Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Garage Sale Tips

“one person’s junk is another person’s antique”

I hope that you will find this information useful to the success of your sale. If you require more information or have any concerns or questions, please call:

Lynn Marie Robinson: 416 422 5506 (at home) or 416 489 2121 (at work) or email:


· Cleaning your unwanted treasures will usually allow you to obtain a much better price. Ensure items are free of grease or dust and that musty smells are removed.

· You will need tables to place your sale items on. You can use your picnic bench, garden or kitchen table, or create a makeshift table by putting an old door across two chairs.

· Make items visible. Buyers don’t like to have to dig through boxes, with the exception of books and magazines. Displaying items in sets results in higher sales.

· Group your goods together (if possible) by category. For example, children’s wares, kitchen goods, gardening items.

· Drape larger items over hedges, railings or banisters.

· Set your alarm for an early start to ensure that you are ready for the first wave of buyers at 8.00 am.
You will have a more successful sale if your merchandise and set up are appealing and well organized!

Pricing: What would you be willing to pay?

· Examine each sale item and then consider what you would be willing to pay for it if you were the buyer. That should become your asking price.

· Put prices on all items with self adhesive labels. If this is not possible, pack your items in a clear plastic bag and put the price on the outside. If you are selling multiples of something (for example a dinner set), pack the items in a box and list the contents on the outside of the box.

· If your prices are too high most buyers will try to bargain you down to a price that is acceptable to them.

· Group your merchandise in sets. Combining a ‘good’ item with a similar ‘not so good’ item can be effective.

· Grab bags can be a hit, ranging from $1.00 to $10.00, depending on the content. This can also be a good method for getting rid of some of your ‘junkier’ items.

· Start marking your prices down on items that haven’t sold by mid morning. You are aiming to sell everything. A good sign that an item has been priced too high is if it has been touched or picked up two or more times and you have had no offers.

Cash Security

· A small amount of cash will be needed for providing change to buyers. Get about $75 to $100 in small change, Loonies and Twonies and a variety of bills in small denominations so that you are ready.

· Plan how you are going to store your cash. An apron with pockets or a fanny pack is suitable.

· Only one person should be designated to deal with the cash.

Safety Tips

· Please ensure that children’s products meet current legislative safety standards.

· Protect yourself from the sun during garage sale by wearing a hat and sunscreen.

· Keep the garage sale team well watered and fed. Try to maintain your nutrition and energy level during your sale by having fresh fruit on hand for snacks and preparing sandwiches the evening before. Re-hydrate yourself at regular intervals during the day by drinking plenty of water or fruit juice.

· Be mindful of home security by keeping your doors and windows locked. If you have a gate to your backyard, make sure that this is closed. It is advisable not to invite shoppers into your home.
· Keep smaller expensive items on one table and assign a helper to keep a close eye on these items.

· Try to avoid using a table top cash box. Money should be kept close by at all times in an apron, carpenter’s pouch or money belt. Keep larger denomination notes in a separate pocket from your change.

Taking Care of the Leftovers

We have decided this year to combine the Golden Triangle Garage Sale with a community drive for The Salvation Army. A large Salvation Army truck will be parked in front of my house, at 60 Pepler Avenue, on the garage sale day from 1.30pm until 4.00 pm and you are welcome to drop off any appropriate items there then. A Salvation Army bag will be distributed before the sale to help you with this.

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