Originally written Aug, 2006
Since I need items to list on Ebay I spend nearly every Saturday morning running all over my part of town going to garage sales. The amount I buy, determines how long I stay out doing it. Due to the heat in the summer here I almost always quit at lunch though. If I get a lot of items I know that Ive loaded myself down with photography, research and listing to last me several days. While garage sales are fun, they are also dead serious work.
That's why it annoys me so much to see them done wrong. If you really want to have a terrible garage sale please follow these steps.
1. Use only one sign. Be sure and place it on a pole that no one will see. The lower to the ground the better. Make sure that it can't be seen until the driver is past the turn.
2. Also please don't use a large marker to write with. Use pencil or a light colored crayon. That way your buyers will have to slow down and obstruct traffic (possibly risking life and limb) to read the sign.
3. Never use a sign larger than a child's paper plate or a single sheet of of school paper. Write all over them in small print. Also use a small stick to tape them to. That way whenever the wind blows the sign will fold up and no one can read it.
4. Never use an "arrow" on your sign. If you must, make it so small that the buyer can't see which way it is pointing till they are past the turning point.
5. If you insist on using colored cardboard for your sign then please use black ink on blue, red ink on orange, gray ink on green , etc.
Now that we have the rules for signage figured out here are the rules for setting up your driveway for the sale.
6. Never put a large sign at your driveway. No balloons on the mailbox either. Don't do anything to draw attention to your sale on your own street.
7. When laying out clothing to be sold be sure and throw them down in piles all over the driveway. Never hang them up or arrange them by adult, teen, children, etc.
8. Be sure and have lots of mixed up mismatched clothing, broken toys, inexplicable pieces of cracked glasses, plates, plastic, bent forks and spoons, all in a jumble in a box. Turn the box over so they get stepped on a lot is even better.
9. Let buyers kids play with whatever they can get their hands on. The toys are pretty much used and worthless and the electronic items probably wouldn't have sold anyway.
10. If you have books be sure and leave them in piles on the driveway. If you treat them like trash then the buyers will too.
11. If you are selling tvs, computers, toasters, telephones, lamps, tables, etc. never clean them prior to the sale. Greasy fingerprints and cigarette tar/nicotine generally do wonders for sale items.
12. If you are selling rugs and have dogs and cats in the house please remember to not vacuum them. The new buyer loves to see thick animal hair all over their new purchase. Makes them smell nice too.
13. Hopefully there will be no parking on your street and you will have to stop every buyer from parking in your driveway just because you have that power.
14 If you can't speak English that will instantly cut down on a lot of your buyers. Definite plus!
15. Make it impossible to test electric items. No extension cords, no outlets, no nothing. Even better cut the plugs off all the appliances you are selling. Just tell your customer to replace the plug and it will work fine.
16. Never, absolutely never have any change. Make it impossible to be paid with a ten dollar bill and expect change back.
17. Always ask way too much (suggested retail is best) for your wore out crap.
18. Never offer help loading, or bags, or extra boxes. They should have brought their own.
19. Never smile or say hello, and especially don't welcome anybody into your driveway. Buyers are such an interruption anyway.
20. Be sure and stop selling whenever you are tired of it. (no matter what the fine print on your sign says). Remember to leave all your signs up too. It's pretty funny to see your garage sale sign up for a month at a time. Maybe you can mess up other garage sales just a little bit and they can have the same success that you had.