written by Jean Turner
It is just around the corner!
Before you find yourself in frazzled panic mode, wallowing your way through a heaped up mess on your front lawn - sit down and think through the finer points of running a garage sale - before it happens.
The last thing you want to do is find yourself in a last minute rush, scampering from one person to another in a frantic attempt to keep everyone happy and getting rid of all those things that - Oops! - You didn't want to sell...
Take the time to think through what you need to do to prepare for the event. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Planning the initial stages
• Where is all the stuff now, and what (and how much) do you need to sort through.
• When you have identified the items you want to sell - where are you going to present them to the public. On your front lawn or in your garage?
• Do you need to move things around in your garage to create a cordoned-off area for the sale goods. This prevents theft on the day of your good tools, and avoids situations of you having to say that an item is not for sale.
• If your event is to be held on your font lawn - what if it rains.
Marking up your items
• How much are you going to charge for your items.
• Are you going to pre-mark them with prices, and if so, how. Do you need to purchase stick-on labels, tie on labels, waterproof marker pens etc.
The logistics - you will need help!
• Will you require help to sort, move, position and mark the items you want to sell.
• Will you require help on the day. If so - how many assistants will you need.
Garage sales often involve a large amount of cash. Cash boxes which are laying around unguarded are easy pickings for the professional thief who looks for garage sales to attend.
• Who will control the cash box - and would a money apron with a zip up pocket for notes not be a better option.
• How do you intend to control where the money goes after a sale
After the event
There will be clean-up duties after your event. Litter and left-over items will need to be taken care of.
• How will you deal with the left-overs. Is there a charity nearby which will collect your remainders, or will you need to get the goods to the local refuse and recycling point.
• Cleaning up requires help - who will help you and do your sale assistants understand that the clean-up is included as part of the job.
Garage sales involve a huge amount of effort. With sensible planning and forethought, they can also be a happy and financially rewarding event. Without planning, you could be left feeling traumatised, out of pocket and with a bitter taste in your mouth.