garage sale

Garage sales are a great way to give unwanted items a second chance.  They take some effort but can pay off handsomely for you or in the form of a much appreciated donation to the charity of your choice.

If you plan on holding a garage sale as a means of passing on things you no longer need, here are a few tips to ensure success.

1. Gather items for sale.
Go through your home in the weeks before the sale to collect items for the sale. Take a really good look at items throughout your home, and invest in making some tough decisions.  You’ll be glad you did.

2. Price everything.
Price items as you collect them using removable stickers (available from office supply stores). Set prices at 1/3 of what it would cost to buy the item new. If you are donating to a charity, make it well known. This can encourage people to pay fairly.

3. Box like items for easy set up.
Use stackable boxes to contain like items and store them until the sale. Label them so you’ll know where to unpack them come sale day.

4. Display items for easy shopping.
Set up tables to display small items.  Making items easy to see and assess makes them more likely to sell.

5. Wake up early.
Be prepared for an early start. Garage sale shoppers are early birds!

6. Provide packaging for bought items.
Have newspaper available to wrap fragile pieces and shopping bags on hand for people to carry items away. It’s a great way to pass on all those bags you’ve been keeping.

7. Provide proof an item works.
Be able to demonstrate that electric items are in working order. An extension cord can help, but be sure it doesn’t become a tripping hazard.

8. Make change.
Have small bills and coins available to provide change. Note this amount before you start selling so you can determine the true proceeds of the sale.

9. Sell safely.
The Health Canada site has guidelines on what can be sold safely at garage sales.  The US Consumer Protection Safety Commission keeps an up-to-date list of recalled items so you can avoid selling items which may cause harm to others or a liability for you.

10. Have a plan to tackle any leftover items.
Heavily discount or even give items away at no charge as you near the end of the sale. Deliver remaining items to your local charity. Whatever you do, don’t take them back in the house!  In Canada, you may choose to support the Yard Sale for the Cure which funds the fight against breast cancer. Sales will takes place this year on Saturday, May 26th across the country.  As they say, “Lose the clutter. Find a cure!”

At the end of the sale, be sure to pat yourself on the back. Not only will you have edited your own belongings to keep the best, you will have given your unwanted items a second life as someone else’s treasures.