You can put similar items in one area with a sign saying “Books $1”, but sometimes this creates more work than it saves. Does the sign mean ALL books, or just the books near the sign? If you have more valuable books in addition to a $1 a book table, you are leaving yourself open to confusion, lost sales, and potential arguments. Plus, it’s a given that an unscrupulous shopper will wait until you’re on a bathroom break to hand the temporary cashier a buck for the early edition “The Bell Jar” that you reasonably hoped would bring $8.
This is true also for the “Anything on This table $1” sign. You’ll end up accidentally selling more valuable items for less money, spend much of the day removing the more expensive items, or arguing or apologizing to customers. And the bottom line is that the bottom line is pretty low. If having a sale is nothing but hassle and unpleasantness, it’s not really worth doing, as there are more efficient ways to make your fortune than $5 at a time.
Merchandising for Convenient Shopping
If everyone had a great imagination, there would be no jobs for architects and designers, and no customers for those light up Christmas ties. Fortunately for garage sale hosts, such customers exist. Make it easy for them. Group similar objects together. Have a kitchenware table, a crafts table, a linens table, etc. For sheet sets, roll the top sheet, bottom sheet and pillow cases together, wrap a strip of masking tape completely around the bundle, and mark the tape strip with appropriate description, which might be “queen size set $10”. If your customer needs a set of queen sized sheets, they’re more apt to buy the set for a few more dollars than dig around through a pile of crumpled sheets looking for a complete set in the required size. Click here to learn more about garage sales.
Dirt VS Patina
Your items will sell more quickly when your customers can visualize how they might look or work in their own homes. This means that unless your customer is not very neat, your items should be free of grease, grime, dirt, and stains. Do not confuse dirt with patina, and understand that if you have something old that might be valuable, do some research before you scrub the value off.
Group everything with an electrical cord together, and provide an accessible outlet so customers can see for themselves if the appliance works. If you’re a selling a VCR that works fine, write that on the price tag. If it does everything but rewind, write that. Understand that even things that work perfectly are not always valuable. Old technology almost never is. You won’t get much for an old computer no matter how much it cost when it was new.
People will happily buy coffee makers, toasters, microwaves etc, especially at the end of the summer when college kids are moving into their first apartments. They probably won’t want old meat grinders or electric carving knives. Blenders, yes! Yes also to newer toaster ovens, irons, electric fry pans & fondue sets, crock pots. While there might be buyers for electric breadmakers, bulky food processors, and 40 year stand mixers, there aren’t a lot of them, and they won’t pay much. Once they’re gone however, you’ll have more room for your new garage sale stuff.