If you’re a follower of my blog or my Pinterest page, you’ll know I’m moving. I’ve been obsessively pinning design pics for quite some time. And, to make room for all my gorgeous new stuff, I had to sell all my old crap. So, I decided to host a Moving Sale. Not really knowing what to expect since I’d A) Never been to a moving sale myself, B) never sold a thing except for consignment and ebay, and C) a significant bout of thunderstorms was on the way, I posted my very first Craigslist posting and crossed my fingers. After a whirlwind morning, adding close to $1,300 to my bank account, and emptying out my apartment, I have a lot of “if I ever did that again, I’d…” and “thank God I…”. So, here it all is…my best tips for having a successful Moving Sale.
Things I did RIGHT:
- Scheduling. I’d heard the apartment complex I live in was hosting a Yard Sale and thought it would be perfect to piggy-back on their sale with mine. I knew they’d do a lot of promotion for theirs (which ended up including flyers around town and newspaper ads). It was like free advertising for me, which was great. To make sure everyone who came to the Yard Sale knew about my Moving Sale, I made a simple poster that read, “Looking for more…? Moving Sale in unit #123.”
- Craigslist. I didn’t post a single word about my moving sale until a week out. At that time, I went balls to the wall. I posted several posts throughout the week in various different categories — Garage/Moving Sale, Furniture, etc. In the post I included the various items I’d be selling along with an irresistible tag line, “Literally everything you lay your eyes on is for sale.” I got lots of requests for me to send photos, measurements, and pricing. I replied to each post describing the item in question and offering a price, but never sent a photo. I only suggested they come by for the sale to see it in person. I also mentioned the Yard Sale encouraging people to kill two birds with one stone and get two sales in one.
- Pricing. I didn’t not go around and tag each item with a price tag. Instead I made a price list sheet. I listed out everything in the apartment and named a price. As each person came by, I handed them a price list encouraging them to walk around and explore the items themselves. A couple of people commented on how organized this system was. As things sold, my bedroom furniture and all of its wares, I simply emptied out whatever was left into the living room and shut the door. By the end, there were so few items that we ditched the price sheet and encouraged people to name their own price.
- Negotiating. Don’t be afraid to say, “no” to someone’s offer. It’s your stuff and although I was eager to sell it, I wasn’t desperate. I was reasonable with my original pricing and was able to explain this as people made offers. If people were buying several items, I was a little more lenient. For the most part, people stuck with my offers, I think, because they knew they were reasonable as well. Some people offered a lower price for the sake of offering a lower price. I always countered back meeting somewhere in the middle and 99% of them bit on that price.
Things I would do DIFFERENT:
- Small items. Although my pricing system was thorough for the items you could see, I didn’t anticipate people going through my drawers — namely in the kitchen — and bundling up some goodies. Therefore, I was a little caught off guard when they would show me a handful of stuff saying, “How much for all of this?” I’m sure I got made on some of the nicer kitchen accessories I had — a calphalon knife, can opener, and microplane for example.
- Closing time. I started my sale at the same time as the apartment’s Yard Sale — 7:30 am. I thought that was ridiculously early, and anticipating waiting around for an hour before things starting to pick up. I was wrong. LOL. People were flooding in by 7:45. It died down by 8:30; picked up again at 8:45 and quieted down again by 9:30. After that it was just random stragglers. Those stragglers did make some purchases, but a bulk of my stuff was sold. I listed my sale would run until 1pm. That was way too late. The people that did come after 10 — maybe a dozen — were disappointed by what was left and I think that effected their purchasing.
- Prep. I didn’t do a darn thing to anything in the apartment. The bed was made and in general it was clean, but I hadn’t even been in the apartment for about a week before the sale. Some items were dusty, I had messages from the BF written on the mirrors, and none of the furniture or bins were emptied. I didn’t have any small items on display and a lot of things that were technically for sale, were hidden from sight. As the sale went on, I was able to clean some things, move things around, and pull items out of drawers and cabinets, but for that first rush, I was really behind.
All in all, the sale went great despite a morning full of scattered thunderstorms. I truly believe that if you build it, they will come…rain or shine. I have a nice chunk of cash to re-invest in my new apartment. It’s about 250 square feet smaller with hardly any wall space, so I should be able to outfit my bedroom — which will only include a bed (with storage) and a floor mirror — and most of the living room. I’ll be purchasing a new sleeper sofa with a chaise, small side table, an ottoman, and a TV with a wall mount system. We’ll see how far my money goes but since all I’m left with is clothes and few kitchen/bathroom items, I won’t need movers which is more money in the bank!
Let me know if you have any tips for a successful Moving or Yard Sale. It might be a while before I host one again, but I’d like to include them in this post to help everyone else out!