Summertime Profits Might Be Hiding in Your Garage

The modern garage is often used as an auxiliary storage space, and eventually the space becomes hard or impossible to use due to all the accumulation. Given that the garage is also the entrance most often used into a home, a cluttered garage becomes even more of a safety hazard, and it makes household life harder.

Summer is a great time for getting a cluttered garage in order, and it is also possible to make a small profit while you do it.

Turn Your Garage into Summer Profit

If your garage is full of useful but unused household items, tools, building supplies, books, clothing, and furniture, one way of getting organized and making a little extra cash is by having a garage sale.

While many people with household items to sell pack up their goods and head for swap-meets and flea-markets in parking lots across town, good, old-fashioned garage sales are still popular and well attended, especially if you take the time to do a small amount of advertising and clean and arrange items attractively.

One obvious advantage of a garage sale is that it does not involve moving anything very far, and if you have a large amount of things to sell, you can do the sale in two or more parts over a series of weekends, staging items for next week in the closed garage. There is also no entry fee or transportation cost for a garage sale, unlike a swap-meet.

To get an idea of pricing for the Richmond and Chesterfield areas in Virginia, look at prices being asked at nearby second-hand stores and online advertising space in the region. You can also check local advertising newspapers, online classified sections at local media outlets, and other garage sales and swap-meets in your area for pricing of items similar to yours, if you are unsure how to price your belongings. Double check the value of antiques and unusual items and books, as sometimes people let valuables go at garage sales without realizing it.

If you have especially valuable items, do not undervalue them, just because you are selling at a garage sale. If you sell valuable merchandise at a garage sale, set these items toward the rear of your sales area and minimize how many items are visible at one time. Keep small valuables like jewelry in a locked display case. Depending on the item, it may be better to sell valuable items separately to a dealer or online to a private buyer.

Selling average household possessions such as appliances, electronic equipment, camping gear, tools, building materials, musical instruments, recreational equipment, books, videos, CDs, furniture, clothing, and toys can add up to a tidy sum at the end of the day, even if each item is priced at thrift-store values. Organizing and running a garage sale as a family activity with children can also provide a valuable lesson in the basics of business for kids.

Doing some advertising for a garage sale is well worth the effort. Many people spend their weekends looking for and attending such sales in their area and even well beyond. Often, garage sales are listed in local newspapers and their online outlets, small advertiser newspapers, and through flyers posted on public billboards where people shop and look for local sales and bargains. Finding one or two of these free or low-cost advertising spaces and letting people know a week or more in advance about your sale will increase the likelihood of good attendance and sales.

Be sure to put up signs at street corners near your house on the day of the sale. Make sure such signs are visible in a car to someone driving by, but also that they are not so large they obstruct the roadway or pedestrian areas and that they are secured against falling or blowing over. Also, remember to take signs down at the end of your garage sale, so you do not have unwanted visitors driving by later.

Pricing items in advance, and writing the price on a small tag stuck to the item, reduces the chances you will make a too favorable bargain if you have a hard-negotiating customer. It also means you do not have to remember prices or look for them a list, and it makes advanced estimation of the value of your merchandise easier.

Before you have a garage sale this summer in Chester, Hopewell, Dinwiddie, Mechanicsville, or anywhere else in the greater Richmond or Chesterfield region, contact the service specialists at Commonwealth Garage Door and make sure your garage door is safe and ready for the garage sale season.