Vacations are ending. The start of the school year is coming. Summer is ending. Don’t get too bummed out though, we’ve still got a few weeks left before fall hits. That means garage sale season is still in full swing for bargain hunters and swappers on the hunt for treasures and budding entrepreneurs looking to turn their old stuff into a few extra dollars.
Whether you’re holding a yearly sale to help relieve your home of clutter or a more seasoned professional who collects items and holds garage sales as a means of earning semi-regular income, renting self storage can help make your sale better organized and more successful (which of course means more profitable).
A self storage unit can allow for you to collect and safely hold items for your sale without your home getting too cluttered for comfortable living. Plotting out your sale ahead of time allows you to more accurately price your items and put together a list of the most attractive items for use in online advertising.
Here are some other things you can do to help your garage sale be as successful as possible:
• Respect the elements. Know the weather patterns of your area and plan accordingly. Extended forecasts aren’t always reliable, but they can give you some idea if the target date for your sale is likely to coincide with a thunderstorm.
• Get people’s attention. Many subdivisions and neighborhoods will organize community sales, where a lot of the publicity legwork will be done for you, but if you’re going alone all the advertising is on you. Newspapers still have sections in the classified ads for garage sales, but like most other things garage sales have gone digital. Craigslist has a page specifically for garage sale listings and many communities will have their own local sites dedicated to advertising garage sales as well. Posting a few flyers (with hours of the sale and directions to your home) on street signs, lamp posts and community bulletin boards will help spread the word about your sale as well. This is where having a storage unit for your garage can really help because it will allow you to take a full inventory of your stuff, pick out the most attractive items and create your ads with a list of stuff and accompanying photos more likely to draw people in.
• Change is hard. When pricing items, stick to quarter dollar increments. This will limit the amount of change you’ll need on hand. Not having change for someone could lead to you either taking a lower price on an item than you want or losing the sale altogether.
• Let’s make a deal. Don’t get offended if someone haggles with you on prices. Negotiating is a time honored tradition of yard sales. If there are items where you won’t negotiate on price, identify them ahead of time and make it clear on the price tag the number is “firm”. Remember, if you’re renting a storage unit, any unsold items can be easily stored again. Don’t find yourself forced into taking a much lower price for something out of some self imposed obligation to sell as much of your stuff as possible.
• Create curb appeal. Some people just can’t pass by a garage sale without stopping, but many will decided whether to approach your home based on what they see as they drive by. Cut your grass a few days ahead of time (this will have the lawn looking nice without making people walk through a bunch of freshly cut grass), get clutter not being sold out of the driveway and yard. Try putting some larger (and hopefully more appealing items) closer to the street to catch passing eyes. Yours won’t be the only sale in town (or even your neighborhood). Take steps to ensure your sale stands out among the rest.
Even if you’re selling great stuff at low prices, you won’t sell or make much if you don’t handle your sale correctly. A successful garage sale is equal parts art and science. Knowing some of the basics will put you on a path toward success.
P.S. It’s the end of the summer, so many people holding sales will be anxious to move as much stuff as possible. If you’re renting a storage unit, you can cherrypick these sales for some of the best stuff (often at lower prices than they’re worth) and hold those items in your storage unit until next year’s garage sale season rolls around. That’s just one way you can do more than just save money with a storage unit, you can actually make money.