Words of Advice from a Garage Sale Enthusiast

Because it is always great to get rid of the old and make way for the new!

For those of you who have been wanting to get rid of unnecessary clutter inside your house for months, choose to #Wellnessize your life this summer by getting rid of the old to make way for the new! Set up a garage sale with your family or friends to make extra space at home and extra cash in your wallet.

It helps to learn from somebody else’s experience to know how to increase your chances of success. We sat down with Melissa “Isay” Roque, a garage sale enthusiast, and got heaps of practical advice on how to manage a successful garage or online sale.

NWC: Let’s just talk about garage sales in general. Why do you do it? What's in it for you, Isay?
Isay: Spring cleaning! I value my mobility, and I value my space at home. When I notice that I’m starting to acquire stuff, I get rid of what I don’t use. I have a personal rule that, outside of bulky furniture and appliances, all my belongings should fit two balikbayan boxes at any given time. So, in case I want to move, it will be easy for me to do so. It’s nice to make money, too, of course.

NWC: Do you hold garage sales often?
Isay: Not really, but every time I buy something new, I get rid of the old one by selling or giving it away.

NWC: So, you sell both online and on-ground, correct?
Isay: I do both, yes, but I sell online more frequently only because it’s much more convenient for working people like me.

NWC: Makes sense. Before you set up a garage sale, what kind of preparations do you normally do? What is your advertising strategy?
Isay: We usually announce it on our social media accounts. In our posts, we make sure we include the items people can expect to find like clothes, shoes, bags, books, and home items. A week prior is enough time to spread the word.
But the bigger preparation is mental and emotional—preparing yourself to part with the items you’re selling. It can be a tug of war sometimes, depending on the items, especially for those with ascribed sentimental value. You have to be firm in your decision to part with them because they no longer serve a practical purpose in your life, and you have to trust that it will enrich someone else’s life.

NWC: That’s tough but once you’ve overcome that, how do you then decide which items to sell in the yard and which ones to sell online?
Isay: For me, I don’t sell clothes online because sizing can be tricky. Unlike gadgets and house stuff where you can describe the item in a clear and straightforward way, clothes have to be described in such a way that will help potential buyers to imagine what it would look like on them. To spare myself the trouble, I just don’t sell clothes online. Books are best sold online. It’s easier, and as a bookworm, it’s also very comforting to know that someone will be looking after them.

NWC: Good point. We realize now that firm decision-making is involved in all this, which brings us to our next question. How do you decide on the pricing?
Isay: If I remember how much I bought the item for, I usually just price it at half. It can go higher or lower depending on the condition of the item. Overpricing the items is a big no-no. You don’t want to be the overbearing sales person. Prices are the same online and offline, but I usually ask online buyers to either pick up the items from my house or pay for shipping.

NWC: Now, online selling has been around quite some time but some people are still skeptical about it. What are the things they should watch out for in online selling?
Isay: For online selling, I’m very wary of lowball offers, which are common on social media and some e-commerce sites. I just stay firm and tell them straight up that I’m not rushing to sell so I won’t consider their offer. In my experience, it’s easier to sell to friends. They don’t haggle because they understand the value of what you’re selling.

NWC: It’s been great, Isay. Just one last question before we wrap up. How long do you think a yard sale should last?
Isay: It can be challenging to man a garage sale. One to two weekends max, unless you change locations.

Garage sales may be a weekend of hard work. Make sure you #Wellnessize yourself to get the energy you need to be a successful entrepreneur. To Wellnessize is to take small steps to wellness, such as getting enough sleep the night before holding a garage sale and hydrating during your sale day! Happy selling!