Spring cleaning and organizing involve a certain amount of decluttering, shifting seasonal and other stuff to storage or just getting rid of it. It could be time for a garage sale! As everyone who’s ever hunted for treasures at estate, garage and yard sales knows, they are not all created equal. And not all of them draw crowds that will help your items sell. We at Public Storage are here to help with tips from Joyce Randall, who runs a website promoting the 690-mile “World’s Longest Yard Sale”, along Highway 127 from Michigan to Alabama. This worlds largest yard sale draws quite a crowd and tourists from around the world.
Planning a successful sale involves work and planning, sometimes weeks in advance, Joyce warned: “You can’t just put a sign out on your lawn Saturday morning and expect people to show up.”
The most successful sales along the route—held on front lawns, pastures and town centers—are run using traditional merchandising tactics. Make sure everything is clean and looks nice. Group like items together so they are easy for shoppers to spot and buy. Put smaller items on shelves and tables, never on the ground.
Randall suggests calling your event a “yard sale” and keeping it out of the garage, for a better image and more visibility. Instead, use your front lawn and put the larger, most appealing items toward the front, where they will be visible from the street and more likely to attract a crowd. You can even advertise top items on Craig’s List, explaining that people can check them out during sale hours.
She suggests cleaning out your garage and using it as a staging area, where everything is clean, organized, grouped and ready to quickly move out the morning of your sale. A tidy garage is also where you can store items that have been sold and are ready for pick up, said Joyce.
Put prices on everything in advance, but be ready to negotiate, and have an extension cord ready for any electronics people may want to test. Have tarps ready to cover everything if there is any chance of rain, and consider offering ice water on hot days. Make it nice!
Finally, don’t sell items that should really be thrown away.
“A yard sale should be people selling good stuff that they no longer want,” she said.
by Ann Griffith