5 Tips To A Successful Garage Sale

April 11, 2012 3:00 AM

garage sale, shopping

(credit: Thinkstock)

Some people spend their weekends driving around the city of Boston just looking for garage sales, good deals and hidden treasures. While you might think your stuff is junk, someone else might be willing to give you money for it, so a garage sale is a great alternative to a trash bag. Follow the tips below to ensure a good experience and hopefully a rewarding day.

1. Advertise. Post an ad on Boston’s Craigslist page. There is a section specifically for garage sales. Make sure you are clear about your address, town and the hours you will be selling items. Include some highlights of what is being sold to attract people who may be hunting for something specific. Also make signs to hang on telephone poles near your house and post them a couple of days in advance.

2. The early bird gets the worm. Most people who go to garage sales are up early and want to hit as many as they can in one day. Be prepared, as people will come earlier than the time you specified. A typical time for a garage sale in Boston is 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. either on Saturday or Sunday. However, it may be smart to include Friday as a sale day for less competition. 

3. Be prepared to bargain. Everyone wants to believe that they are getting a deal. You need to give them one. If it is a concern, mark items with higher prices so that you have some wiggle room. You must keep an open mind when it comes to selling. Remember that it’s better to sell for less than anticipated rather than be stuck throwing remaining items out.

4. There’s no business like your business. Keep in mind that you are running your own small business for a day. Make sure to engage with all people and answer any questions they may have regarding the items for sale. Help make the sale. Be funny and approachable without overdoing it. Be prepared by having a lot of change on hand. Make sure you have an assortment of bills and coins to accommodate any offer. It’s not surprising for someone to only have a twenty dollar bill. You will need to be able to make change or the sale could be lost.

5. Calling it a day. If there are items remaining at the end of the day, you may choose to have another garage sale, donate them to a local shelter or sell them at a consignment shop. Here are a few places to consider if you don’t want to throw your items in the trash.

716 Centre St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617) 524-5120

Hours: Mon to Wed, Fri to Sat – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thurs – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Boomerangs has four locations in the city of Boston and donations are 100 percent tax deductible. The store accepts gently worn clothes, housewares and electronics, among other things.

The Closet, Inc.
175 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 536-1919

Hours: Tues to Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Mon – Closed

Take designer clothing that you no longer want and couldn’t sell in your garage sale to The Closet. Call and make an appointment to bring in your items and the store will split the profits 50/50.

Raspberry Beret
1704 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 354-3700

Hours: Mon to Wed, Fri – 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thurs and Sat – 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Raspberry Beret will take your finest jewelry, handbags, dresses and other clothing items and put them on consignment.

Related: Best Jewelry Stores In Boston
Related: Boston-Based Web Site Offers Kids Clothing Swap

For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSBoston/YourHome.

Boston-based writer Effie Orfanides keeps up with interior design trends. Effie draws on her Greek/Italian heritage for inspiration and shows a keen eye for little things that make a house a home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.