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How to Plan a Successful Garage Sale Before Moving

Published by Chris Townsend

How to Plan a Successful Garage Sale Before Moving

If you’ve lived in your home for a number of years, it’s very likely that you’ve accumulated a whole bunch of unnecessary stuff. When the time comes to move, this is the perfect opportunity to purge the items you no longer want or need. Attempting to take all of your things to your new place will not only cost you a lot of time and money, but it also adds needless clutter to your life.

Instead of just relocating everything that you own, you should take the time to assess the value of every individual piece and decide whether or not it is worth taking with you to your new place. While you could certainly recycle, donate, or trash these items, why not earn a little money on the side? Holding a garage sale is your most profitable option for getting rid of unwanted items in your home.

By planning and executing a successful garage sale before moving, you’ll bring in some extra cash, simplify your relocation, and save you money in the process. After all, the less stuff you have, the easier and cheaper your move will be. A moving sale is arguably the simplest and most efficient way to turn your unnecessary items into some much-needed money.

However, in order to achieve an issue-free and profitable garage sale, you need a good plan. Continue reading for our guide on how to plan and execute a successful garage sale before moving and put some extra cash in your pocket.

Best Time to Have a Garage Sale

The key to a successful garage sale is timing. Consider this: How often do you see winter garage sales? They simply aren’t as common, as many people prefer to stay inside and enjoy the comfort of their warm home during the cold months. Spring to early fall seems to be the most ideal time of year to host a garage sale. In fact, early spring may be the most profitable time, since many shoppers have been missing their bargain “fix” all winter long. So long as summer isn’t too hot, this is often your next best option.

As far as the day of the week goes, you’ll have much more traffic on days where people aren’t stuck at work. Try to stick to weekends and holidays as best you can. Saturdays and Sundays are both good choices to have a successful garage sale. When it comes to the time of day, starting early in the morning tends to be the rule of thumb. This is especially true during the summer months, as it’ll still be cool in the morning and you’ll be able to avoid having to sit outside in the heat for too long. Even if it’s not hot, most shoppers prefer early morning sales.

If you have a small number of good-quality items, consider a brief 3- to 4-hour sale. For larger sales, you can start your garage sale in the morning and have it go all-day – until 4pm or 5pm. These big sales, with a lot of items, can even last over the course of several days, if needed.

Deciding What to Sell

One of the first tasks in planning a garage sale is to sort, organize, and decide which items you want to sell. As you’re packing, you have to go through your entire home anyways. Sort through your attic, closets, garage, underneath furniture, and even in the dark corners of your home. Assess the sentimental, practical, and financial value of each item, sorting them based on what you’d like to keep, sell, donate, and dispose of. The items you intend to sell should still be in good condition, but not worth taking with you to your new home. Some things you may decide to sell at your garage sale include:

  • Duplicates and extra items.
  • Stuff that you only use on rare occasions.
  • Books you don’t like or don’t plan on reading again.
  • Clothes and toys that no longer fit.
  • Children’s books, toys, and other items they have outgrown.
  • Appliances, kitchenware, furniture, and anything else that won’t suit your new home and new life.
  • Specialty equipment and hobby items that no one is interested in anymore such as musical instruments crafts, and sport equipment.

Be pretty ruthless during this process and remember, the major reason for having a garage sale is to declutter your life and simplify your move. Once you’ve chosen all the items you want to sell, draft up a detailed list so that you can price them appropriately.

Price and Prep Your Items for Sale

When you hold a garage sale you, of course, want to get as much money for your unwanted items as possible but your main goal should be to simply get rid of them. With that said, you need to price your items so they will sell. To do this, research the market value of each of the items you plan to sell and consider selling them for 25%-50% lower than retail. Another great technique is to decide the lowest price that you’d be willing to sell an item for and then add between 10% and 20%, allowing a small buffer for bargaining.

Once your items are priced, you want to prepare them properly for the sale. Your wrinkled clothes and dusty household items aren’t going to sell very well. Therefore, in order to get the maximum amount for your things, you want to make sure they are presentable. Thoroughly clean kitchenware and electronic devices, polish wooden items, and wash and iron all clothing. The nicer they look and the better they are displayed, the higher chance you have of getting the most money.

Display everything in a systematic and tiny manner, for example:

  • Arrange CDs, DVDs, magazines, and books so the titles are easily visible.
  • Group similar items together.
  • Display small objects on shelves and tables so they are accessible and clearly seen.
  • Hang up clothing pieces.
  • Price everything individually.
  • Put away anything that isn’t for sale, cover them, or put up a sign that says “NOT FOR SALE.”

Spreading the Word

Another important way to ensure that your garage sale is successful is to get the word out. Regardless of how desirable, well-priced, and carefully displayed your items are, you won’t make much of a profit if very little people show up. Here are some of the options you have for advertising your garage sale:

  • Local newspapers: Placing an ad in your local newspaper is generally a fantastic way to receive a good turnout at your garage sale.
  • Internet: You can share the details about your garage sale on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Craigslist, and other specialized websites. Post a photo of a desirable item and provide a brief description of some of the things you’re selling.
  • Word of mouth: Tell your friends, extended family, neighbors, and coworkers about your upcoming garage sale and ask them to bring along their acquaintances. The word will spread quickly, bringing many visitors on the day of the sale.
  • Signs and posters: With any moving sale, it is absolutely essential to have a number of signs and/or posters. Place them in strategic areas around your town and neighborhood. Be sure to use large, bold letters and a bright background to attract the eye.

Provided that you listen to the advice in this guide, you may feel exhausted, but you’ll also be very satisfied with the success of your garage sale.

In need of professional movers? Look no further than Three Movers for all your moving and storage needs. Call us at (888) 202-0036, or use our convenient online request form for your FREE, no-obligation moving quote.

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving. Chris has a keen eye for detail and brings intelligence and passion to every project he’s involved with.

While getting his degree in communications from Santa Clara University, Chris started out with the company working in the field as part of our team of professional moving associates. Following graduation, he was promoted to our main office, where he has thrived in a role that involves increasing responsibility and requires him to wear many different hats. Some days, you may find him answering the phone and providing moving estimates, others he may be writing for our moving blog, and another day he may be coordinating a large corporate moving job or helping us with our marketing efforts. Chris has authored many of our in-depth moving guides, as well as provided our clients with information and advice to handle the complexities of their upcoming moving plans. Simply put, there’s nothing he can’t do and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him.

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