Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Combining the joys of collecting along with the thrill of the hunt, garage sales have developed into a popular pastime for many folks. Sometimes you will hit sale after sale and walk away empty handed whereas other times, for every five sales you visit, you may just find that one item you really want. The same applies to having your own garage sale. A lot of people may stop by to browse through your stuff but few will actually make a purchase. If you are unfamiliar with the garage sale world, then read on for some tips on having a successful garage sale. On the other hand, if you are a seasoned pro, you may still discover some nuances of garage sales you may not aware of.

What is a Garage Sale

A garage sale, sometimes referred to as a yard sale or a moving sale, is where you have items you want to clear out of your house and so you put them up for sale. The location can be your own front yard, an empty parking lot or even in an area with other people wishing to sell their unneeded items.

A garage sale is sometimes confused with a flea market. They may seem like the same thing but there are subtle nuances that illuminate their differences. A garage sale is typically only a few times a year, at most, whereas a flea market operates most working days and continuously restocks the inventory with different merchandise.

You also have to purchase a business license in order to run a flea market because it is an actual business. A garage sale may require a permit depending on what area you live in but most cities do not charge a fee provided you are on your own property or have permission from the property owner.

When is the Best Time to Hold a Garage Sale

You cannot control the weather but you can control when and where you have your garage sale. Most sales take place in the summer and fall because of the weather. Spring and winter can bring rain, snow and cold temperatures, all of which can lead to poor sales. Before setting a firm date for your sale, check the weather and see what conditions the weather forecasters are predicting. The best day of the week to have a sale is Saturday but many people elect to cover at least two days to accommodate buyers. They begin the sale on Friday morning or afternoon and end the sale on Saturday evening.

Here is a tip: see if your city or town has a city-wide garage sale day. Shoppers will be out in droves hitting all of the sales. If your area does not have a city-wide sale, take a look in the local newspaper for other garage sales. More people will come to yours if there are others going on at the same time.

Is it okay to Haggle Over Price

It is okay to ask someone to lower the price. After all it never hurts to ask, just do not be surprised if they will not lower the price. A large factor in getting the price reduced is how badly they want the item gone. If it is Saturday afternoon and they want to wrap up the sale and be done, the chances of them taking a lower price is significantly higher then when they started the garage sale. Most people expect to haggle over prices so it will not offend them if you make an offer that is less then what they initially asked. Please do not waste their or your time by making a ludicrous offer. If the sales sticker is marked at $100, making an offer of $10 is an insult.

How Much Cash Float Should I Keep

A good rule of thumb is to keep at least twenty dollars in loose change and at least another thirty in ones, and fives. If you have a number of high dollar items (at least twenty dollars and above), you might consider having enough change to break larger bills. At the very least have a backup plan with someone willing to fetch more change later if you find yourself running low.

What About Guarantees

Anytime you purchase a piece of equipment at a garage sale, you are assuming the risk. If the television or computer does not work when you get it home, you can try to return it if the seller guaranteed that it worked. You may not be able to return it so be prepared. Common sense will tell you that it is a used piece of electronics and as such will not be under any type of warranty from the seller. If you have doubts…do not buy it.

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