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Garage Sale Survival Guide

Dupaco Community-Wide Garage Sale LogoIt’s the moment the thrifty have been waiting for: Garage sale season.

The Dupaco Community-Wide Garage Sales kick off Saturday, April 29.

With hundreds of hosts planning to participate, you can forgive the garage sale host newcomer for feeling a bit overwhelmed.

Drawing from her experience as both a garage sale shopper and host, Dupaco’s Kellie Cook offers some tips to help your sale stand out—and earn more green:

Advertise, then advertise some more.

Register your sale online, at no cost, for the Dupaco Community-Wide Garage Sale in your community. Then, stop by a Dupaco branch to pick up a sale kit, which includes price stickers, signage and more. You can’t have too many signs directing shoppers to your sale. “There are probably two or three ways to get to your house, so make sure your sale is well marked,” Cook says, adding that some shoppers rely solely on signs to find the sales. Also consider publicizing your sale on Facebook. Just make sure you’re clear about when your sale begins.

Give every item a price.

Rather than a use color-coded system to denote prices, take the time to put a price sticker on every item. The exception: If you have items such as a box of DVDs or books that are all the same price, make a visible sign that clearly communicates that. “Sometimes people use pricing systems that get too complicated,” says Cook, business intelligence analyst at Dupaco. “Using masking tape and a Sharpie marker to price everything is the best way to go. You want the prices to be easy for people to find.”

Make yourself available.

Avoid reading a book or visiting with a friend throughout your sale. Instead, greet shoppers and make them feel comfortable. “Ask if they’re looking for something special,” Cook says. “You want to try to interact with your customers.”

Have bags on hand.

While some shoppers will buy one or two items, others might hit the jackpot at your sale—and need a way to easily get their purchases home. Keep some bags at your check-out table for those times. “That’s one thing I didn’t think of when I had my first sale,” Cook says.

Give your sale curb appeal.

Attract drive-by shoppers to your sale by placing some of your best items toward the end of your driveway. Another idea: Create a table for the guys near the street so they have something to look at while their significant other peruses the rest of your tables, Cook suggests. “I try to keep as much of my sale outside instead of in the garage. It’s more open that way,” she says.

Have cold drinks available.

If it’s a hot day, consider having cold drinks on hand for shoppers to purchase. Advertise your beverage selection with a sign that’s visible to drive-by shoppers. “That could draw people in too,” Cook says. “They might come to your sale just to buy a bottle of water and end up buying something else as well.”


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