garage salers..come forward, need advice!

netshoundJuly 16, 2006

Ok All, If your an avid garage sale goer i NEED you!! Actually, I need your advice and opinions. I'm going to be tackeling my basement at some point, its a mess! I've got stuff in storage and a section of stuff I don't want or need. This is where you guys come in! I'm going to be holding a garage sale and need some advice. I don't go to very many myself. I've had sales before so I'm really good a signing the location great. I put an ad in our local paper with directions and what kind of stuff you will be able to get. a customer, what are your pet peaves when you go to one, what are the things you like when you go to one, what suggestions can you give me. Is it true..anyone of you that has had them...that if you mark everything super cheap, you can actually make more? How do I mark my stuff? Is there a certain price list for certain items? I'm going to actually write some of your suggestions down so any info will be logged. I'm in a great area and I usually have a lot of customers and a lot of stuff but I never seem to make a whole lot. HELP ME WEED OUT MY BASEMENT!!

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There's lots of good information in the link below.


Here is a link that might be useful: garage sales posts on this forum

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 8:08PM
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Had your sale yet? How'd it go? If not, I go to lots of garage sales with an elderly friend, and her pet peeve is sales where the seller didn't have enough tables and spread stuff out on the lawn on a blanket. At 81, my friend is not able to bend over to examine stuff at ground level. Of course, if you don't have tables, anything else like sawhorses with a couple of planks resting on them would work well too.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 12:51AM
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I hate looking at stuff on blankets too. I'll usually skip that. I like lots of tables, easy to get to and coordinated with like items (all toys together, all kitchen junk, etc).

Make sure things are clean! I usually pass up dirty stuff and it will fetch more $$$ the better it looks. The day before run some grimey stuff through the dishwasher.

Clothes are OK at a yard sale but not stuff you wouldn't even give to Goodwill. Kids clothes are best. People want the ones in good condition but old pilly sweaters should be trashed.

If you have some junk you know you really don't want (or you know won't sell) put it out in a "free" box. (thats my trick for getting someone to haul away my crap for free)

I consider a yard/garage sale people paying me to take away my trash! Just remember, give a good price or you'll be taking it back inside at the end of they day.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Have everything priced! I hate it when nothing is priced and you have to ask how much each item is. I always get the feeling that they size you up before they quote you a price! LOL

    Bookmark   August 8, 2006 at 8:27PM
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if you go to a few garage sales in your area, you wll find there are standard prices for different items--paperbacks 25cents you can make a chart instead of marking everything. Only mark the individual different items. Can group everything with a red dot as $1.00, or whatever the price. Make it easy to figure out the price. I usually gave out bonuses; if you bought 3 of something, you got the 4th free. About 2 hours before the end of the sale, the prices went down and the bonuses went up. The one good thing is that you are well motivated to put things out for sale; just make arrangements to give it away to charity if it doesn't sell, instead of keeping it.
We used to make it a block sale, and social time.
In recent years, I just give the stuff away as a garage sale seems to not be cost effective anymore.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 2:15AM
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Don't be afraid to bargain! And don't get caught up in how much you originally paid for the thing- remember, you have no use for it anymore.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 10:07PM
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Watch out for "earlybirds", who come early while you are setting up and want to grab off anything "good". They're just annoying. I had two garage sales. Earlybirds came by, sniffed and said "you don't have much". I said "come back later, I'm just setting up, there's more coming". Another wanted a TV for $15, asked me to hold it for them. I agreed, but they never came back. I ended up giving the TV to a neighbor who strolled by late in the afternoon. Also be on the lookout for theives. A box of record albums disappeared from my first garage sale. A friend had a sale, while her back was turned, somebody grabbed her box of cash. You'll need to have people stationed all over your yard. It's good to have "help" at a garage sale. I bought a box of donuts and had coffee available all day for my "helpers".

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 8:51AM
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I've been to lots of garage sales, and I've given a few. What annoys me as a buyer is when I show up ready to part with money and the whole family is out front on lawn chairs, sitting with their mouths open, staring at you as you paw through their old stuff, like you are their entertainment. When I give a sale I mark everything, group like items together, and keep everything on tables or benches. I have a little radio or something playing oldies or country music to make everyone comfortable. I wear an apron with pockets and carry all the money on me. I greet everyone who arrives and make a little small talk. And I never sit down and gawk. I keep rearranging stuff. Pretend you are managing your own little upscale boutique! If you haven't had your sale already, do it when the weather is pleasant.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:04PM
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When I've hosted sales, I've always had a "now the sale's over" plan. I've arranged with a local charity to have them come pick up everything that's not sold 1 hour after the sale has ended. Gives me time to box everything up and then it's gone, really gone! Just make sure when you arrange the pickup to ask for a receipt for the tax deduction.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 6:10AM
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Early birds -- I've learned to appreciate/anticipate/manage them.

When they arrive, I clearly tell them that the sale hasn't officially begun yet -- but they are welcome to browse and buy. The catch -- I absolutely will not bargain with them, and they invariably ask for a lower price. I stick to the marked price because the sale hasn't started!

No early bird at one of my sales has ever put back an item because I refused to bargain.

At my last yard sale, I had three competing dealers combing through my stuff at 7:15 a.m. (for a sale that started at 8 a.m.). I gave them each a box, told them all the items were marked with a price, and they could go through the boxes IF they put the items out on a specific table (I organize my items as I price).

They got their pick of my stuff -- I got help setting out my items and I got the prices I was asking.

I welcome bargaining after the sale begins.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 12:04PM
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Okay, well, since you asked:
1. Set a price before the sale starts and if your spouse or somebody else is helping you, get together on it. I don't like to stand there while they haggle.

2.It doesn't matter what you paid for it, it's now used and you don't want it anymore, ok?

3. I hate it when I prepare to buy something and the seller suddenly decides she is uncertain if she wants to sell it after all- then why is it out in the front yard?

4. Standing there (ready to buy) a long time while the sellers ignore me and talk to each other. It's annoying in the grocery store, the mall and also at a yard sale.

5. Being given a big sales pitch by the seller. Just tell me how much, please.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 8:37PM
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I love garage sales and give one every year (we just had a child too, so I can only imagine that this will continue).

Make sure you get change from the bank the day before.
Do have plenty of tables -- stuff will sell faster
Do mark prices (masking tape and a black marker work fine
Don't overprice things. Books 25 cents for paperback, hard covers can go up to $1. I wouldn't even bother selling clothes unless you can fit a size 14-16 middle-aged woman's taste (and the clothes are barely worn). This is my mom, and she always has great success selling sweaters that are clean and folded nicely. Otherwise, just give them to charity. If you do have clothes, it helps to have a mirror for people.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2006 at 2:46PM
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