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Sunday, May 10 2009

We are well into Spring and now is the time you will begin to see garage sales popping up in your neighborhood.

With the economy in its current condition, more and more people are finding ways to make a few extra dollars and one way is to have a garage sale.

However, do you know about Garage Sale Etiquette.  It does exist.  As a seller, you should follow these rules for good "garage sale etiquette".

1.  If your advertisement for your sale states it will begin at 8:00 a.m., be ready for people to arrive around 7:30 a.m. unless you include "no early birds" in your ad.  They tend to follow the adage "the early bird gets the worm".   If you do include the statement in your ad, don't sell to them until the time the sale is to begin. Tell them in a polite way that you will sell the item to them when the sales begins, no earlier.

2.  Make sure your pricing of your items is clear and consistent.  If you leave items unmarked or use a confusing pricing system, people will get frustrated and you will find that many leave without purchasing anything.

3.  Be honest about what you are selling.  If something is missing from a set or has been changed, tell your customers or post a sign with the item to explain it.  Don't knowingly sell useless junk.

4.  A garage sale is not the right venue for selling collectibles, antiques or other large ticket items.  People who shop garage or yard sales are looking for low prices on gently used items.  If you want to sell certain items for more money, sell them on E-bay, Craigs List or at a consignment shop or antique store.  Know the value of what you are selling and determine what venue it best fits.

5.  Make sure to tell your neighbors you will be having a garage sale in advance.  They may want to either join your sale and know to expect increased traffic on the street that day.  Be respectful of your neighbors' properties.  If someone arrives and parks in front of your neighbor's driveway, kindly ask them to move their vehicle to another location.

6.  Stage your yard.  Clean it up and don't leave out items that are not for sale, such as patio furniture, lawn equipment, etc.  I suggest moving them out of view, covering them wtih a tarp or blanket or posting a sign on them stating "Not For Sale". 

7.  If you are posting signs in the neighborhood, make sure the lettering is large enough and bold enough for drivers to read.  (I cannot tell you how many times I am riding past a sign advertising a garage sale and I can't read the date, the time or the location.   As a result, I don't give it another thought.  That's a lost potential customer!)  Once you post your signs, drive around and see how they appear to others.  Make sure they are legible to someone who is driving by at a decent rate of speed in their vehicle.  Make a note to yourself where the signs were posted.  (I will explain below.)

8.  After the garage sale ends, go back to the places you posted the signs and remove them.  (This is why you needed to note where you posted them!) 

9.  Make sure you have a cash box or apron with pockets so you can collect money and make change.  Stock up on $1 bills, $5 bills, quarters, dimes and nickels.  If buyers don't have exact change, you need to be prepared to make change for them.

10.  Lastly, be kind.  Smile, ask people if they need any help, engage in light conversation.  Not only will it help you financially to be warm and courteous but it will increase the likelihood of shoppers returning for any sales you may have in the future. 

Wishing you a successful garage sale!!

Until next time, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, please send me an email at and I will be glad to help.

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 07:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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