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Death By A Garage Sale

I'm helping my dad prepare for a garage sale and I need help!

With looming, I spent the weekend helping my dad prepare to participate. I know you're jealous.

Now, for a little background, I think my family maybe held two garage sales in my entire life. So we lack some major experience in this area. (However, my uncle was notorious on 10th Avenue for his epic garage sales back in the day.) And while you would think it would be easy enough to pull off, after 20 hours spent, the next five days will require just as much, if not more, work.

And it may kill me. OK. That's a little dramatic. But, really. I need help: Office and school supplies, copper plumbing pipes and fittings, tools unlimited, books, and, of course, an original Atari game system—and that's just the tip of the iceberg. (If anyone is or knows a plumber, we got it all!) I guess this could really be called a "Man Sale."

So this is where I ask for your friendly tips on how to pull of a successful, or semi-successful, garage sale. How do I price items? What things are good sellers? What should I just toss in the garbage to save a price sticker?

Please give me your advice in the comments section below. Also, if you are participating in the garage sale this weekend, POST A PHOTO of the wackiest or coolest item you are attempting to sell.

Thanks in advance for your insight!

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Ralph McGraw May 15, 2012 at 09:36 PM
First I want to say Good Luck! Doing a garage sale is a lot of work. Prep work is very important. Pricing! When pricing, price like you want to get rid of the item. If price too high people will not even consider. They just look and even if there was interest they don't haggle. Layout items for easy viewing. If you have portable clothes racks use them. If not I have 3-4 that I have been meaning to put out for sale. Nice chrome racks I used for displaying clothes when I was doing sport shows. I might just have to drive over to see what you have. Even though I have been working at clearing unwanted items out of my house so my children didn't have this problem.
Karen Davis May 15, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Sort kids clothes by size and price items to sell but not too low either. Most seasoned garage saler's will haggle if they really want it. I have had many garage sales over the years, and if an item woudn't sell...I would mark it UP, and it almost always sold so what does that tell ya? There was always one item that was either so ugly or the thought was that no one would actually buy it, but it always seemed to go. Have a free box...the kids will be entertained, giving the parents more time to shop, and when my kids were younger, they sold pop out of a cooler which was much appreciated on a hot day. Always start on Wednesday so you can get the shoppers earlier than the normal Thursday garage saler's. That trick enabled me to make no less than $1000.00 for every garage sale I ever had. All selling crap I was never going to use anyway!! Good luck!!
Cheryl Lang May 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Keep it simple, .25, .50, .75 etc, NO nickel and dimes, easier to add. If you don't think something is worth .25 add something to it. Ziplock small items together, price to sell. Don't put more on then you would be willing to pay to it. I agree start around 2-3 Wednesday afternoon to catch the workers going home and open by 7 am to catch them on their way to work and stay open as late as you can, 7-8. Long days but if you really want to get rid on it that's what it takes. Good luck and hope you have help.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Oh there's always room for more stuff - as my dad has proven. He's lived here for 35 years and, well, stuff just accumulates. I mean, we have 15 hammers. One gets lost, or lent to someone, kids go to college and need their own, and then it gets stored at home or lost. Thanks for the tips!
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 02:09 PM
The Wednesday tip is awesome. Unfortunately we won't be able to pull that together, but a great tip. I'm sure we will have to do another one so that is great for future use! And I have priced most things to sell, but - you know what they say - one man's trash is another man's treasure. So I could think I would pay this amount for someone and another could think I'm crazy. So, I've priced things to sell and also made a cute, funny little sign that says "We Will Barter - Just Ask!"
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Oh adding something to another item! I've done that so far. My dad has tons of office supplies from when he was running his own business. You won't believe how many Post-It notes - of all kinds - we have. I put clumps in a bag and marked them at a buck.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Thank you for the tips. I feel better now! But, I'll take more!

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