I have a group of friends who loves to go garage sailing (as we call it) and we have joked about making up a checklist of "DOs and DON'Ts" which we could then hand out as we visited sales, with check marks for those things they did properly and those which needed improvement. .Lowspark, I really wish that you would give us that list!! Pretty please??
It was mainly in our heads but here's what I can think of.
-- There should be a sign at every corner where you need to make a turn, with a large arrow pointing in the right direction. (You'd be surprised how many have arrows pointing in the wrong
direction. So, don't draw the arrow till you put up the sign.) If there will be several blocks before you need to turn, put a sign (or more) in between (with arrow pointing up) so that I know I'm on the right track.
-- Put a sign in a prominent place on your lawn to mark the location, especially if the sale is in a garage which isn't visible from way down the street.
-- Put the address in big letters on every sign. Address should be written legibly in large, black letters.
-- Put the hours of the sale on the sign if you intend to put signs out before the sale starts
-- Please pick up your signs after the sale is over
-- Listing items for sale is fine as long as it doesn't dominate over the address which is paramount. Usually furniture and baby items are a big draw.
-- Mark your items with actual prices.
-- Be ready to haggle. It's ok to be firm on price but don't get annoyed or angry if people offer less. Once you get to your firm price, just say, "that's firm". I don't care what you paid for it or how great you
think the item is or what your personal attachment to it is or what it would cost if I bought it new. Bottom line: what you are willing to take for it vs. what I am willing to pay for it. The rest is chatter I don't want to hear.
-- When marking prices and when haggling, keep in mind that this may be the only chance you'll get to sell this item. Weigh the price you want against the possibility of not selling the item. You want $5 for it, but at the end of the day, would you rather have $1 or end up with still having the item? Either answer could be correct, but think about that before the sale so that you can move stuff if the opportunity arises.
Books, magazines, records
-- Don't throw them into a box all willy-nilly. Make it so that I don't have to touch them in order to see what they are. So, spines should be showing on all books, whether you want to have them spine up in a box or sitting like they would in a bookshelf or stacked or whatever. If I have to paw through them to see what you have, I won't do it so you've just lost sales.
-- Records should be stacked on their edge so that I can flip them. Don't stack them flat. That's bad for records, it warps them, and it will discourage actual collectors.
Items requiring electricity
-- Bring out an extension cord from the house so that people can plug things in to see they work. Have it plugged in and ready to use.
-- have plenty of change. Ones and coinage. Absolutely do not run out of it.
Don't bother selling:
- used underwear, used make up, broken items. Those things are trash.
Other ideas (not part of the checklist):
-- You can make extra money selling waters or cokes out of an ice chest for a reasonable price ($1 each). Good job for a kid to do.
-- Start early. Between 7 & 8 is ideal. 9 is too late to start, you'll miss out on sales.
-- Cash only. Don't take checks. If you have big ticket items, know the location of the nearest ATM and be prepared to give directions to it. My policy would be first come first served. So if someone has to run to the ATM, fine, but don't hold the item for them if someone else wants to buy it. Because the first person may never come back. So just make that clear. The only way to hold something is if it's been paid for, in full, in cash, and they are just running home to get their truck or someone to help them move it or whatever.
If I can think of any more stuff, I'll post again.