Sunday, November 10, 2013

Garage sale - don't do it - but if you do -

A few years ago my husband I bought a model home - fully furnished. I felt like I got to move in to Barbie's Dream House.  I love it here!  Incidentally though, prior to moving in to this decked out house, we already had a home filled with our own belongings and furniture. 

Eventually we just owned one house with double the stuff.  We put A LOT of it at a consignment store where the lady promptly went out of business, donated everything of ours, and forgot to tell us any of it.  Heck of a business plan.

We have slowly donated and sold bits and pieces and absorbed the rest.  But my lovely home was bursting at the seams - yuck - mix in a huge dog, a busy husband, and a Tired Girl, and this place had the makings of a mildly gross place. 

So cut to the end of this summer where I decided I had SO MUCH sellable stuff that I would have a garage sale. My sneaking suspicion was that my stuff was not nice enough to bother with another consignment and too nice to really interest the garage sale crowd- people want a coffee maker for a quarter after all, regardless of how pricey it was at William Sonoma two weeks ago. 

Against my better judgement I was very un-Tired Girlish and had a stinking garage sale. 

Here are my tips:

1) Don't do it.  Load everything in a truck, drive it to a charity of your choice, unload it, cry a little on the way home, spin around your clutter -free home  -- Sound of Music style, and take a trip to Chicago with all the time you saved. 

Awethome thign.  I found this on Pinterest and ours did not look like that.
My dad made great arrow signs instead.
Otherwsie -

2)  Don't have one with your neighbors or your neighborhood - you don't need competition for your ratty cookie sheets.

3) Price everything.  Shoppers were "helping" me put things out the morning of our sale and luckily my stuff was all already priced.  Otheriwse I don't even want to think.

4) The smaller and more useful items went first. Cookies sheets worn hard, small appliances, and small furniture barely got set out before they were bought. 

5) DVD's - YES . VHS - NO.  Our DVD's went like crazy - even the really dumb movies.

6) Textiles were a NO.  I had several pretty and BARELY used and smelling good and high quality bedding sets, along with lots of table cloths, curtains, napkins, etc -- no one cared.

7) LOTS of people asked for jewelry of any kind, costume, junk, vintage, anything.

8) Make a deal or don't.  Doesn't matter. I had some people offer me less for things already priced low and most the time when I politely said "No, I will hold tight with my price for now."  They either bought it anyway at that price or someone else bought it for full price later. 

9) Some things I did negotiate price on, for whatever reason - either I liked their attitude or their dog was cute or their kid was polite or I had had a slow hour. Whatever.

10) Be ready to work hard, watch your items get flung around, and judged, and not make tons of money.  Enjoy that.

11) Put up signs when you are ready to start - the day of, put an ad in the paper and put an ad on Craig's List. 

12) Get your parents or close friends/family to help if they are handy like that. My parents kicked ass at this thing.

Good luck.

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