Thursday, September 25, 2014

Garage Sale Tips - Part 2

Here's my secret to better, but easy display: tables. Lots of eight foot folding tables. Hopefully you or one of your friends is close to an organization that's willing to lend or rent some to you. We haul tables to our back yard the day before the sale, setting them up in rows. I put stuff out that afternoon, arranging it by category like kitchen, electronics, linens, toys, grown up clothes, etc. In the evening, my friends bring their stuff, adding to the appropriate tables. We cover anything fabric with tarps because even if there's no rain, dew makes things surprisingly wet. Then we shut our gate and turn in for the night. 

In the morning we carry the tables to the front yard, arranging them along the driveway and sidewalk. Big things have to be carried separately, but the tables save TONS of time. The only other display we set up is a clothing wrack. We put two chain link fence poles between ladders. This may seem makeshift to you, but if you've ever had one of those rolley hanging clothes racks, you know they break in five minutes or they roll away or the wind blows them over. But shopping clothes that are hung up is easier and quicker than going through piles on a table (unless they're itty-bitty baby clothes). Below you'll see how to set up your own ladder clothes rack. I'd get wooden closet rods if I didn't have fence poles already. If you don't have two ladders, ask a friend who's bringing stuff to the sale to bring theirs!

Here's how we displayed art and curtain rods. If there are little pieces that belong with something, put them in a Ziplock and tape them on. I feel more confident everything's there when a seller takes that much effort. 

I forgot to mention before, if you have free items that are too large for your free boxes, put them out with a paper that says "Free!" This has helped me get rid of unwanted paint (which you can't toss), random yard bricks and building scraps.

Corral your jewelry in a tray at or near check-out. I cut squares of pretty paper and poke my earrings through it. This keeps them together and makes them easier to price. You can loop a strip of the same paper around a necklace or bracelet, tape the ends together, and put your sticker on that. Often jewelry doesn't have a good surface for stickers and the fewer lost price tags, the smoother your day will go.

Now for the garage saler's supplies. Everything is easier if you don't have to go back in the house five hundred times to get what you need. Here's what I have tucked away in a tote just for sale time each year:
  • Money bag from my bank (I get cash from the bank the day before)
  • A scarf hanger 
  • Price stickers
  • Notebook (for tallying sales)
  • Clear plastic canister to hold supplies at check out
  • Signage (this doesn't fit in my tote)

Here's what I gather from my house: 
  • Calculator
  • Sharpies: Red, Black
  • Painter's tap or masking tape
  • Duct tape
  • Scotch tape
  • Plastic bags (call on friends to bring if you don't have enough)
  • Safety pins
  • Pens
  • Scissors
  • Rags - wet and dry for dusty/dirty stuff (keep wet ones wet in a Ziplock)
  • Ziplock baggies in a couple sizes
  • Card table and chairs for sellers to relax

And finally, when you're running a garage sale keep an eye on the money bag and your phone. It may be a random, isolated incident, but my phone got swiped from my check-out table once. It was a bummer. Park up the street so customers don't have to park too far away. And feel free to give it a party atmosphere with a few balloons. This is all about having fun while you make money. Happy saling!

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