Playing to Your Strengths

When you're in the planning and set-up phases of hosting a garage sale, don't forget one very important thing: your garage sale is yours.  You get to decide how things go, at least as far as the variables you can control are concerned.  And if you have certain strengths or weaknesses, you can play to these by integrating a few key ideas into how you set up and run your yard sale.

An organized wood themed products

Pricing your items is actually one way you can play to your strengths or weaknesses.  If you are a very shy person, and don't really want prolonged contact with customers, you can price items lower than most shoppers would expect, so they won't come and try to bargain with you.  On the other hand, if you're enthusiastic about meeting new people, price your items just high enough that they'll blanch and come speak with you about lowering the prices (which you can then do, happily, while you converse with a potential new friend).  The same goes for bartering.  If you don't like the idea of conflict, even controlled by the common courtesies of the barter system, you can put up signs around your sale that indicate all prices as final.  Likewise, if you love a good verbal sparring match, stick up signs that say you're willing to negotiate on all prices, then sit back and wait for people to approach you.

Are you a well-organized person?  Put it to good use at your garage sale by coming up with creative ways to sort your items and guide shoppers through the maze of your driveway, yard, or garage.  If you enjoy doing so, you can even color-code items by their prices or price ranges.  In contrast, you may thrive in chaos; if that's the case, run with it!  Jam a sign into your yard that proclaims your sale a treasure hunt, and don't even bother organizing.  You may get some customers that refuse to go digging, but others may see it as an exciting challenge.

Just because most garage sale refreshment booths feature lemonade or brownies doesn't mean yours needs to.  If your specialty is Indian food, sell small portions as lunches!  Or, if you like creating a certain type of craft, sell manifestations of your artistic abilities to your customers.  You don't need to go with the norm just because it has sold well in the past; you'd be surprised at how much people will pay to experience something unusual.

Are you a night owl or a morning person?  Don't force yourself to hold your garage sale during hours that you're uncomfortable being awake and alert.  Wake up when you're ready to do so, and then start your yard sale.  Even if that means starting in the afternoon or way earlier than most people are up, so be it -- this is your experience, and you should enjoy it.

Are there any topics you'd like to see chronicled in this blog?  We'd love your ideas!  Please email us at with your feedback and tips.

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