Instead of giving away or throwing away miscellaneous items this season, why not channel your child’s inner entrepreneur and throw a garage sale?Kids love garage sales, and they’re a great way to make some extra cash, get outside and free up some space in your house, too.A triple win. Now here’s how to make the most out of it:
1. Place your ad here
Have your kid help you write an ad for your local newspaper and put signs up around town. Less is more when it comes to effective advertising, so skip the glitter (unless your kid feels really strongly about it) and make signs using bold markers with your address, the date and time of the sale and an arrow pointing in the right direction.
2. Enlist some helpers
Have your kid ask a friend to chip in for the cause, both by putting her stuff up for sale, too, and volunteering to help the day of. Not only will this double the selection of items for sale, you’ll have an extra pair of hands to help. In the days leading up to the sale, look over and clean all the items. There’s nothing worse than selling a pair of jeans for $3 and remembering there was a $20 bill in the back pocket.
3. Consider your layout
When it comes to rummaging through other people’s used stuff, presentation matters: Have your kids help you arrange all items by category, and make it easy to navigate between sections. Instead of throwing books into a box, line them up on a bookshelf for easy browsing. Hang up clothes on an old shower rod and order them by size. (No one wants to dig through piles of precariously stacked T-shirts, and you don’t want to be the one stuck folding and refolding them.) Place hot ticket items near the end of your driveway to lure in customers. If people driving by see something that catches their eye, they’ll stop to take a look.
4. Create an ambience
Just because you’re setting up shop in your front yard doesn’t mean it can’t have the vibe of a classy boutique. Play some nice background music so shoppers aren’t perusing in silence. If your kid is really into it, he could even open a lemonade stand and sell packaged snacks or your favorite homemade cookies to make some extra cash. Make sure to have a garbage can nearby to keep things tidy.
5. Don’t overprice
The main thing to remember is not to overprice. Although it’s nice to make money, clearing out that excess clutter should be your ultimate goal. A good rule of thumb is to sell things for one-half to one-third their original price. Your kid might be very attached to that old stuffed animal, but even though it’s super cute, it’s still a secondhand product to a new owner.
Also, try to price things with round numbers–25 cents instead of 15, $2 instead of $1.80. This way, you’ll avoid juggling loose change and making math errors when calculating totals.