for. Place your things in piles or boxes in their correct grouping ready to go on sale day. You will need to have some boxes and plastic bags ready to place your sold goods in for customers to take home. This also makes it super easy to see if anyone is walking off with something they have not paid for.

Have some bags ready with a good mix of silver and gold coins, try and keep your prices to rounded amounts. A traveller’s belt or something similar you can wear on you at all times is great, allows you to move around and interact with customers.

You will also need to have access to a power socket if you have plug in items, people usually want confirmation what they are buying actually works. Same goes with batteries, have some available for testing, but make it clear they are not included in the price. You should also price all your items to people know what to expect, although many will offer you less so be prepared to negotiate. Try and keep your larger and more eye catching items at the front or entrance to your garage sale to draw people in.

Day before the garage sale

  • Phone the lovely people helping you to make sure they are still on board
  • Organise your float (change) and float bag. It’s a good idea to have extra small notes and coins in the house to exchange with if needed throughout the day.
  • Check all your items are priced
  • Garage sale signs written and ready to hang in the morning
  • Batteries purchased for testing items

Garage sale day

  • Set you tables up and display items accordingly
  • Hang your for sale signs on the fence and lamp post if convenient
  • Ensure enough room for people to walk around comfortably
  • Don’t overcrowd the tables

By now you should be ready to hit the ground running.

Be aware that the keen shoppers, usually the experts and professionals, will show up an hour or more before your opening time. They are looking for those great deals where they can re-sell items later to make money.

Everyone has to make money some way so don’t get upset that this is what they do. Just make sure they pay a fair price. At our last garage sale we put a rope across the driveway to stop people coming in until the start time, and the kids sold home baking at the rope while people were waiting. They sold out everything!

Final pointers

No generic sale tables, price everything individually, be clear about what you expect. Spread your helpers out, its great to catch up with one another but perhaps over a meal after the sale. Finally, your house is off limits, its not for people to pop to the toilet or grab a quick glass of water. Keep the entrance most visible to the sale locked.

Happy selling!

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Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on How to hold the perfect garage sale was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

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