Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Big Moving Sale!

When the stickers and Sharpies make an appearance, you know what it must be time for...the big moving sale!

I try to have one garage sale every year. It's just a wonderful way to purge your house of unnecessary clutter and give it a little breathing room. I promised myself that I would take a long hard look at my storage room before the move. My goal was to reduce the amount of items by one-quarter. I decided that if it's been in the storage room of this house for five years, it would probably stay in storage at the next house for another five years. And seriously, why are we holding on to items that occupy valuable real estate in our homes? I say let those items bless another home.

Here's another thing to consider: if you don't have to pack it, then you don't have to unpack it either!

My corporate relocation package includes a full move. That means that packers come a few days before the big move to pack everything, and after the move they come back to unpack everything. They may not realize it, but one reason I have a moving sale is to make their jobs that much easier!

I thought I'd share a few garage sale tips, in case you were thinking of having one this season, too.

For starters, I always advertise my sales on Craigslist about a day or two before the actual day. It helps to list some major items, and provide photos as well.  I put this photo on my listing at last year's sale, and I had a woman here at 8am to look at my Stampin' Up goodies. That is the power of advertising!

Give some thought to how you display items. Some folks like to look at tables, racks, or shelves, while others like to root around for buried treasure at the bottom of a basket. Put your big ticket items on prominent display, and save the baskets and boxes for small ticket items. I like to arrange my tables and racks in a welcoming U shape.

Invest in some various sizes of lunch bags. These are great for pricing small items like jewelry or crafts.

Make a child's day by offering a hodgepodge of free items in a box at their eye level. It's a nice way to make moms and dads and grandparents happy, too!

Here are a few tips on preparing for your sale:

*Clean everything. If it is dirty or in total disrepair, it probably will not sell. Add a button, sew a seam, and make it neat and presentable.

*Price everything before the sale if at all possible. Trust me on this. You can tell folks to make you an offer, but they won't. They will, however, make offers on items that are marked. Marked items sell so much faster!

*Keep some stickers and Sharpies handy for price changes.

*The day before the sale, get some change at the bank. I usually get about 40 to 50 dollars, broken down into a roll of quarters, 20 one dollar bills, and a few fives.

*Price it fair, and price it to move. Be prepared to mark some items down for hagglers. Ask yourself if it's worth it to save it, or is it worth it to get it out of your house.

*Wondering if an item will sell? Put it out there and see! I'm always amazed at the things I sell. I have sold old lamp shades, drawer pulls from some old dressers, some old bed linens, never can tell what some folks will buy!

On the day of the sale, remember these tips:

*Keep your money on your person at all times. No cash boxes. I prefer a cross body handbag for this purpose, and the money is never out of sight.

*If your sale is in your garage or front lawn, then lock your front door and all other doors to your home.

*Never let a stranger into your home for any reason. Always recommend the nearest public restrooms, gas stations, etc.

*Never leave your sale unattended.

*Keep your cell phone and house phone handy.

*Provide bags and boxes, if possible.

Some things that typically sell well at my sales:

Mens suits
Children's Clothing
Ink pads, stamp sets, and craft items
Children's Books
Sporting equipment
Housewares (blinds, shades, kitchen items, and decorative items)

And here's my most important tip:


Greet every customer. Talk to their kids. Chat with them about their awesome finds. Don't hide behind a table with your arms crossed and a scowl on your face. Walk around, smile, and spread a little joy!

That's good advice for any day of the week!

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