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How to Move: Holding a Successful Moving Sale

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By : T. Scott Clendaniel    99 or more times read
Do you have an upcoming move or relocation? For most of us, this is an incredibly busy time. There are utilities to transfer, people to notify, and seemingly endless boxes to pack. This all adds up to a lot of potential stress.

Surprisingly, adding something to your moving task list may make things easier in the short and long term- hosting a moving sale (a.k.a garage sale, yard sale, white elephant sale, flea market, etc.)

I understand that this sounds ridiculous when you first hear it. After all, you're already frantically busy with moving, so how in the world will you find the time for a moving sale?

Fortunately, the answer is pretty simple. The time required to move is directly related to how many items need to be moved. The more things you have to move, the more time it will take. So when you're looking around at what needs to be moved, think about this: If you choose not to sell excess items, when will you have time to:

  • get the items organized
  • prepare, wrap and pack them
  • write down the items in your moving inventory
  • make sure the items are properly covered with moving insurance
  • label the boxes the items will go in
  • physically move the items
  • load the items into the truck
  • unload the items from the truck
  • unpack the items at your new destination
  • break down the boxes the items arrived in
  • find space for the items in your new place
  • and set them up?

And you might think of this another way. If you imagine that you are simply packing unused items to be delivered at your moving sale, it can make things easier.

On the positive side, you might earn between $200 - $1000 on a well-planned, well-executed moving sale, which works out to a pretty decent hourly rate.

Here are some basic tips:

  1. Create separate boxes in each room for your "moving sale" items as you pack up everything else. Store "sale-able" items in these boxes, and then simply put them out on the actual moving sale day. This way you won't end up packing things twice or get confused.

  2. Need some ideas on how to price things? Start by dividing the original price by 5 and then discounting for any damage. This helps insure that most items will be sold out by the time the sale is completed. Remember, you don't want to price things way too low, but you do want to make sure you get something reasonable for your treasures.

  3. Price categories of items the same, such as "all clothing $4 each." It also saves hours of time creating tiny price tags! You can also price items by table, meaning everything on a certain table is priced at one fixed price. However, if you follow this advice, you need a way to easily track where an item came from.

  4. Have a charity donation truck arrive at the closing time of your moving sale to take away everything that isn't sold. The charity gets donations, and you clear out of any items that didn't sell by the end. Remember to record what goes on the charity truck as a donation for tax purposes.

  5. Make sure all prices are easily divisible by 2. This allows you to hold a "1/2 price clearance" during the last hour of the sale, and clear out lots of remaining items and pocket cash you might have missed otherwise- you would be amazed how many times I have seen this work successfully.

  6. Have lots of spare change (bills and coins) on hand on your person (not in a box that can be stolen at the sale). Lack of having correct change is a frustrating reason to lose a sale.

  7. Start advertising at least 2 weeks prior to the sale. Use clear street signs in very large letters, ads in local papers, and flyers on cars in a 5-block radius from your place.

  8. Recruit as many friends as you can stand for the big day. You can use extra eyes and hands with watching tables, helping customers move items and answering question.

Following these steps should ensure a successful move and the chance to put some well-earned dollars in your pocket.

I wish you the very best of luck with your relocation! :-)

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