By Lisa Ragsdale, Charlotte, NC
There is something about Spring and warmer weather that makes us restless and we embrace change easier. Whether it is moving to a new town or house, downsizing, redecorating or just cleaning out, we often are faced with – now what do I do with these unwanted items or furniture?
Below are some possibilities:
- Pick a date and time that is likely to attract shoppers, if possible combine with multiple families on a street or a neighborhood sale to maximize exposure. Friday and Saturday are the optimal days for a sale and check the weather ahead of time if possible to schedule on a pretty day.
- Advertise both online and in print. Many serious yard sellers will review the ads to see where to go and be sure to mention most attractive items in the listing. On the day of the sale put up directional signs to attract people who might be in the area as well.
- Depending on your time and energy try to sort and price items with stickers but be realistic in your pricing – people shopping a garage sale are bargain shopping. Be prepared to haggle – I once had a gentleman ask me the price of an item and when I responded a quarter he asked if I could do any better?! You are definitely not going to get your money back but it will help you clear out items.
- Have small bills and coins readily available and if you have entrepreneurial children this a great experience in selling donuts and coffee and working on their math skills giving the correct change which appears to be a lost art when I am checking out in a store.
Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
- List multiple pictures and details on Facebook Marketplace to give as much info as possible to increase likelihood of sales and note any flaws in the items. Often people prefer to shop electronically rather than travel to multiple locations. When we moved this past summer I had a leather couch and ping pong table that I could have sold multiple times-there are definitely specific items and price points that will generate more interest than others. Also I listed several items on my personal Facebook feed as well.
- Craigslist is another great option for selling particularly large furniture pieces or more specialty items. Both Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist will likely get you a higher price than a garage sale and honestly not require as much prep time.
- Word to the wise – don’t hold anything for anyone but sell to the first person who comes with cash. I had multiple people text or call me that they were on their way and then magically disappear. The last thing you want on Moving Day is having to track down the person who was buying multiple big items or figure out a last minute option to dispose.
Consignment Furniture Stores
- In many communities these are great options for nicer pieces if you didn’t have luck with Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist or maybe you needed them right up until Move Day. You can email the store pictures and if agreed then drop off or arrange for pickup (for a fee). Again this is not something you coordinate at the last minute get information to find out the details of drop off/pick up etc.
- If you are doing a dramatic downsizing or just completely changing your style then this may be a great option. Basically they do all of the pricing and staging for you and handle the entire process while taking a percentage of the sales. I’ve had several friends do this when downsizing or just moving into a new home and wanted to go an entirely different direction in the look and furnishings. Again you will do much better financially from the selling point than you will for a garage sale, but this requires a great deal of inventory and more lead time.
- At the end of any of these options or maybe even the beginning ….there is always donating items to charities or even some unusual clothes or items to theater groups. We had many items that were not something that we needed or wanted but were the dream of a costumer of a theatre group. (Pilot uniforms complete with hats, Physician white coats, opera glasses etc.) These were definitely not something that would be appreciated at a rummage sale but found a great home in a costume room.
- Another feature of a donation to consider is many groups will come and pick up unwanted items from your home. Depending on the amount of items, furniture or working appliances that you have this is a great time and energy saver. Check with multiple nonprofits to see what their options are. A word of advice in the summer when many are moving you often need to get on the pick up schedule weeks in advance.
If you have any questions about your moving needs – Transporting, Packing, Cleaning and Storage, West Tennessee Moving and Storage in Jackson is open Monday thru Friday from 9am-4:30pm to assist with all your moving and storage needs. The Paris location is open Monday thru Friday from 9am-4pm and 9am-noon on Saturday. Visit our website at WestTennesseeMovers.com for additional information and reviews or call 877-512-MOVE or send a request for a Guaranteed Estimate and set up an in house appointment for a No Obligation Quote.