Monday, April 9, 2012

Garage Sale Prep Tips

Properly preparing for a garage sale can be a lot of hard work. But if you do so ahead of time, being ready can save a lot of stress and running around the morning of.

I’ve been a part of as well as been to so many garage sales over the years, that I’ve pretty much got the whole garage sale experience down. Here are some of the things that I do ahead of time when I’m preparing to have a garage sale to ensure that I’m ready to go and that there aren’t any delays when I head out bright and early.

Change at the Ready
I don’t always have to go to the bank to get my change for a garage sale. Sometimes I have enough cash and change around the house to handle my needs. I always make sure I have plenty of five dollar bills, ones, and quarters since those are the mainstays of my garage sale change needs. I rarely price things in five or ten cent increments, therefore largely negating the need for such change, but I carry a little bit in my change container just in case.

If I don’t have my requisite change needs met at home, I’ll stop by the local bank and pick up what I need in advance of my sale. I don’t want to have to make time consuming or troublesome trips to the bank the day of.

I ensure that I get things out and priced ahead of my sale. While I risk a few price stickers or tags falling off before the sale by doing so, it’s worth it to avoid the scramble of trying to get everything priced that morning. I also don’t want people showing up to my garage sales with me not being ready, possibly risking lost sales in the process.

Tables Set
Having things on tables and organized the way I want them ahead of time, means that the morning of my garage sale is much easier. My wife and I can just moved the tables out (carefully mind you) where we want them, position other larger items, and voila! We’re set.

Signs Made and Ready
I will put an ad in the local paper the week ahead of my sale. My other form of advertising besides the ad is self-made signs. I typically place my wife in charge of signage creations since she has better handwriting.

We tend to save our old signs that have survived previous garage sales so we can re-use them. Having our signs made and ready ahead of time can save costly delays creating them the morning of our garage sale.

Have My Tool Kit Ready
I typically go into my garage sales with a “tool kit” of supplies that I’ll likely need throughout the day. I’ve found that certain items are good to have during a sale, and help keep my trips back and forth between the house to a minimum.

Here the things that I usually keep in my garage sale tool kit:

• Extra price stickers/tags
• Money box
• Scissors
• Tape
• White and colored paper (for sign making if needed)
• Pens, markers, and permanent markers
• Plastic and paper bags, and boxes (for customer purchases and after sale cleanup)
• Drinks and snacks

Be Set and Ready an Hour in Advance
If you’ve lived in the garage sale world long enough, you’ll likely be aware that even if you set your start time for 7 a.m., someone will probably arrive before that, sometimes quite a bit before.

I know that some people don’t like or appreciate early arrivals to their sales. I’ll admit that I don’t always like it myself. What I do like however, is the money they bring to these sales, and it’s worth it to me to be up and ready an hour in advance to catch these early customers.

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