Photo by Jim Chute

Photo by Jim Chute

If you’re getting ready to move it might be a good time to have a big yard or garage sale to lighten your moving load.  To make it a total success, be sure to incorporate these tried and true solutions and ideas:

Weather report.  Right before you place your ads, check the weather forecast for the days you’d like to hold your sale.  Try to avoid a big holiday weekend when lots of people are busy doing other things.

Two for one.  Tell your neighbors when you’re having your sale so they might decide to have one, too.  If you were driving down the street and saw two sales wouldn’t you be more inclined to stop?  You might also be able to share advertising costs that way.

Signs.  Check with your local city hall to learn about signage policies for your area, as well as the rules for having a sale.  Signs need to be big, good, and consistent.  What works well is to only write “garage sale” on the sign with a huge arrow — no other details.  Remember to remove your signs when the sale is over.

Make sure you have enough stuff to warrant a garage sale. Having enough stuff to make people get out of their cars is key.  Also, having a couple of big-ticket items in your ad, as well as placing them at the end of your driveway, will draw people in, so ask friends and coworkers if they have anything big you could sell for them. They won’t have to deal with the sale (other than dropping off the item and giving you info about it), and you’ll get more customers for the rest of your stuff.

Tables and clothes racks.  If you’ve ever been to a sale you might remember how hard it is to look through things that are on the ground or folded in gigantic piles.  Make sure your stuff is easy to browse through.

Extension cords.  Have one of these handy to ensure anything electronic will get sold.

Prices. Making sure everything is priced, even if it’s just in a box marked $1.00, will increase the odds of it being sold.  Not everybody is willing to make you an offer on something.  It’s also a good idea to price things in amounts like 25¢, 50¢, etc., so it’s easy to add things up in a hurry.

Boxes and bags.  Have a good supply of these, as well as lots of change including coins and bills.

Be friendly — but not too friendly. Most people just want to be left alone when shopping. People dislike it when you are too pushy or attempt to educate them on the history of every item you’ve got for sale. Greet the person in a friendly way and then allow them to quietly peruse your stuff.

Ambience.  It never hurts to have some nice music on.  It might even make people look a little longer than usual.

Happy de-cluttering!