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Easy Ways to Cut Corners and Still Have a Good Rummage Sale

Rummage sales take a lot of time and planning. For those who have the time to go pro with their sale, the profit turned by clutter in the house can be a nice chunk of change. However, not everyone has the benefit of being able to plan or dedicate the time to setting up a rummage sale.

Take heart. If you have too much on your plate but still need to get rid of some “junk,” you can still have a sale. There are easy shortcuts that those with less time can take to make the process easier. Here are some tips to cut planning time while still ending up with a good¬†sale.

1. Piggyback a friend’s sale – Does someone you know have more time than you do to get ready for a rummage sale? Explain your situation and ask if you can put some of your goods into their sale. Offer to help run it or pay for the advertisement. Remember that they’re doing most of the work and saving you a lot of trouble. Good friends are usually happy to help out. Plus, more stuff makes for a better sale, so many will in fact welcome you to add your junk.

2. Buy pre-printed tags – You can pick up garage sale stickers anywhere. Grocery stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, Wal-Mart, etc. Just check the stationary aisle. Buy the pre-printed ones which already have denominations on them starting at 10 cents and going as high as $20. There are also blank ones for higher or oddly priced items. These tags sometimes cost a little extra, but the time you save not having to write a price on every item will be worth it.

3. Or don’t price at all – Instead of pricing each individual item, set up several different tables and fill them with like-valued items. For example, reserve one table to hold everything for a quarter. One another, display every item you want to sell for a dollar. The only thing you’ll have to make is easily seen signs telling your customers which table is which. Larger items can obviously be priced separately, but this way is perfect to avoid putting small tags on hundreds of quarter items. Make sure you have a good memory though, and can remember which items were on which table.

4. Use other people’s signs – This one sounds a bit shady, but there are actually two valid ways you can do this without coming across as a freeloader. First, ask friends and family if they have signs left over from their own sales. Since the signs are doing nothing but collecting dust when not in use, people are usually willing to loan them to you. The second valid way is to check to see if your area is going to be holding a neighborhood sale. Many towns do this and only one or two signs are put up to direct buyers to several different sales. You may be asked to chip in for cost, but you’ll save in the long run.

5. Hire some help – While you’ll probably want to be the one in charge of collecting the cash on the day of the sale, go ahead and spend a few extra dollars to have someone do the prep work. Setting up for a rummage sale can be both time consuming and tiring. If you work a full time job, you may have a hard time finding the energy to do the grunt work. Ask some responsible area teens to help out. Pay half beforehand and the rest after they’ve done the job to your satisfaction. Give them a general idea of what you want, then let them do the rest. If they know there’s a financial reward involved, they’ll do a good job and you won’t have to strain yourself.

6. Take the internet option – If you really don’t want to commit to the time it takes to set up a real one, do a search for local “rummage sale” sites. Many are place specific, and your hometown might have one that allows for free or reduced posting rates. If you’re looking to go large scale, try eBay or uBid. Though fees apply, you’ll have more people looking and can make a larger profit. Craigslist is another option, with local sites in many different cities across the U.S. Keep in touch with prospective buyers and be up front and honest about charges and whatever delivery or pick up may be necessary.

Using one or more of these ideas can make the rummage sale experience much easier. While it may cost a little more out of pocket, the time saved will be worth it. You’re even likely to make that cost back on the first day of your sale. Good luck with your rummage sale venture!

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Author: Amanda Sposato

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