A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Last week I talked about getting ready for your sale and preparing for the actual garage sale site.

The next step in having a garage sale is selecting, pricing, and marketing items.

The temptation may be to throw things away before the sale even begins. A good rule of thumb is: nothing gets thrown away before the sale except embarrassing items such as torn underwear, unidentifiable items or items received as gifts from relatives who may attend the sale.

If you are combining with other people, you may fight the urge to simply exchange stuff. Beware – you could end up with more things and less money than when you started.  This would be counter-productive.

Nothing is more frustrating than going to a garage sale where nothing is marked. While clearly marking every item is tedious, it is the most efficient wat to run a garage sale.  Multifamily sales need to have codes to ensure money goes to the right people. If there are many items in one category, a sign with prices is appropriate (books – paperback 50 cents, hard back $1.00.) The person collecting money should have a list of all items priced as a group to avoid confusion.

If people offer less than the marked price, refer to your purpose.

Displaying items is more challenging at the start of the sale but gets easier as things are sold. The easier it is to see the items, the faster they will sell.  Some people may enjoy the challenge of digging through a box of clothes to find the bottoms to a pair of pajamas but most would rather be able to tell at a glance whether or not the items are acceptable.  Displaying items on tables is most desirable.

The more comfortable the customers are, the longer they will stay and the longer they stay, the more they will buy.

“Tables” can be a board across sawhorses or stacked boxes. The idea is to make things easy to see.  If there are electrical items, a cord and plug should be available for customers to test their purchases.  Colorful or interesting items should be placed at the front of the sale to draw people’s attention. If you have baby things, those are usually bright and catch the eye. Some people drive by garage sales slowly and if something looks interesting, they are more likely to stop and get out.

Now that the ad has run, the signs are out all merchandise is clearly marked and attractively displayed the fun can begin.   You should start the day with a good breakfast.

Donuts are the tradition around here. It is a special treat that sets the tone for an exciting day. You can make a game out of predicting which things will sell.  It is fascinating to see what people purchase. In fact people watching can be somewhat of a distraction.  The workers must remember their purpose.

Part of the job is to rearrange items so people see everything.  This is a trick grocery stores use to get you to spend more time in the store looking for things.  It can be frustrating for the grocery shopper but fun for the garage sale shoppers.  Remember, the longer they are there, the more likely they are to buy things and the fewer things will be left to pack up.

Packing up is the final and maybe the least fun part.  The hope is there will be very little to pack up.  Some organizations will come and pick up the leftover things.  It is worth researching this.  At the end of a long, often hot day if you live in Texas, having someone else come in and haul things away is a blessing.

Then it is time for celebratory ice cream or pizza or whatever celebration means at your house.  Hopefully you have made some money, gotten rid of stuff, and been entertained for a few hours.