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Turning Clutter into Ca$h

London, Ontario Area


Turning Clutter into CA$H:
How To Hold a Profitable Garage Sale
Clearing your clutter can be a satisfying and liberating experience. Planned and executed well, a garage sale can turn unwanted items into big dollars.   
Turn your clutter into CA$H – either for yourself or as a way to raise money and awareness for your favourite charity.  Ask like-minded friends and family if they’d like to help or donate their cast-offs.  Or invite the neighbourhood to participate to attract more buyers and increase the fun. 
 One Month Ahead
  • Pick a date (and a rain date).
  • Ask neighbours about a “street sale” to share advertising costs and entice more buyers.
  • Find owner’s manuals for electronics and small appliances for sale (if you can't find the original booklet, search the manufacturer's Web site).
Two Weeks Ahead
  • Round up all your garage sale goods in one room close to the garage or front door.
  • Go through your entire house with a critical eye.  If you haven’t worn it or used it within a year, consider selling it.
  • Price items using round numbers and use bright stickers or attractive tags, but don’t price too cheaply.  Expect buyers to offer less than you’re asking, but you don’t have to give things away if they’re appealing and in good condition.  
  • If you want to get rid of stuff fast, price it low and be flexible to offers. 
  • When selling antiques or collectibles, research their value on eBay so you can haggle with knowledge. (Antiques and one-of-a-kind prices may be non-negotiable.)
  • Clean and dust merchandise – it will sell for more.
  • Buy, borrow, or rent sturdy folding tables or use a flat door on top of 2 inverted trash cans.
  • If selling clothes, use hangers on a rolling rack or a clothesline strung between 2 trees or ladders – and have a mirror handy.
One Week Ahead
  • Place your classified ad in the London Free Press and Pennysaver the day before and day of the sale. Include date, rain date, time, address with closest intersection, and a short description of what’s for sale, especially unusual or big-ticket items.
  • Deliver flyers in your neighbourhood including variety and grocery stores, church bulletin boards, coffee shops, workplace, etc.
  • Laminate flyers and staple them to utility poles on your street.
  • Email friends and relatives.
  • Make large, bright signs to direct drivers at intersections that include your address and directional arrows.
  • Have lots of change on hand; I recommend some fives and 1 roll each of quarters, loonies, and toonies. 
  • Keep your cash safe – wear a fanny pack or sturdy canvas apron with deep pockets.
  • Organize items in the order that they should be brought out – largest to smallest, ideally in plastic containers so they’re easy to carry. 
  • Group like items together. 
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to help out on the big day.
  • Find out when donations are accepted at charity drop-offs or second-hand stores for leftovers.  Some charities will pick up clearly marked boxes if you pre-arrange a day and time.
The Night Before
  • Have tables, props, and larger items closest to the door to move out first.
  • Consider having a cooler full of cans of juice on ice to sell for $1.00 each and a recycling bin nearby.
  • Go to bed early! 
The Big Day
  • Have breakfast and plan to be outside at dawn – there will be early birds!
  • Post your signs at the ends of the street.
  • Set up all tables, racks, and props.
  • Put out larger and unusual items closest to the street to attract drive-by shoppers. 
  • Unpack boxes onto tables. (Have someone watch the goods as crowds arrive while you unpack.)
  • Place small items on the table in front of you, close to eye level.
  • Keep pets inside – not all shoppers are pet-lovers.
  • Keep all back doors and windows locked while you’re occupied out front.
  • Never invite anyone into your home to try something on, test something, or use the bathroom.
  • Be visible, welcome buyers, mingle, and have fun, but don’t get distracted by long conversations with neighbours.
After the Sale
  • Load leftovers directly into your car and take them to a charity drop-off or second-hand store, or put them in a box at the curb labelled “free.”  You’ll be surprised how fast they disappear!
  • Remove all signs and posters.

Checklist For the Day:

  • signs
  • fanny pack or apron with pockets to hold money
  • change
  • calculator or pen and paper
  • cell phone in case of emergency
  • newspapers for wrapping breakables, shopping bags, boxes for bulk purchases
  • extra price tags and a red marker to adjust prices toward end of sale
  • paper towels or rags for last minute cleaning or dusting
  • heavy-duty extension cord for checking electronics and appliances
  • lawn chair and water bottle or thermos
519-471-8888    London, ON
Sutton Preferred Realty Inc., Brokerage
Independently Owned and Operated
181 Commissioners Rd W
London ON
N6J 1X9
Copyright © 2007 Joyce Byrne Realtor
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