Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Thrifted Life: Organizing a Garage Sale

Garage Sale 1
Look at all these things!

Being what I refer to as a professional thrifter and appreciator of the secondhand, I have accumulated a lot over the years. While I am constantly dusting and organizing my treasured finds, there comes a time when you realize the magnitude of what you own. Of course I donate a lot to Goodwill, many items which may very well came to me from the very same shelves of Goodwill—in some sort of cyclical loaning process.

But when the junk is piling up and the income is running low, having a garage sale seems to be a novel idea. And on Saturday, the idea will come into practice.

To ensure the success of the sale I began to organize items a month ago, slowly but surely bagging and boxing it all up. Now I’ll organize my thoughts so that others may be inspired to purge their junk:

  • First thing was to decide what would stay and what will go. It’s been said many times that if you haven’t used an item in over a year and won’t be using it in the foreseeable future, it’s time to let it go.

  • I try to keep items together. Toys with toys. A few boxes of books, CDs, DVDs, a box for small electronics. Things will be least likely to go M.I.A. the day of the sale if they are neatly organized.

  • I have a mental price list for big ticket items, asking a slightly higher cost than what will likely be paid. I expect to be haggled and therefore will be haggled down to a price that I may expect to make for that item.

  • I don’t waste time pricing each individual item, because I find price tags scare some of the clientele. I just like to distance the garage sale from the typical retail environment. Besides as a garage sale shopper, isn’t it much more fun to ask for a price, haggle, then finally agree?

  • I created a Facebook event for family and friends who love looking for assorted useful junk, made a Craig’s List advertisement and will be posting plenty of fliers around the neighborhood prior to the sale.

  • Later in the week I’ll get to the bank to make assorted small change, very important considering the amount of cheaply priced wares I’ll be peddling.

  • I plan to set up early, no later than 7 am, and will also be making sure to move the cars from the driveway and in front of our house so drivers passing through can see the sale items.

  • Lastly and most importantly, I am making this a community event. I invited friends and neighbors to join me in purging the excesses and making a few bucks for our street’s first multi-family garage sale.

So long as the weather holds out and we get some decent thru-traffic, the garage sale should be an all-around success. I still have a lot to do, but the end result will hopefully be well worth the work.

Are you having a garage sale this season?


Dan said...

Those are definitely Furbies. lol

Jackie Jardine said...

Yes, they are, Dan. Yes, they are =)

Vanessa said...

Excellent tips that I will certainly be using for my own yard sale. I've had some stuff sit in my antique store booth for months and not sell- yard sale time! I'm putting things aside in boxes for it and can't wait to host it so I can free up closet space at last! And hopefully make a wee bit...

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Van. I'm glad you find this post helpful. I've rented tables at local flea markets a number of times and made an okay amount of money. But you have to be able to fit everything you have to sell in one car and hope it all sells so you don't have to drag it back. Plus you have to deduct the cost of the table rental from your profits and have a friend with you to watch your stuff when you go to the bathroom. Add to the fact that around here, you have to be in line no later than 4 am for a chance at a spot. Too much work!