- Schedule your garage sale far enough in advance so that you can post on the swap shop.
- Hold your sale on a nonholiday weekend unless you live in a resort town with lots of vacationers. Check the long-range forecast for good weather.
- Dig through your garage, attic, basement and house for stuff to sell. Include everything you want to get rid of--one person's junk is another's treasure.
- Spread the word among friends and family. The more you have to sell, the larger the crowd you can draw. Offer to sell their stuff for a 20 percent commission.
- Scrub, wash, polish, dust and launder anything you plan to sell. If an item needs a simple repair that could greatly improve the price, fix it.
- Round up volunteers if you expect large crowds. Friends and family may be willing to help for a free meal, the chance to sell their own junk, or just the fun of it.
- Print up one-page fliers advertising your sale and put them up at local coffee shops, laundries, grocery stores or community centers.
- Place large, neatly printed signs in your neighborhood the night before or the morning of the sale. Put signs in front of your house as well.
- Use masking tape and a permanent marker to mark everything with a price. "$1 or less" tables or boxes save time and attract shoppers. Leave room to bargain down when pricing items. Remember that you're trying to get rid of your stuff when you price it. You may have spent a fortune on that Beta VCR, but you'll be lucky to get a quarter for it now.
- Hang clothes on makeshift racks. Borrow portable tables to display items. Put crowd-pleasers (furniture, tools) up front to entice people. Have a "10 cents" box to encourage further browsing.
- Set up your cash table near the entrance. Have plenty of small change, a cash box, a calculator, pencil and pen, a ledger book (to inventory commissions), bags and boxes, newspaper to wrap valuables, and a tape measure.
- Make sure there's plenty of parking; relocate your car if necessary.
- Be cheerful, get people talking and encourage haggling. Many people are reluctant to haggle but find it's fun once they start.
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Who Is Doc Burkhart? He is the chief administrator of the Missouri Swap Shop Network. He is also a full-time missionary, working primarily in the Asia/Pacific Region. Read his blog http://docburkhart.blogspot.com or visit his missions page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/doc2korea/