Selling Stuff

Okay, you’ve been piling stuff up something like this:

  • To move
  • To give away
  • To throw away
  • To sell

You’re now wondering what to do with that massive mass of stuff to sell. It’s time for a moving sale!

When you are getting ready to move, a moving sale may be an excellent way to pick up some cash while you get rid of stuff you no longer need—or shouldn’t have bought in the first place. Most folks hesitate to dispose of never-used, seldom-used, worn out, or even broken or ill-fitting items. Moving offers the perfect excuse to get rid of it all, reduce the work and cost of shipment, and even earn a little cash in the process. A moving sale is smart moving.

So you probably have a good supply of things to sell, right? It includes everything from clothing to kitchen gadgets to exercise equipment to snow shovels and lawn mowers. As a reality check, remember that anything you do not get rid of has to be packed, loaded, unloaded, unpacked, and placed in your new home.

If you’ve never held or attended a moving sale, you may be surprised at how many of your unwanted items will find paying homes. And your sale can be even more profitable if it is well organized.

Before planning your moving sale, check with local authorities for regulations on personal sales. In some towns you will need a permit. In other areas, the posting of signs is limited.

When should you have your moving sale? As soon as possible. Idea: Ask your neighbors and friends whether they would like to combine sales. Shoppers like to see lots of goods at one time.

Saturdays are the best days for a moving or yard sale, but be sure to avoid holiday weekends when many people have other plans. If you can, hold your sale for two or three days, beginning on Thursday or Friday. Establish a rain date if necessary. Set your sale hours early, as early as 7 a.m. if you can, because bargain hunters are notorious for starting early. Even with early hours, be prepared for a few early birds. Most moving sales aren’t productive after about 3 p.m.


What should you call your sale?

“Garage Sale” says you have lots of unusable junk you’ve been storing in the garage and want to get rid of.

“Yard Sale” says the junk in the garage (if there is one) has now spilled out into the yard.

“Moving Sale” says I’m moving my better stuff, but these things are pretty good. Make me an offer.

“Estate Sale” says I hate to get rid of this fine stuff, but I’m moving on. Make me an offer.

Moving Sale has a little more desperation to it than Estate Sale, but either name is better than Garage or Yard Sale.

Publicize your moving sale like crazy! A community newspaper may have a classified section for moving, garage, and estate sales. Include the days, hours, and location of the sale. Call it a moving sale to create extra interest. List a few of the major items you have to sell.

In smaller communities, a local radio station may have a call- or write-in program with announcements of personal items for sale. Signs are good, too. In fact, they may be your best source of impulse buyers. Post signs wherever you can, at church, work, restaurants, laundromats, grocery stores, and other businesses. Be sure that any signs you post along the street are easily readable. Use large letters and dark waterproof ink. And don’t forget to tell neighbors, relatives, and friends about your moving sale.

The pricing issue is often one that keeps otherwise sane folks from having moving sales. How much should I charge?

The best way to price your stuff is to know the pricing used by successful moving sales in your area. To get a feel for pricing, drive around a week or two before your sale, visiting sales and making notes.

You will also have a better idea of how to price if you know what the item would cost new. You can then use a formula for pricing, depending on your desperation to sell:

  • 50% of original price (want to, but don’t have to sell it)
  • 25% of original price (will probably sell it soon)
  • 10% of original price (first come, first served)

 Donating Stuff

Promoting Your Sale