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How to run a Garage Sale

Home > Melbourne > Fun Things To Do
by Julia Hebaiter (aka Julia Svoice) (subscribe)
Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food
Published February 15th 2010
It's easy to accumulate endless amounts of stuff which we don't use. Clearing out brings a bunch of great benefits, including stress relief and lots of extra space. One of the best (and most fun) ways to get rid of the junk is to hold a weekend garage sale.

While some people are daunted by the idea of holding a garage sale, there's really no need to be. It's easy if you're well-organised, it puts extra dollars in your pocket and can be a whole lot of fun.

Running a joint sale with friends, family or neighbours means a bigger sale that's more attractive to prospective buyers. You barter your way through the day together, meet a bunch of interesting characters and share the workload. You usually end up buying some of your friends' stuff - so be careful not to end up with more than you started with!

Here are a few tips from someone who's run around a dozen or so sales, including a huge deceased estate sale that attracted hundreds of buyers.

Get the kids involved: They have the time of their lives and pick up some great business skills in the process.

Easy browsing: Your possessions should be organised into categories and be easy to access and view. Most people won't rummage through a messy pile of stuff. Items should be pre-priced. Reasonable pricing is important.

Keep to sale times: Early birds may turn up early or even the day before. If you're organised, fine. If not, ask them to return later. Opening time is your busiest time. Be ready!

A wet weather plan: Garages or carports with good visibility are ideal. A few large tarpaulins are very handy in the event of rain.

Signage: Signs should be strategically placed for the highest visibility to the highest number of people. Remove afterwards to avoid littering.

Advertising: A note in your local paper is recommended. No matter how attractive your sale items might be, you can't sell a secret!

Start with a float: Be prepared with plenty of change. An endless stream of big notes can create problems.

Attract passing trade: Pop some large, eye-catching items on the nature strip for added attention.

Guard against theft: Unfortunately, garage sales are tempting opportunities for some. Keep small, expensive items like jewellery nearby and ensure doors and windows to your home are locked.

Plan for leftover gear: Decide what to do with remaining items from the outset. A quick pack-up and a very well deserved cuppa make a great end to the day!

Need more information? Click here for a comprehensive website covering everything you need to know, and everything you didn't realise you needed to know, about garage sales.
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Why? Getting rid of the old makes room for the new.
When: Any time.
Cost: You make money!
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