How would you like to
make some extra cash without ever leaving your driveway? Hold a garage sale and
liquidate those unwanted, outdated family treasures. Here are some pointers to
get you going.
Traditionally, the garage-sale season is fall through
spring, depending on where you live. Avoid holiday weekends, says Chris Heiska,
host of Yardsalequeen.com.
"You just don't get the people. They're going away or to family events."
Share a sale
If your street
or driveway can't accommodate the extra cars, you may want to join forces with
a neighbor to offer more parking. Plus, you can split costs of newspaper ads and
signs. A bonus: more people may stop by, drawn by the crowd.
holding huge neighborhood sales can backfire. "There's too much competition,"
says Cathy Pedigo, author of "How to Have Big Money Garage Sales," and
president of Winning Edge, a self-publishing company in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Customers don't buy as quickly, as they're always wondering what else is down
Some communities limit the number of yard sales
one household can have during a year. Others restrict the numbers and types of
signs that can be used to advertise garage sales. Check first, so you don't run
into problems later.
Get out the word
Your neighborhood newspaper is a good way to let others
know what you're up to. Don't skimp on the ad, says Pedigo. "It should be
three to five times longer than the others." Let potential customers know
what you're selling, and include directions to your street from the closest major
intersection. If you have items that always are in demand, like infant paraphernalia,
When it comes to signs, you can't have too many, according
to Pedigo. Make the signs bright, readable and identical. She recommends posting
them starting at about a mile away from your house. Like Dorothy on the yellow
brick road to Oz, shoppers should be able to follow the signs to your house.
Several months before hold the sale, start identifying
items you and your family can do without. Advance notice helps all members of
your family get involved, so they can keep an eye out for potential garage-sale
Price to sell
When setting prices, try to determine what you would pay at a garage sale for
the item in question, and start with that. Keep in mind that you can always go
lower, if need be. Trying to boost your posted price is almost impossible.
household goods and appliances that are in good, working condition and decent
shape will fetch one-fourth to one-third of their original price, says Heiska.
You'll have better luck reaching the top of that range if you've held onto the
box and instruction manual.
Clothing, especially adult clothes, typically goes
for less. People are wary of paying much money for clothes they
can't try on. You'll should have better luck with kids' clothes,
since they're usually outgrown before they're worn out, explains
Sharon Huxford, editor of "Garage Sale and Flea Market Annual: Ninth
wondering whether that set of dishes from your great aunt is worth anything, have
it appraised before you set it out. You don't want to find out later that you
let a treasure go for pennies.
Also, if you have some items
that are showing their age, you may be best off not even trying to sell them.
Otherwise, customers may assume that all the items are in similar condition. If
you really want to get rid of them, consider placing them a "freebie"