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Successful Garage Sale Tips

Colleen Kulikowski April 27, 2016

Spring has sprung in Western New York! If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, you might want to have a garage sale. I always recommend getting rid of the clutter and organizing the house before putting it up for sale. This is important because if there’s too much clutter, many potential buyers cannot see past it; that means they can’t see the house as their home. Many times, they get caught up in collections, family photos, or just all the stuff in the home, and that can make the house feel a lot smaller than it really is. So, you want to overcome the objections that buyers may have, it is better to eliminate the clutter before you place your home for sale.

Once you start the process of gathering things you do not need, what do you do with this stuff? You could call 1-800-GOT-JUNK and have them take it away. You could drop unused clothing off at a local drop box. But before you do that, how about making a little fast cash with a yard sale or garage sale?  It is summer in Western New York, and it seems that every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there are hundreds of them throughout the area.

Garage Sale Basics

You don’t have to be a Yard Sale Queen to have a successful garage sale in Western New York.  And you don’t have to wait for National Garage Sale Day, August 8, to have your garage sale. There are a few things you can do to prepare — and to make your life a lot easier:

  • Double check to make sure you do not need a permit to have one.
  • See if your community has a group sale coming up – or see if some of your neighbors are going to have one, and get together on the advertising. There is strength in numbers!
  • Decide on a date and advertise it in the local newspapers and perhaps even on the web at one of the many free yard sale advertising sites.
  • Make sure you mark everything you want to sell. My mother uses a color-coded system to help make it easier when she does a yard sale. Red is for her stuff, yellow is for mine, green is for my brother’s, and blue is for my aunt’s. That way, we keep track of how the proceeds from the sale should be divided.
  • What information should you put in your advertisement? Address, dates, hours, and any unique items that you may have for sale. You can advertise your sale on www.GarageSaleHunter.com for FREE!
  • Stage everything the night before. If you advertise that your sale will start at 8am, be prepared for early birds at 7am!
  • Have lots of change on hand: $100 in tens, fives, and singles is a good starting place. Make sure you have plenty of loose change, too.
  • Make sure you are prepared with supplies, including newspaper to wrap glassware, lots of plastic bags for purchases, and a few boxes for big purchases.
  • Use ziplock bags to combine several small items for $1. You will be amazed at how many people will purchase that kind of stuff. Group like items together.
  • Post on Facebook like we did, and include photos of items you will be selling. We did it and posted them on my page. Many people asked for specific items they had seen!
  • Signage is important! Put signs up two or three days before your sale. Make sure they have the dates, times, and address. After your sale, take your signs down.
  • Have plenty of tables; you can never have enough of them. Remember the first rule in merchandising: make it easy to see!
  • Don’t forget to put flyers up in local stores and on bulletin boards.
  • Think safety. Have a friend or family member with you. There is safety in numbers.
  • Have a plan for when things don’t sell. You can arrange for a charitable organization to pick up the items that do not sell, or you can deliver them to a local charity.

What About One of These Homes?

All statistics are gathered from the Buffalo Niagara Association of REALTORS®.. For more information, call our J. Philip Real Estate Team at (716) 650-0051

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