Many people just have too many things in their homes. Things like extra printers that the paper feed may be broke on so you bought a new one, but it works just fine or maybe you were into teddy bear figurines for fifteen years and now if you see another one you’ll scream. These things collect in a home in boxes gathering dust and taking up valuable storage space. Often these get stored until a person either moves or dies leaving a larger chore in the end. It’s time to have a garage sale and benefit from the extra money now.
Your neighbors probably have stuff they would like to find a new home for too. Invite them to join you at your garage sale, and don’t worry about keeping it straight who sold what, I’m going to tell you the easy way.
When you are collecting your old stuff, have a permanent marker handy and a roll of masking tape. Masking tape is safe for most items as it is low tack meaning that it will peel off cleanly and easily. Stick a piece about an inch long on the item, write the price you want for it with the permanent marker on the masking tape with your initials or name. Keep a notebook and a marker right next to the change box along with a calculator or adding machine. When the item sales, simply peel the tape off and stick it on a page in the notebook designated for that persons’ sales. It’s easier to add up later if you place them in columns down the page.
Change is important to remember. Most time visitors to your sale will arrive with a twenty dollar bill and only purchase one or two dollars worth of items. Keep about twenty dollars in quarters and five in smaller coin. Try to have at least twenty ones, four fives, two tens, and a twenty to change those larger bills. Don’t be afraid to cut prices some in order to get the sale if you run out of change. The purpose is to make a little cash out of stuff you would ordinarily end of throwing away. Just mark the tape so you remember.
Kids like to earn a little spare cash, too, but they don’t usually have anything they want to get rid of. Have a lemonade or kool-aid stand. With all the people that will be arriving, they will easily make some spending money. Remember to teach them that they still have to pay for supplies like sugar or drink mix and cups. This can be a very valuable business lesson for them. Sometimes cookies or other baked goods go really well, too.
As a crafty person, you might want to include a table full of crafts that you have finished. Perhaps you like to knit dishcloths, crochet baby booties that look like roller skates, or cross-stitch greeting cards. This is a great way to sell those items. Have a table completely separate just for them. They sell surprisingly well, and you just made another nice little cache of cash.
If you are a great recipe inventor or have hard to find recipes that are specialized for certain health conditions, diabetes for example, you might want to take the time to create a cookbook. Print it up on the computer, staple it down the middle and voila! You have an extra source of income right there. Many people will gladly pay ten dollars or more for a fifty-page cookbook filled with unique and delicious recipes.
Your green thumb can earn you some extra green especially in the spring when everyone is planting his or her garden. Start a few tomato and pepper plants and sell them. Perhaps your spider plant has been particularly fruitful and now you have thirty of them scattered in all your windowsills, put them out there. The best plant sales are those in terra cotta pots that cost a dime a dozen, but you put a coat of paint on the outside giving it a cute happy face or painting a dozen tulips on it. If it is cute and reasonably priced, it will sell.
If you are a salesperson for any of the great distributorships out there such as cosmetics or house wares, don’t forget to put a few fliers and a couple books on a table. Keep some order forms handy. You’d be surprised how many people will dig out more money to get that handy item that is on sale in the catalog and you will have great sales. Make payment up front mandatory and keep that money separate from the garage sale cash. Just make sure to get their home address and phone number so you can deliver the products later.
One other thing, if your cat just had kittens or your dog had pups and they are ready to leave their mama, give them a bath and a good brushing, put them in a nice crate, maybe with a little bow or collar, and set them in the shade. By the end of the day, they will all have found their new “forever homes”. One word of caution, don’t allow people to handle them without the use of hand sanitizer or you may end up with a sick pet.
At the end of day, take the clothing, book and various household items that don’t sale to a thrift shop. Donate it, and have them write out a simple receipt with the approximate value on it. This makes a great tax deduction without you having to re-store all those items.
There you have it, some great ideas to help you have a successful garage sale without a big headache. Get together with some friends and neighbors and have the biggest one in town. Whoever had the best sales treats the rest to lemonade and a cookie when you celebrate your great victory over clutter. Enjoy the money now instead of wondering for the next ten years what you actually have in that Sunkist oranges box in the far corner that would be a great place to store all those new holiday decorations you just bought on clearance. The most important thing, though, have some fun. This is a great time to meet new acquaintances or to catch up with old ones. Everyone loves a good garage sale.