Friday, October 16, 2015

Holding a Garage Sale

It's the all-American trash-to-treasure phenomenon that attracts people from all walks of life and socio-economic strata. It's almost, not quite, as much a social event as a treasure hunt, and in a twist on "build it and they will come", the garage sale slogan could well be: "Advertise it and they will come."

While most people are seeking something new-to-them for their home or tools to complement what they have, others are seasoned buyers who might host a flea market table elsewhere and look for cheap stuff they can turn around for a buck or two more than they paid. Whatever their motivation, yours is clear: Get rid of things no longer wanted or used and get a little money in the process, as we say "Clean Up & Clear Out!

You might want to order up a junk dumpster rental from Bin There Dump That at the outset if you have a deep clean-out from an overly-cluttered garage, basement or storage unit. That makes it easy to toss the non-saleable junk and debris items right away into your Tampa dumpster rental. As you price stuff, bear in mind you'll probably get offers for half the asking price, and haggling over dollars and cents is the hallmark of garage sales.

A first order of business is to check with your homeowner or neighborhood association, town and county for rules and regulations governing garage sales. Some have permit requirements, limits on how many per year, sign ordinances, etc. If you have covered space, then you don't need a rain date, but you might consider it if your driveway and front yard are the only showroom areas for your trash-to-treasure things. You don't need much to hold a garage sale, but it goes much smoother if you have thought ahead and assembled a few basics, here is a quick list to get you started:

  • Markers
  • Signs
  • Staple gun/tape to put up signs (as allowed)
  • Paper bags make good, stand-up signs with thick marker with weight to hold them down
  • Money box
  • Lots of $1 bills and change
  • Stickers for prices
  • Plastic bags for small or multiple items purchased
  • Dolly to move furniture, grill, heavy stuff
  • Hangers for clothes, rack or tree limbs
  • Calculator
  • Tables and a couple folding chairs (one for you)

Advertising on craigslist is a no-brainer, and the Garage Sale category is under the For Sale section. and local community newspapers may also be good for publicity.  

And here are a few little tricks of the trade.

  • One rule of thumb for pricing is to consider one-third of what the item would cost new, assuming it's in great condition.
  • Go through the pockets of all the clothes.
  • Have an extension cord to test lamps, appliances, etc.
  • Put tools or a lawn mower out front to entice men to willingly stop.
  • If there are several people selling things, use different color stickers and have a notebook handy to record the sale.
  • Go through each item yourself to tally a total.
  • Have fun!

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