As we come to the latter part of summer, it’s still a pleasant time of the year with summer bargain hunters looking to snag that perfect deal. Additionally, it’s a great time to host a garage sale to declutter your home before the cooler weather arrives and put some extra cash in your wallet. Early fall is also a popular period for students looking for back to school deals as well as young renters and new homeowners on the lookout for your used furniture and other discounted items. It is also an ideal time to put your winter related items on the market, such as:  sports equipment, holiday decorations, exercise equipment and various holiday collectibles.

 Mitra Moves You Team is organizing its annual garage sale in the German Mills area of Thornhill on September 2nd, 2017 from 8am-12pm. Joining our neighbourhood garage sale won’t cost you a cent and we will take care of the signs and advertising for you. All you have to do is show up on September 2nd in the Thornhill German Mills Area and make sure you are ready to bargain!

If you are interested in participating or just want to shop around, feel free to call us at 416-832-9292 or email a: hello@mitramovesyou.com for more information.

To help you get started, we outline 11 useful garage sale tips to host a great garage sale and 11 common garage sale problems to avoid when organizing your garage sale. See you on September 2nd!

 11 Useful Garage Sale Tips:

  1. Establish the purpose of your garage sale. Do you need to declutter in time for selling your home or need quick extra cash? This will affect the way you organize your sale, your pricing strategy and ability to negotiate and discount. It’s worth noting that it often pays more to price things slightly lower in order to sell more items. If you want to get top dollar for items of real value, consider selling them at popular online auction sites like Ebay or eBid.                       
  2. Make sure you have the right supplies at least a day before the sale. Supplies include: tables, coat hangers and stands, price stickers/tags, masking tape, scissors, money pouch/fanny pack, plenty of small cash/change for those pesky $20 dollar bills, pen/pencil and tracking ledger of sale items.                                                                          
  3. Clean & dust all your sale items.
  4. Sort everything into categories before you price anything.
  5. Price everything! This is a key step and is not be avoided. Most problems involving garage sales are always inevitably related to incorrect or lack of pricing, as you will discover in the problems section below.
  6. Price everything correctly. Consider pricing similar items the same amount or using blanket pricing method e.g. all shirts – $5. For larger items in working condition, a general rule for pricing should be in the range of 20-30% less than what you initially paid for it. Price big ticket items higher than your actual asking price because you will be expected to negotiate.
  7. Organize and display your items in the most attractive way possible. Some ideas to consider: placing your most sellable and larger items closest to the curb, grouping similar items, creating stylish vignettes and personalised tags, displaying clothes on hangers which is much easier for customers to go through. Displaying your items on tables is preferred, as shoppers like to see things at eye level. However, remember when it comes to toys, always place them at kids’ eye level or somewhere where they can reach them easily.
  8. Create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Shoppers will likely linger for much longer if they feel comfortable. Be friendly, but not overbearing. Do not hover over customers, find an activity of your own, put on the radio for some friendly background music. Make sure you have water and drinks out for your fellow shoppers and their pets, especially if it is hot out.
  9. Make sure you have bags/boxes for the purchased items so your customers can happily leave with their purchases. Consider packing materials like old newspaper and magazines and old fabric scraps for wrapping fragile items.
  10. Make a “free stuff” box that you can fill with things you want to give away. Make sure it is placed somewhere easily visible in your yard or by your driveway.
  11. Donate leftover items to charity. Try not to keep anything you decided to get rid of in the first place. You can organize a charity pick up for the day of or after the sale, or leave unwanted items in your designated “free stuff” box by your driveway.

11 Garage Sale Problems to Avoid:

  1. Missing or no prices: this is consistently the number one problem garage sale shoppers face and report to be their ultimate pet peeve. Unpriced items will simply make shoppers leave. Remember that most of people at garage sale are looking for a bargain, so to them price is everything. People also don’t like to ask questions, so having every item priced should be your number one priority when organizing your sale.                                                                                           
  2. Incorrectly priced items can lead to confusion and customer frustration, which can be easily avoided if you have organize and think through your pricing strategy before the sale.
  3. Don’t base your sale items on your personal tastes. Just because you wouldn’t buy something that may be broken or aged, there are plenty of people who like to fix and restore objects or may be looking for a particular or component.
  4. Not labeling items: as mentioned above, generally people do not like to ask a lot of questions, so try to label your sale items clearly. Also you are not always going to be available to answer questions, proper labeling will take care of that.
  5. Lack of outlets: a common question often heard at garage sales is “does it work?” To avoid this question and make sure you don’t lose a potential sale on a hot item, have some outlets with a power bar available to test your plug in items.
  6. Don’t keep your sale items on the ground. Try to avoid displaying your items low on the ground. If you must do so, make sure you use bright coloured tarps or old tablecloths to make your displays more appealing.
  7. Mark ‘not for sale’ items clearly.  To avoid any confusion, place ‘not for sale’ signs on these items that are visible during the sale.
  8. Have your money with you at all times. Keep large bills in your pockets or fanny-packs separately from smaller bills. Do not use a cash-box that you may leave unattended or forget.
  9. Keep your home safe. Make sure doors and access points are locked, where you do not want shoppers to wander through. If you don’t know people personally avoid letting them inside the house. Direct them to the nearest public washroom if required.
  10. Do not get sentimental over your merchandise. Garage sale shoppers are generally looking for a bargain and don’t share your emotional attachment to the same objects.
  11. Don’t haggle over low priced items, it is just not worth it. If customers purchase several items, make sure you give them an additional discount or throw in another low priced item for a special deal.
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