Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Tip From "The Frugal Guru" - How to Maximize Garage Sale Profits

Goodwill vs. Garage Sale - which one makes more sense in order to declutter your house?  Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer.  The benefits of donating your items to Goodwill is that it is less time consuming, you may be helping less fortunate people, and you will receive a tax deduction.  Garage sales are a great way if you're willing to dedicate a weekend to the project.  It is a way to make money and meet your neighbors.

If you decide on having a garage sale, here are some tips:
1) When deciding how to price an item, look at a free program such as H&R Block's DeductionPro to see the what the tax deduction for that item would be. Remember that this is a tax deduction, not a tax credit, so you must multiply the deduction by your tax percentage to get the true amount. Try to price each item so that you will get (after the negotiations) at least the amount you would get for donating the item.
2) See if your family and friends have any items to sell. The more items the better. Distinguish the seller by writing the initials of the seller on the price tags so everyone is paid accurately. Having a multi-family sale also encourages sharing the cashier position so that your whole weekend is not consumed manning the garage sale. Decide who should host the garage sale by who lives in the most garage sale-friendly location.
3) From my experience, Thursdays and Fridays are when the die-hard garage salers are out and about.  While you would think Saturdays would be busy, the weekdays yielded more customers.
4) Advertise your garage sale on free sites such as Craigslist and websites dedicated to the listing of garage sales. Consider doing this rather than paying for an advertisement in the local newspaper.
5) Research ways to obtain free garage sale signs.  Some radio stations and Goodwill stores give away free signs.  Don't put dates on the signs, just specify days of the week.  This way you can reuse the signs.
6) Go to the bank and get lots of small bills and change. You do not want to lose a sale because you cannot make change.
7) Bake cookies to sell - people can't pass up the goodies, especially if they have children with them.
8) Set up your tables down the driveway so that they are visible from the street. This makes it look like there are plenty of items for sale.
9) Park your cars in the street to give the illusion that there are customers shopping.  This makes people think that the items on sale must be good and they are more likely to stop and take a look.
10) Donate the good items that remain after the sale is over to Goodwill.  Don't forget to take the tax deduction for these items.

Happy Selling!

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