Got some unwanted stuff on your hands? Here are seven tips to help you save money by hosting a great garage sale or yard sale this summer.
1. Time it right
Improve your odds of success by hosting a sale from Friday to Sunday in the months of June, July and early August.
Don't choose a weekend that conflicts with any major holidays or local events, such as fairs and festivals. Making such a mistake will cut down on potential traffic.
Most local papers have a section in the classifieds for advertising garage and yard sales.
You can also advertise for free in local penny savers, on community bulletin boards and on Craigslist. The more you get the word out, the more buyers you will attract.
3. Put up signs
Put up easy-to-read signs at busy intersections near your house. Include sale dates and times, and your address.
Also include directions, such as an arrow that points to your house.
4. Set up a 'cashier' station
Set up a card table and chair (separate from the main tables) where you can take money and mark down which items have sold.
Remember to go to the bank a few days in advance and get $10 to $20 in small bills and coins so you can make change.
5. Set up early
Early birds and diehard frugal folks may hover around your driveway up to an hour beforehand. You don't need to let them in until your official opening time.
However, it is important to have everything ready to go the instant you open for business. You don't want people milling around as you frantically try to set up that last table.
6. Make a good presentation
Group similar items together into attractive arrangements, and make sure they are displayed on clean tables. Do not crowd things together. Borrow tables from friends and neighbors if you need more space.
Clearly mark prices and label anything that may need an explanation. If something is particularly unique -- a rare item, a collector’s item, etc.-- put a special card next to it to entice a buyer.
7. Run a last-day 'clearance'
When you are midway through the last day, slash prices on items that have not sold. Chances are good that the hottest items went within the first few hours of the sale, so you need to give people a little incentive to buy the remaining items.
Paula Pant helps people ditch the cubicle and live on their own terms. She's traveled to 30 countries, owns six rental property units and hasn't had an employer since 2008. Her blog, "Afford Anything," is the gathering point for a tribe that refuses to say "I can't afford it." Follow Paula on Twitter: @AffordAnything.