A Garage Sale, In Your Garage

Estimated read time: 4 minutes.

One of the less glamorous parts of owning a garage is the inexorable garage sale. It’s a routine that can develop as we continue to find ourselves with more stuff than we need at the end of every few months or a year. A garage sale is also a great way to clear out the clutter in your life and maybe even get some cash together for a big expense or something else worthwhile. Since this blog is all about garages and garage doors this article is going to be giving you a few tips and insights into putting on your best garage sale yet.If you have any garage sale secrets or crazy garage sale stories feel free to comment or share them. Despite the age of the internet garage sales are still a quite popular way to clear out some clutter, find a good bargain, or just spend an odd Sunday. 

The first tip for all you garage sellers out there is to be realistic. This isn’t the antiques roadshow, people aren’t going to pay millions for that piece of furniture you’ve kept since your first apartment in college. Price things at a price you would feel comfortable selling these things at, remember that most of the stuff you are selling is really not of much value to you and so it’s like getting paid to have someone else throw things out for you. If you have got a four year old tent that cost you a 1000 dollars and you only ended up using twice you can’t expect to get anywhere near the retail price for it. Try and do some research on your bigger ticket items if you can, but generally just use your best judgement. If you wouldn’t pay the same price for something at a garage sale then it probably isn’t going to sell. Garage sales are where people go to find deals not usually to make huge necessary purchases. This means that the prices typically need to make the person want to pull the trigger and buy them right away instead of waiting to research and find a good deal online. Use your common sense to price things, but more often or not you’ll want to cheapen your prices if you really want to get rid of things. No matter how often you have your garage sales it is important to be realistic about your expectations, if you are using it mainly as a way to get things out of the house quickly and easily then have that reflected in the prices, if you are more focused on getting some quick cash together then you will be taking a much different take on pricing and may not want to go with a garage sale.

Another note on pricing is to not be afraid of the haggle, if there has been an item that not one person has seemed interested don’t be ashamed of dropping the price by a few bucks to make the sale faster. On the other end of things if you really would feel remorse for letting something go for a certain price stick to that price. There are a variety of different thoughts on building in haggling to your prices, but for the most part it is pretty situational. With haggling it is important to remember that there is a pretty real possibility that at the end of the day if you don’t sell something you will just have to pack it into a garbage bag for the dump, some money is always better than none in this case.

The next tip is to know yourself and know from the outset what sort of garage sale this is going to be. If you know yourself to be a bit of a hoarder then keep that in mind when you are choosing what to tag and not to take for the sale. If you are a hoarder then maybe take a second trip through your belongings to try and be a bit harder on yourself and make the tough decisions. If you are known to regret giving away or selling things then make sure you do the opposite and think hard about some items that you might be able to make room or in the attic or something. In addition to knowing yourself it is important to figure out if you don’t mind not selling everything, want everything gone by the end of the day or just want to maximize your profits. How you price things and how you choose what to even sell will depend on these decisions.

While a garage sale is supposed to be a relatively hassle free way to get rid of things it never hurts to put a little bit of work in to do some research. Find out if there is a certain weekend in your area that is popular for garage sales, check out your more unique or bigger ticket items online if you can. These types of things will help you to make pricing decisions but also to have you garage sale attract the best and most people. Look for a few ways to advertise and ask neighbors if they would maybe be willing to coordinate in order to have more garage sales in one spot, meaning more people.

At the end of every garage sale there is bound to be some things that weren’t lucky enough to be sold and don’t really warrant being brought back into the house, but they are still worth something. If you can try and coincide your garage sale time with when a local charity is accepting donations you can donate what you didn’t sell and throw out the few things  that aren’t good enough to donate. Obviously the threshold for donations is a bit higher than it is for the dumpster, so try and do a little sifting through your junk before heading over to your local organization. Keep in mind that different organizations have different rules for donations and will have different needs, so do a bit of research before packing things up to be donated. If you aren’t in the garage sale business for the money then it may help to just set aside things that will be donated to charity before you even start pricing things. This will help you know that a certain amount of things already won’t be going to waste and will save you time on researching things that you actually will end up selling. Having a pile or section of your garage while setting up your “shop” specifically for things that will go to charity is a good way to speed up the process and let you feel slightly better about tossing all that unwanted stuff.

Garage sales are always going to be a way to help you declutter your life a bit while hopefully putting some money in your pocket for a nice treat, like a vacation or maybe just a fancy dinner. Whatever your reasons may be a garage sale can be a very successful endeavor if looked at the right way. If you keep these tips in mind and remember to do a bit of research you might find a hidden gem in your garage, or most likely you’ll just have a successful garage sale. Regardless of what happens remember only sell what you can stand to, and coordinate with other to make the most of your garage sale. We look forward to hearing about your garage sale successes and horror stories.

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