Sorry blogging community I've been to busy selling houses and short sales are very complicated, so I haven't been blogging much. Bad blogger. I taught a class tonight Spring Sellers Seminar. My first tip was have a garage sale. One of my facebook friends Krista Steiger is having a garage sale. Another friend, Julie Koon, should have a garage sale. Both are old high school friends and I might be seeing them at the Glendale High School 25th reunion this summer.
Here are some of the basic steps to have a successful. Special bonus prize for whoever can guess what the image in front of the shirts on the wall.
1) Find all the stuff you want to sell. One of our first garage sales I had 74 clothing items shirts, jeans, and t-shirts
2) You are lying go back and find more stuff. You never will want to do one of these again.
3) Now you really want to make sure you get rid of certain things. Primary things are BIG STUFF. In the lower left you can only see the corner, that is a big giant poker table from a game that I ran out of my house. EXPENSIVE STUFF. This is stuff that you can actually get some money for. Note anything that is potentially more than $5 is big bucks
4) Market the hell out of it. This is the most important part. The first thing is craigslist. This is the grand kahuna. You want to start marketing a couple of days in advance. You are talking about all the cool stuff. Great deals and the address. Note craigslist only lets you post once every 48 hours. You can get around this be using different pics. Address is 123 Main Street and next post is corner of Main and First.
5) Market your specific stuff as a seperate ad. Wierd stuff. I used to sell cable television on a door to door basis in my early 20's. I'm actually a certified cable installer. I had a ton of the old fittings and adapters (absolutely no use to me) posted these a guy came by looking for them. $10 KACHING! I doubt I would of sold those any other way. Old TV's, VCR's, and chairs are perfect. One garage sale I sold four different Palm Pilots. Yes I had from a Palm 2.0 to the Tungsten. I had ads for each of these in the appropriate spots on Craigslist. I was driving everybody to the garage sale. I even sold a Nitrious Oxide tank that I used to own. Hint I've never been a dentist or had a hot rod.
6) Sign the hell out of it! This is done the day of. You should either a day or two before have a map made out so you know how many signs you need to make. Find major streets and drive traffic from there. Side streets, all the streets. If there is a close corner with a four way stop that is four signs just on that one corner. Cheap signs take a cardboard box black marker and you can get potentially 10 signs. I think for our last garage sale we had between 20-30 signs up.
HOW DO YOU PRICE YOUR STUFF? TO SELL
99% of the stuff you have you never want to have to have back in your house. You can see the racks of clothes on the wall. I think the first hanger were like 5 bucks and the next was $3. Everything else was $2 or 3 for 5 bucks. Please, please, please don't label every item with a sticker. Note on day 2 everything was dollar. Have several boxes full of crap labeled one dollar, fifty cents, twenty-five cents, dime. Tags go on big items.
If they leave with the stuff and you have currency in your pocket you win. If you haggle over price and they walk away with nothing you have failed. Only exception is if it is something you are willing to keep or a big ticket item with the price disparity to big.
DAY OF THE SALE
You are up at an insane hour. Typically before 6:00 a.m. Post on Craigslist again. Get the last minute early risers. You are hanging your signs first. Hopefully there are two of you. Really needs to happen to make things easier. One person hangs up signs while the other sets up stuff. I recommend McDonald's or Burger King for breakfast. You stayed up late the night before getting all the last minute stuff and signs.
Have change ready. A muffin making thing (I'm not a cook for all of the change). Go by the bank and make sure you have enough ones and fives and loose change. Enjoy the solitute before the mass of people show up. I also like to have a Ghetto Blaster aka portable stereo for music.
Typically end time is 1-3. I don't put end times on my signs. As long as there are people I am selling. ALso if the process starts driving you insane you want to close up early it's cool. If you have a sign up that says 8-2 and you close at one, people will knock on your freaking front door.
Lower prices. Your signs are still up. Post on craigslist the rest of stuff you have left. Your signs are still up so you get to sleep in a little later. Haggling is almost nonexistent get rid of stuff. Close garage sale. I go out and pick up signs first, then put all crap back in garage. Take all extra junk into Goodwill or other organization that will accept it. Turn it all in and collect charitable receipt for taxes. You don't have to do all the Goodwill stuff that day.
Treat yourself, two days of hell are over. Enjoy your vice get a drink, see a movie, or go out to eat. You've got extra cash.
These are a few tips for a successful garage sale. If I go to this extreme for a couple of hundred bucks imagine how hard I would word for you to sell your house or help you buy one.
Good luck. If you have tips to share please post your comments below.
WHEN DO YOU HOLD?
Friday and Saturday seem to work best. Saturday and Sunday are a good comprimise. Look for a weekend with good weather. If weather looks bad one weekend it's easy to postpone it. The earlier in the garage sale season you have it like right now, the better.
Last garage sale we had 80% of our stuff we had out we sold made a couple of hundred bucks.