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5 Tips For A Successful Garage Sale In Baltimore

Spring cleaning season is the perfect time to hold a garage sale. Having a plan and a checklist can make the difference between having a profitable sale and ending up with empty pockets. Since this time of year in Baltimore can be rainy, be sure to post a rain date if holding the garage sale outdoors. Here are five tips to guide you to a successful yard sale.

1. Choose a date. 
First choose whether you want to have a one day sale or two. Then consider if there will be any big events in the area that will drive traffic your way during your desired timeframe. Checking the datebook section in a local paper can provide some guidance.

2. Timing is everything. 
Remember, yard sale hounds are early risers, so it's best to put things out before mid-morning in order to get started at a reasonable time. Don't forget that you should have everything laid out by the promised start time of the sale.

3. What will you sell?
Are you planning on selling everything you possibly can, including the kitchen sink? Or is it better to focus on a target audience, for example children's items? If you decide to sell everything, cluster like items together so customers can easily find all the kids items in one place, tools and other household items in another, and clothes in yet another section. Placing things in neat rows encourages customers to browse up and down the rows, ensuring they don't miss a great bargain. Yard sale hounds also love to dig through boxes to find a super prize.

4. Pricing. 
Putting a fair price on each item can be tricky. If it's overpriced, you'll be stuck with it at the end of the day. Be prepared to haggle and agree to prices lower than what you've initially indicated. Mark individual items as opposed to making prices up on a whim, so that buyers will know where to start. Organize cheaper items in one place and more expensive items elsewhere. It's also a good idea to have half priced or a-bag-full-for-$1 options late in the day in order to get rid of items that aren't selling. Don't forget to have plenty of change on hand based on the prices you choose.

5. Donate the leftovers.
If the sale is over and you still have leftover items, there are a few options to consider, including working with a local consignment shop or making a donation to a local charity. "As people clean out for the season, either because of downsizing, relocating or due to the loss of a loved one, we will visit their homes to guide them in placing unwanted items to the right places," says Reggie Saujauskas, owner of Objects Found. Some charities will send a truck to pick up leftovers, especially if you have a community-wide yard sale. Here are some resources for those leftover items:

Objects Found
818 Frederick Road
Catonsville, Md. 21228

Hours: Sunday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Friday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Objects Found is a great local consignment shop. The website has great details on when and how to arrange items for consignment and/or pickup, and sales prices are split 50-50. Reggie Sajauskas will provide personal service for getting the best price she can for your unwanted valuable accepted items.

Disabled American Veterans
8123 Harford Road
Baltimore Md. 21234

Hours: Mon to Sat - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Donations are gratefully accepted at Disabled American Veterans. They also provide pickup of donations. Email or call for arrangements.

Salvation Army Thrift Store
1748 Joppa Road
Baltimore Md. 21234

Hours: Mon to Sat - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Call the store to determine the best time for donation drop-off. Call the headquarters office to arrange pickup.

Anna Renault is a life-long resident of Baltimore County. After a 31 year career, Renault has re-careered into the world of journalism. She writes a weekly column for The Avenue News, her local paper. Her work can be found at

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