While the calendar says it’s still winter, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your upcoming garage or yard sale. What should you do to prepare? This checklist will get you started.
First, find a date for your sale, or at least narrow it down to a specific date or two. If the weather in your area is unpredictable, you may want to keep a few dates available in case of rain or excessive heat.
Check out the rules and regulations in your town for garage sales. Are their restrictions in place regarding when your yard sale can be held? You may also need a permit for your sale, too. If you live in a homeowners association, you should also check if garage sales are even allowed.
Plan out your “shop.” Now is the time to think long and hard about your sale’s location. Does your garage need to be cleaned out before the sale day? If so, you’ll want to get it clear well before you are open for business. If you are using your yard, you may need to ensure there are no loose stones or trees and bushes obstructing the view from the road.
Determine the purpose of your garage sale. Are you raising money for charity, or just want some cash to pay off a bill? Why you are having a sale may determine how you price items.
Ask family, friends, or neighbors if they want to join you in a multifamily sale. By giving a few months’ notice, you can ensure that more people will take part in your sale, which will make your sale even bigger – and entice more shoppers to check out what you have for sale. Yo should tell your fellow sellers if you plan to donate the proceeds to a charity, too.
Next, sort your stuff into four piles: Keep, sell, donate or pitch. Items like books might be difficult to sell in a garage sale, so you might be better off donating them. Dispose of all items that are no longer useful, or could be potentially dangerous, like recalled items. Sorting your items now, when you have months before your sale and have time to tackle this project, ensures you won’t miss anything.
Hammer out the pricing. Can you bear to part with your extensive collection of boy band albums from the 1990s for all of $5, or will you want to charge more? Now is the time to create a spreadsheet of prices for certain items. It can be as simple as “All clothing is $1.00,” or get specific and have prices for each item. If you will share your garage with another family, you may want to consult with them on pricing, too; you don’t want any awkwardness if one of you is charging more for similar items.
Think about advertising, too. Will you go low-tech with a sign posted on your block, or will you use websites like Craigslist or Gsalr to inform shoppers of your sale?
Finally, find a charity for whatever doesn’t sell. In the Chicaogland area, numerous charities will gladly take your yard sale leftovers.