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Garage sale gold: Make more money from your stuff

“Ava’s Guide to Garage Sale Gold” covers everything, from the people most likely to show up to the denominations of money you should have on-hand.
Credit: KARE
There are ways to elevate your garage sale, perhaps... by changing the name. It could help you shed more stuff, and make more money.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Summer is the season…the season for garage sales! 

If you’re considering unloading a bunch of your stuff, there’s stuff you should know before sticking a sign in your yard and calling it good. 

And speaking of what to call it, you might want to skip the term “garage sale” all together.

“By calling something, in my mind, a garage sale, it indicates that your stuff is kind of junky,” says Ava Seavey.

What the heck does Seavey know? A lot, actually. After years of successful sales she decided to write a book about it. “Ava’s Guide to Garage Sale Gold” covers everything from the type of people who are likely to show up, to the denominations of money you should probably have on-hand. She says it’s all about marketing. 

Here are some tips Seavey serves up to help you make more dough. 

Tip 1: Define your sale 

“If you’re moving, I call it a moving sale. If you’re selling a lot of dead relative’s items, I call it an estate sale. I will call something a tag sale, which sounds a little bit more high-end than a garage sale,” she adds.

Tip 2: Advertise

And we don’t just mean a homemade sign on the street. Seavey says it’s hard to get traffic to your sale if you don’t let a wider audience know about it. Post your sale on Facebook and Nextdoor and even take out an ad in the local paper. 

Tip 3: Signage

Now here’s where those signs come in handy. Seavey says make them look professional. Two-sided signs that you can pound into the ground are best. And you don’t need a ton of information on them.

“If your advertising is good, your sign should just direct them to where they want to go with an arrow,” says Seavey. 

Tip 4: Have everything tagged and ready to go

Seavey has learned that sometimes people who show up at sales are shy. They don’t want to come up and ask the price of everything. Having a price tag on every item makes it easier for those folks, or the people who maybe don’t speak English. Too many things to tag? Try grouping like-things together and put them on a table with one price for the whole table. Speaking of tables…

Tip 5: Use tables

It may seem like a great idea just to put everything on the grass or on your driveway, but don’t forget, some people may not have an easy time bending down. Seavey says your best to bring in tables for your items. Things should either be hanging or laid out at waist-height to make it easier for all shoppers. 

Tip 6: Skip Sunday

You’d think weekends would be the best day to have a yard sale…and you’d be partially right. Seavey says in all her years of selling, she’s found Fridays to be the best day for sales, followed by Saturdays and then Thursdays. 

“Sundays are usually a bust. I would never have a sale on a Sunday,” advises Seavey.  Sundays are usually family days and get ready for the week kind of days, she says, so don’t waste your time.

Ava Seavey has more information, including how to get her book, on the Garage Sale Gold website.