Moving Abroad: Garage Sale Early and Often

6 Jul


I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that there aren’t very many people selling off a three-story home before moving abroad into a small two-room apartment.  But no matter how much or little you are taking with you, I highly recommend that you think ahead about Garage Sales.

First of all, you need to decide whether you hope this sale brings in a little bit of money.  If so, then arranging for at a minimum, two weekends of sales ( for a small apartment) is a good idea.  If you wait until the last weekend, then you  have to price items to sell right away or be left with boxes of left-overs that you give away for free.  The first weekend, price your items at the level you want to make ~ try selling off those books for $1 and dishes for $1.50.  The next weekend, follow it up with prices intended to move items off.  Drop books, plates, and toys down to 10 cents.  Get things gone ~ you don’t want the added stress of finding time to lug it all to goodwill on your shoulders in the  middle of a packing frenzy.  

If you are more like me and have a butt-load of stuff to unload, then you might need a lot more weekends for selling things off.  If you only set aside two weekends, then you are limited to two prices ~ the price you wanted, and the basically free price.  It leaves you no wiggle room.  

One good idea we’ve worked with is to list and sell your items in categories.  Have a kid’s day on Saturday, an Office Supplies day on Sunday, and then add in some new categories (e.g. Hard-back books and Kitchen items) the next week.  Each week, price the previous items on down to move it out.  This lets people know when they need to stop buy, and keeps bringing them back.  Unfortunately, having so much stuff means that we will be having about 7 weeks of garage sales.  Every weekend; Makes for a long and timely excursion.  But we simply have too much stuff to sell everything all at once, especially since we would kind of like to make a little in the process.  And once you take stock of your possessions, you might have too much stuff too.  

So don’t wait until the very last weekend to put your stuff in the garage sale.  Try to do it as early as you can, so that then you have a little time to get rid of what’s left.  Don’t assume that the “popular items” are going to sell like hotcakes, or that what sold for $1 last year will sell for the same price this year.  You will have stuff left over, things you thought would sell right away.  And saving a bit of time to figure out what to do with those items will help you in the long run.


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