Garage Sale Don’ts

July 18, 2017

garage saleIt’s garage sale season! If and when decide you want to sell those extra clothes, furniture, toys and tools cluttering up your closets and garage, here are some quick tips to make the process safer and simpler. And if you’re shopping garage sales for bargains and steals, we have a few suggestions for you, too!

If You’re Selling

  • Don’t be offended by buyers who want to haggle. In fact, expect it and be prepared to round down so people feel like they’re getting a bargain!
  • Don’t forget to have plenty of change (dollar bills and quarters). If you send a buyer off to find change you might lose the sale.
  • Don’t make people wait if they show up at the time advertised.
  • Don’t expect people to believe that something works if they can’t plug it in to test it, or insert batteries to switch it on. Have an extension cord handy and some batteries to loan.
  • Don’t set out a pile of clothes, which can be intimidating but have it sorted by size and gender (girls or boys, adults, etc.).
  • Don’t advertise “too many items to list.” People need some examples to be motivated to stop by.
  • Don’t use a wispy ballpoint pen to write your signs. Instead use big, fat, block lettering so shoppers can read it!. Go to for ideas about sign placement, and free ways to advertise your sale.

More Helpful Garage Sale Hints

Not that we don’t trust people, but we’ve been around the block a time or two (or three!). So, here are a few things to consider when you’re in the seller’s seat:

  • Don’t let strangers into your house to try on clothes or use the restroom.
  • Don’t keep money in a shoebox. Wear a fanny pack and keep all the money in it, along with a cell phone just in case.
  • Don’t accept helpful calculations from customers. You total up the prices on a calculator or your phone.
  • Don’t take your eyes off your customers. Beware of people who switch tags. Beware of people who tell you they gave you a $20 bill when they gave you a $10!

If You’re Buying

When you’re garage sale shopping for the following and find it – snatch it up!

  • Exercise equipment is a category of consumer goods that generally has a HIGH cost-to-use ratio. People like to unload these at up to a 95 percent discount!
  • Solid, quality wooden bookcases, desks, dressers or other furniture with fine craftsmanship are better buys than newer mass-marketed (and cheaply made) items.
  • Toys and games are usually a great bargain at garage and yard sales and can keep kids occupied for hours, not to mention make family bonding time, better!
  • Anything silver with engravings like, “9.25,” “925/1000,” “Sterling,” or “S/S” and is relatively cheap.

Always pass these up when you see them at a garage sale, even if you need one!

  • Electronics are like rolling the dice. Maybe it will work when you get it home and maybe it won’t. Adjust the price you’re willing to pay accordingly.
  • You don’t want to find out the hard way that cosmetics, hair products and toiletries have gone bad, even if the expiration date is still in the future.
  • Tires are not worth taking a chance on – even if you eyeball them and they seem to be structurally sound.
  • Safety devices like child car seats, bicycle helmets, baby cribs or other items designed to protect your loved ones are a risky buy because there’s a chance they may have been recalled because of a design flaw.

For more do’s and don’ts for sellers, check out the tips at This Old House and Popular Mechanics.

Sales at Southshore

The new homes in the lakeside master-planned community of Southshore are another great buy! If you’re house hunting in Aurora, check out the brand-new ranch and two-story designs priced from the upper $300s to the $700s. Tour the brand new models from Richmond American Homes and Century Communities!