Resident 'Pro' Offers Garage Sale Tips
PALMETTO BAY, FL, MAY 17, 2013 -- Long-time Palmetto Bay resident and veteran garage-sale enthusiast Judy Jones shares tips on how to make your next sale experience safer, smarter, and more enjoyable -- whether you're a buyer or seller. And Judy ought to know: "I have been going to garage sales and hosting garage sales most of my life -- it's my hobby..."
Photo: Judy Jones (at left in photo) "shops" for a free tree during the Village's 2012 Arbor Day Celebration. Also pictured is Councilwoman Joan Lindsay (r).
'Keepin up with the Joneses' Sales Tip of the Week
Keep up with the Joneses by following Judy's latest tip:
ON THE ROAD AGAIN ... Even when you are on vacation you got to get your garage-sale “fix.” Be adventurous: attend some local sales in the state you are visiting. I just returned from Michigan where sales take place Thursdays through Sundays. And sales there also tend last longer in the day than here in Palmetto Bay. Our sales here usually end by noon or 2 p.m. at the latest. It is not unusual for the sales in Michigan to stay open through 5 or 6 p.m. Also, the sales season may be limited to spring, summer, and fall, in those locations that are cold and/or get a lot of snow. I really enjoy shopping in other states as they often feature different items than we do. Just make sure that you save some room in your suitcase to bring your treasures back home!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ... For sellers, if you have items that are broken and can’t be repaired, throw them out. People just won't buy things that don't work. And it gives the impression that all you have is junk at your sale and that nothing is in working order. Similarly, if clothes or other items are dusty or dirty, clean them up. You will sell things much easier if they appear to be new and look like they have been taken care of.
INSIDE, OUTSIDE ... For sellers, if you have furniture inside the house that you wish to show a shopper, make sure someone on your trusted team remains outside to take care of your other shoppers. You don't want your sale unsupervised while you are showing furniture inside your house. Also, don't let anyone inside your house during the garage sale to use the restroom or try on clothing. Shoppers can try on clothing outside their own clothes, if need be, so they don't get home with something that doesn't fit.
DON'T TABLE THIS TIP ... Sellers need to consider using several tables to display your garage sale items. We have used a large ping-pong table, an old kitchen table, a redwood picnic table, a card table, and sometimes we even use two saw horses with a plywood top. Perhaps your neighbors, friends, or relatives have tables you could borrow. Before and during the sale, monitor how well traffic flows around your tables to ensure buyers have easy access to your goods, and that they can easily navigate around the tables and other shoppers in the process.
HOW BEST TO CLOTHES THE DEAL ... For sellers, there are many ways to display clothing to sell at your garage sale. Some people put clothes on a sheet or blanket on the ground and let people go through it. I get on my hands and knees and go through piles of clothes but it can be uncomfortable. I have sold a pile of kid's clothes for $.25 each on a sheet. If each item is a different price you will get a lot of, "How much is this?" Some people use clothing racks to hang nicer items on a hanger. Each item should be priced or have a sign that says: Slacks $1; Suits $10; Blouses $3; etc. Sometimes we use a rope to tie between two trees and hang clothes on hangers that way. We have also used a couple of ladders with a pole between them to hang clothes. If you want your hangers back tell the seller when they are purchasing something or let them keep the hanger.
STREET SMART MEETS BOOK SMART ... If you have a child heading off to college in the Fall, it’s never to early to start a list of items they may need. Whether they plan to live in a dorm or an apartment, garage sales offer so many of the items they need – at a fraction of the cost: Small appliances such as microwaves and mini-fridges; and kitchen items such pots and pans, utensils, and baking dishes are not difficult to find at a garage sale. Also be sure to pick up towels, sheets, blankets, a desk, a bed, and winter-weather clothes (if needed). It is amazing the bargains you can get at garage sales – and all the money you can save.
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