There are unofficial signs of spring everywhere you look, despite the rain or snow still visible outside. Our clocks are set ahead an hour. Students are planning and enjoying spring breaks. “March Madness,” basketball style, is in full swing and tournament brackets will be shared and compared shortly.
It is only a matter of time for the most important sign of spring to emerge. Forget the robin redbreast or buds on the tree. The most telling sign is the garage sale sign, the bright neon one posted to announce a yard sale is in progress. When each corner is adorned with hundreds of those signs, we will know that spring is here, without reference to the calendar or the weather.
The hiatus for garage sales will end as soon as we can rely on the weather. Moderate temperatures, without gusty winds, make for the ideal garage sale setting, and that should occur sooner than later.
In the meantime, it is time to get ready for garage sale season! Whether you want to buy or sell your stuff at a garage sale, here are some tips:
- Do as much as you can now so that you can have your own garage sale when the time is “right.” Organize the stuff that you and your family are no longer using. Clean it. Price it. Fold or store it, preferably in a place where you can access it easily when you actually choose to sell it. (Alternatively, donate it.)
- Set a target date for your garage sale. Find out if and when your neighborhood might have a sale. Discuss a joint participation with friends or neighbors. Similarly, find out when your favorite neighborhoods or charities host their garage sales and calendar those not to miss them. (If you have a large scale event scheduled already, please advise your garage sale Examiner as well so we can showcase it if possible.)
- Get your garage sale “tools” in order. As a buyer or a seller, you will want to stockpile change (quarters) and one dollar bills.
- Practice your garage sale “skills.” These range from negotiation to bending to waking up early.
- Do some garage sale homework. You may need to research what an item typically sells for at a garage sale or how best to display your treasure.
- Learn the garage sale “rules” and follow that standard practice or etiquette. This will translate into the most fun and money and the least frustration.
- Make a list of what you need or want to buy and set a budget accordingly. Knowing the value of an item before you buy it makes the experience that much more enjoyable. (No one wants to pay $10 for an item that is sold at the dollar store for one buck.) This is a perfect time to be creative and imaginative. Think DYI, upcycling, recycling and thrift in general.
- Pay attention to the newest garage sale trends (especially apps) and manage your expectations. There is a lot of competition for both buyers and sellers.
We will see you soon on the treasure hunting trail.