Although you won't make big money selling your collectibles at a garage sale, at least you'll sell them. Unless of course, you see yourself in this list of garage sale mistakes of things NOT to do.
If you're new to having a sale and need help -- check out my Top Tips for Having a Garage or Tag Sale!
1. Book Prices for EverythingGo through the price and value guides and price your stuff accordingly. After all, if it has a $100. price in a book, that's what you'll settle for.
Wrong strategy! Don't make this garage sale mistake. Book values are not garage sale prices and no one coming to a sale will pay those prices or even close to it. If your item is in excellent condition and worth more than a few dollars, try selling the item online. But still don't expect book values.
2. No Prices on AnythingSize up the customers as they come in and charge them what you think they can afford to pay or what you feel like charging at the time.
Terrible strategy!Another big garage sale mistake. If nothing is marked, I'm usually tempted just turn around and leave. It has to be something pretty darn special for me to bother asking the prices on everything. Sure it takes a lot of time to mark individual items, so instead make tables or fill boxes where everything is the same price. Folks love to check out the $1. table and see what bargains can be found.
3. Throw Everything in a Few Big BoxesDon't bother setting up tables or clothing racks, instead just throw everything in a box and let folks have a treasure hunt trying to find stuff. Even better, mix it up with toys, books and clothes all in the same boxes.
Instead, if you're short on tables or racks, at least group stuff together. Books in one box, kids clothing in another and so on.
4. Don't Waste Time Cleaning or WashingIt's only a garage sale, so why bother cleaning and washing everything. People are looking for a bargain, so they can buy as-is. If there are a few bugs, blow them off the figurine.
Better Option Spend a few minutes as the items are being put out and make them clean and shiny. Rinse the bugs out of the vases, dust off the fake flowers and use disinfectant on the toys.
5. No Packing MaterialsBy the time you need packing materials or sacks, the money has already been made. So does it matter if you've run out of bags or never had any to begin with? People will just have to juggle stuff out the door.
Make it easier on buyers. It's not necessary to have extra bags, but helps the buyers, so why not? A month or so before the sale, start saving those plastic bags from the grocery stores and save a week's worth of newspapers.
6. Signs / DirectionsDon't you love a scavenger hunt? That's what it is when an address on the sign is too small to read from a car, written with a pen instead of a marker or signs are set-up so many blocks away from the garage sale that no one knows where it actually is.
BIG SIGNS and even more important BIG BOLD LETTERS on a simple sign work best. Don't want to make your own signs? Office supply stores sell pre-made signs for just a few bucks and they usually come with easy-to-use stakes.
7. Read a Book, Watch TV or Talk on the PhoneObviously you have better things to do than talking to the customers and reading a book or talking on the phone lets them know that right off the bat.
Rude? You bet it is and there are many sellers who apparently don't even feel like they have to say hello or welcome, don't let this garage sale mistake send folks away.
8. Missing a Few Pieces?You're not sure if the puzzle is missing a few pieces or the game isn't all there, you'll still ask full price for the item. It's the same thing with a few chips or re-glued piece of ceramics, let the buyer beware and make what you can on the deal.
Ouch!Not nice at all. I might not put together a 1000 piece puzzle to make sure it's all there, but if there is any chance that a few pieces might be missing, I'll let the buyer know or just not bother selling it.
9. Mark the Price Directly on the ItemUse a Sharpie marker and write directly on the stuff for sale. It's not your problem if they can never remove the mark. Another strategy is using tape on cold-painted pieces, when the tape is removed, so is the finish.
A bit tricky. Try putting stuff that shouldn't be marked in plastic bags or put tape only on the bottom of the piece.