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The Linda Lom Client Guide

Your Guide to All Things Buying, Selling, Home-Ownership and Washtenaw County

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Linda Lom Client Guide - Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Linda Lombardini

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

"Linda is the consummate professional when it comes to dealing with real estate in the Ann Arbor area...

Jan 6 3 minutes read

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Visit other garage sales to gain ideas on how to set up and display merchandise. Note items that are on display, ask questions about their sales, times, days, and advertising. Ask which items are selling well. You can formulate your own opinion from the information you receive.

Advertising is of the utmost importance. Without it, your sale may not meet your expectations. Do all of your advertising at least five days before the sale. Be sure to ask permission before posting signs at certain locations, especially private property, such as your church bulletin board, supermarket “community board,” beauty shop, neighborhood nursery school, local library bulletin board.

An ad in a county or community newspaper is bound to give your sales a boost. Covering as much area as possible is necessary considering that only about one out of every twenty people who read your ad will show up. It is not a good idea to put your home phone number in the ads, as this will generate calls from people who want to come early or who want to know what you are selling.

You can design your own advertising flyers on a plain white sheet of paper by stenciling, drawing, or lettering. The flyers can then be reproduced in quantity and on various colored sheets by using a personal copier or copy service for about four cents per copy.

Signs for your sale can be made from large pieces of cardboard. These signs should measure at least 24” x 24” in order to be seen easily from a distance of 50 feet. White signs with black lettering are easiest to spot. The signs are best placed at the entrances to your neighborhood. You may wish to place signs at the curb near your closest neighbors’ driveways that read “Please do not block the driveway.” You may also wish to post a sign in front of your home that reads “Thank you for coming.”

Saturdays and Sundays are the most popular days for garage sales. Spring and summer seem to be the most successful seasons.

Do not be surprised if customers begin arriving as early as 7 AM! The “best deals” are expected then. The bulk of any Saturday sale is usually sold by 11 AM, with the heaviest time between 8:30 and 9:30 AM. Sunday sales are more sporadic throughout the day.

In presenting your merchandise, consider cleaning, brushing, or scrubbing anything that is greasy, dirty, muddy, or rusty. Displaying clean merchandise may take some extra time, but it may very well double profits. Good looking displays attract shoppers and make items easier to sell.

Display your prices in bold, large letters on a self-adhering or hanging label, in a conspicuous place. This is the first thing shoppers will try to find. Try to have two people handling the cash box to avoid a line and the possibility of leaving it unattended.

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