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Planning A Garage Sale

May 25 2016 | Maple Crest

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A garage sale can clear clutter and score some extra cash, but it helps to have a road map. Getting organized for a garage sale can mean more money and less stress. It begins with planning and preparation. Both ensure a smooth and profitable venture.

Here are some money making tips:

Plan - Do allow yourself triple the time (double at the very minimum) you think it's going to take to get your sale ready, including pricing, advertising, and setting up the merchandise. Something always comes up -- and it always takes longer than you anticipate.

Checklist - Use a garage sale checklist as you prepare. Refer to it frequently to keep yourself on track.

Start early - All the bargain hunters are out at the crack of dawn, and you want your goods curb side when they pass your way. Serious garage sale shoppers plan their routes in advance, and they aim to be the first shopper at every sale. If your garage sale starts a little earlier than the rest, you'll be the first stop on their routes. Don't set a starting time that's later than other yard sales in the area. By the time your sale starts, your potential customers may be out of both steam and cash.

Group Sale - Check with friends, family members, and neighbors to see if they'd like to make it a group sale. You'll have more workers during the event, as well as more merchandise to advertise.

Price appropriately - People expect a deal; it is a garage sale after all. If items are too pricey, you may find yourself lugging all your stuff back into your garage or house at the end of the day.

Prepare to negotiate - If you are unsure about the value of an item, simply ask for best offers, then look for signs of how badly the hunter wants the treasure. Haggle a bit. It brings some fun to the whole process.

Create incentives - To lure people to your sale, set up signs and stands that offer free coffee or lemonade -- or both. The point is to stop people by making them feel welcome. Once you've got them, they're bound to browse. Plus, if you're a parent, the kids can man the stands and have some fun.

Be realistic - Don't expect to get rich from a garage sale. Ideally, it will put a little bit of extra cash in your pocket with the added benefit of getting some clutter out of your life.