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Break tradition and have a garage sale this winter

Don't let cold weather keep you from having a garage sale this winter. From advertising to staying warm, you can still have a successful sale.
Don't let cold weather keep you from having a garage sale this winter. From advertising to staying warm, you can still have a successful sale.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Who said garage sales can only be held on a hot summer’s day? If you’re in the middle of organizing your home, you might prefer to have a garage sale now instead of waiting for better weather. To get ready for a winter sale, consider the following tips.

Advertise, advertise, advertise: Since you’ll likely be the only home with a garage sale in your neighborhood this winter, you’ll need to ramp up advertising because people won’t be expecting a sale for months to come. You can stick with traditional signs and fliers, but don’t forget listing your sale on Craigslist and garage sale-focused websites.

Advertise, advertise, advertise - part two: You need to encourage people to get out of their warm homes and head to your sale, so make sure you talk up the items for sale. While you can’t go into great detail on signs, you should use your other forms of advertising to describe some of the big-ticket items for sale. For instance, don’t just say you’re selling a TV; instead, include the dimensions and brand.

Stay warm: While leaving your large garage door open is a great way to show off your items for sale, it also means cold weather and snow will enter your garage. Instead, just prop open the side door and put up plenty of signs so people know where to enter the sale. As a reminder, keep the rest of your home locked up, especially if you have an attached garage.

Lighten up your sale: If you’re having your sale in a garage that doesn’t have a lot of light, then you’ll need to bring in extra lighting fixtures from your home. Customers want to be able to see what they’re buying, and you don’t want anyone to fall.

Make it safe: No one wants to slip and fall on ice, so do your customers a favor and keep the sidewalk, driveway and any other entrance path clear of snow and ice. If people can park on your street, make sure there are open spots available for parking.

Roll out the welcome mat: With snow and ice on the ground, it’s likely your shoppers will be bringing the elements indoors to your sale. Keep a mat near the entrance so customers can wipe their feet; you don’t want puddles to freeze during your sale.

Plan for cold weather: This seems like a no-brainer, but do remember to dress in layers during your sale. Keep in mind that you will be in your garage for far longer than the actual sale hours due to setting up and taking down items for sale.

Know when to close: Keep an eye on the weather forecast for the day of your sale. You can always cancel or close early if it gets too cold for you.