It seems like every house on my block has had a garage sale this June! I took the liberty of paying extra special attention to the crappy ones so I could share some tips about what not to do when hosting a garage or yard sale.
- Schedule your yard sale during a holiday weekend. Maybe your neighbors will cancel their Fourth of July vacation JUST to go to your garage sale, maybe not. Try to pick a date that falls on a non-holiday weekend when most folks are in town. An even better idea? Sometimes group sales work better than individual ones, so try to coordinate with your neighbors to hold a joint sale.
- Collect stuff to sell 10 minutes before the customers arrive. Are you crazy? Garage sales take a lot of work and planning! Gather things you plan on selling days, weeks, or even months in advance so you have time to organize and price them accordingly.
- Don't advertise your sale. No matter how important and famous you are, most people won't know about your garage sale unless you tell them. Advertise for free online, in the local newspaper, or by posting signs around the neighborhood. Check out The Yard Sale Queen for a list of Web sites where you can advertise your yard sale for free.
- Price items for at least as much as you bought them for. Unless you are selling a diamond ring that has increased in value over the last several years, this is a no-good-very-bad idea. Instead, a good rule of thumb is to price items in decent condition at 1/2 or 1/3 of the original price.
- Refuse to bargain. Congratulations! You're well on your way to making a whopping zero dollars at your garage sale. Haggling is what yard sales are all about. In fact, some people comb garage and yard sales just because they love bargaining. Don't deprive them of their passion! You can be less flexible early in the day or with sentimental items, but try to ease up a bit later on.
Is your family holding a yard sale this year? Do you have any tips?