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How to have a moving sale

September 14th, 2016 - 2:36 PM

Garage Sale Tips

One of the most beneficial things you can do before a move is declutter your home. There’s no need to pay to move items you no longer want or need, andthe best way to get rid of unwanted things is to have a garage sale! It may seem daunting to add a sale to the list of everything you need to do before you move; but moving sales don’t have to be stressful. Make your sale as easy as possible  by using a garage sale checklist, reviewing pricing strategies and learning how to protect yourself against garage sale scams.  

moving sale tips

Use a garage sale checklist

It doesn’t matter if this is your first yard sale or your 10th; it’s easy to overlook little tasks without a solid plan. Just follow these steps to make sure you have everything taken care of:

3-6 weeks before:

  • Separate your items into related groups (i.e. keep kitchen items with other kitchen items)
  • Begin setting prices (more about pricing strategies below)
  • Check community regulations – you may need to get a permit for your sale or for your signs

1 week before:

  • Place an ad in the local newspaper
  • List your sale on free sites like Craigslist and community message boards
  • Advertise on social media – promote it to your friends, but also share it on local “garage sale” groups
  • Gather tables and racks to hang clothing (Tip: Place rods between two ladders for easy DIY hanging racks)
  • Save plastic bags and newspapers to wrap items as you sell them
  • Create signs for your sale – make sure they are bright and easy to read from a distance
  • Clean items and arrange everything in a presentable way – you’re more likely to sell things that are easy to sort through
  • Talk to your neighbors about the sale – let them know people may be parking on the street and that customers will be in the area

The day before:

  • Place signs leading to your sale
  • Gather the things you need: chairs, apron,fanny pack or lockable cash box for money
  • Get change – $100 in change (2 $10s, 6 $5s, 40 $1s, and a roll of quarters) is a good amount
  • Arrange for donation pick-up after the sale – many churches or charitable organizations will pick up your unwanted items and give you a donation receipt
  • Create any signs you’ll need for the sale (like if items get discounted after a certain time or if there are more items in another area)

On moving sale day:

  • Get a notebook and pen to keep track of items as you sell them, especially if it’s a multi-family sale
  • Set up early (many shoppers may arrive before you’re officially open- be ready!)
  • Place large items by the road to draw in customers

After the sale:

  • Gather any items to be donated
  • Take down signs
  • Deposit your earnings

Follow good garage sale pricing strategies

Since pricing your items can make or break a sale, it’s important to price things correctly. These tips should help:

  • Visit other sales. Take a Saturday morning and stop at other moving sales to see what prices they’ve set. This will help you get a feel for what people are buying and let you see what price points are working best. Just don’t buy too many new treasures for yourself!
  • Set aside emotions. It’s likely that you have some sort of attachment to your belongings, however, your customers will not. Try and be subjective and price items fairly.
  • Sell in $0.25 increments. Sale day will be easier if you stick to prices that are easy to make change for. Most people will come prepared with quarters, and this way, you won’t have to have dimes, nickels and pennies on hand for change.
  • Group items together. Look at similar items and see what you can group together to sell. If you have a bunch of small kitchen items, it may be easiest to price them all for $2 each. You can save time by putting them all in a box marked with the price and letting people dig through it.
  • Have a free box. If you have items that you’re not sure will sell, place them in a free box instead of throwing them away. Someone else might want them!
  • Create a kids area. Children often come to garage sales to find their own goodies. Put items they might be interested in together, far from breakable items.
  • Color code pricing. Many stickers are color coded. These make totaling customers’ sales easier since you won’t have to read every tag.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. Understand that many people come to moving sales to find a deal. They may want to discuss changes in the price, so be flexible.
  • Bundle items. Try marking books $1 each, or 7 for $5. Or maybe offer “Fill a bag for $10!” Encouraging people to buy more for a better price will help you sell more of your unwanted items.

Watch out for garage sale scams

Anytime you’re dealing with strangers and money, it’s a good idea to watch out for people who may try to take advantage of you. Keep your moving sale safe by following these guidelines:

  • Keep money on you. Instead of placing money in a bag or a lock box (which could be easily picked up), keep money on your person using a fanny pack or apron. If you do use a money box or bag, be sure to have someone guard it throughout the sale.
  • Keep money in sight until you give change. Some people may claim they gave you $20 instead of $10 – keeping the money out until you’ve given them their change will help you avoid any confusion.
  • Use a counterfeit pen.  Counterfeit bills probably won’t be a big problem at a moving sale, but it doesn’t hurt to keep a detection pen on hand. They’re really easy to use and will give you peace of mind.
  • Lock your home. Keep doors and windows locked, and don’t let anyone inside your home during the sale.
  • Take large bills inside. If you get anything larger than $20, or start to have too much cash on your person, take it inside and put it away.
  • Keep valuable items near the cashier. You can watch jewelry, electronics, video games or other high-priced items more closely.
  • Don’t take checks. It can be difficult to track down anyone who wrote a bad check. =  
  • Check inside things before the customer leaves. Make sure they haven’t stuffed anything inside items like a washing machine, anything with pockets or storage compartments, or even placed any jewelry inside shoes.
  • Have people around to help you. Don’t ever have a moving sale alone! Have friends and family around to assist. In fact, invite them to bring their unwanted items – a multi-family sale will be bigger and draw more customers.

Anything else to remember before a moving sale?

If you have a special tip that helps you have a successful yard sale, we’d love to hear it! Share it with us in the comments below.

If you’re planning a moving sale but don’t yet know how you’re going to move, get a moving quote from U-Pack and find out how you can move long-distance without having to drive!