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How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

How to Have a Successful Garage Sale

Spring is coming and with it comes spring cleaning! This is the ideal time to make some side cash, because you can gather everything you don’t use and sell it in a garage sale.

If you are really serious about making money from your garage sale, there are several tips and techniques that can help you get there, and we’ve listed each and every one of them below. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to having a few hundred dollars in your pocket.

Give Yourself Time

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    There’s no way that you can have a successful garage sale if you are rushed and stressed. Setting up a sale takes time and effort. For example, today would be a great time to start if you want to have a sale a month or two from now.

    Go through every room in your house one by one—spend a weekend on each if you need to. Grab a big box and a garbage bag to bring with you when you clean; everything that’s trash goes in the garbage bag, and everything that’s for sale goes in the box.

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    Store your boxes of items from each room in the same place.

    Organize and Clean

    organize stuff

      Now that you have all your boxes in the same place, it’s time to organize.

      Empty the boxes and pack like items together. All kids clothes go in one box, while all toys go in another. Wipe down items with mild soap and water to ensure they are clean and look their best.

      Price Everything

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      price tag

        Most people will not want to ask the price of something, so if it’s not clearly listed, they might walk away. In order to make sure that you earn the most money possible, be sure to put a price tag on every item.

        If you have a lot of smaller pieces, you can put them all in one box with a clearly marked label. For example, you can say “All Books $1” or “All clothing items $5 each.” This saves you time and lets the buyer know what you are expecting.

        Have Your Sale On a Saturday

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          Garage sale enthusiasts plan their Saturday mornings around them, so, it’s best to choose a Saturday in the spring so that you have a better chance of selling everything. Start your sale very early in the morning, but be sure to actually set it up even earlier than that. My most successful garage sale officially started at 8, but I sat outside early and sold almost 30 items before that time even rolled around!

          Advertise On Multiple Channels

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          Businesswoman at her desk using a digital tablet

            With the Internet age, it’s important to advertise your sale in multiple ways.

            First, you should make signs to put around your neighborhood. Don’t choose small signs with small writing, since no-one can see them! The letters on your signs should be as big as a ruler: any smaller, and cars passing by won’t be able to read what you have on them!

            Also, be sure to put an ad on www.Craigslist.com with a picture of your big-ticket items. This could include your sofa, or a stack of hardback books. Ads without photos are easy to ignore, and most people won’t even bother to look at them, so make sure that you have a big, bright picture that’s enticing to buyers. You can also post a reminder ad on the morning of saying, “Sale going on right now!”

            Pro TipDon’t forget that old-school methods like putting an ad in your local newspaper are also an effective way to get buyers to come to your house.

            Accept Low Offers

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              People go to garage sales to get quality items for low prices. They will bargain with you, and you should definitely haggle with them. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how low you should go, but just remember that the entire goal of the garage sale is to clean out your house and make money. So, if someone offers you $10 for a side table that you spent $60 on, that’s okay—remind yourself that you didn’t want it anyway, which is why it’s out on the curb. You’d be surprised at how much you’ll make when these little items add up, so be generous and accept low offers.

              Only Take Cash

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                This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s an easy one to forget. Many people might try to pay you with a check or offer to pay you online but don’t accept it! Although most people are likely genuine, you don’t want to be scammed. Cash in hand is the best and the only approach. Even if people have to drive to the bank to withdraw cash from the ATM, go ahead and let them do so for your own security.

                Donate the Rest

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                  When your garage sale is over, pack up the leftover items and donate them to a local thrift store. Be sure to pick up a receipt for tax purposes so that you make a little extra money at the end.

                  We hope that these tips help you to have a successful garage sale this year! Good luck!

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                  Catherine Alford

                  Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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                  Last Updated on March 4, 2019

                  How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

                  How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

                  Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

                  I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

                  Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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                  Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

                  Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

                  Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

                  I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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                  I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

                  If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

                  Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

                  The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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                  Using Credit Cards with Rewards

                  Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

                  You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

                  I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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                  So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

                  What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

                  Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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