Saving Cents: Have a garage sale -- everybody's doing it

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by By Sherry Williams / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 9 at 3:12 PM

HOUSTON -- Residents all over the Houston area are having garage sales in record numbers, according to Greensheet, which reports garage sale ads have increased 50 to 75 percent.

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A garage or yard sale is one of the quickest ways to turn your clutter into cash. Your trash really is someone else's treasure. But you have to be smart in your approach.

Kay Mize, Greensheet's classified manager, said you want to pick a good date - always a Saturday -- and you want to have a back-up date in case it rains.

Next, Mize said, make good signs. Placards that are light-colored with big dark letters work best. She advises placing them at the busiest intersection nearest your home.

It wouldn't hurt to have bright helium balloons attached to them to attract more attention, Mize said.

She also suggested having a series of signs leading from the busy intersection to your home. Just make sure all the signs look the same so it's clear to interested parties that the signs are directing them to your garage sale.

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Put a price on every single item you place out for sale, but be flexible on what you will accept, Mize said.

And you need to be realistic in your asking price. An item might have heightened value to you for sentimental reasons, but the buyer won't care about the sentimental value, Mize said.

The prime time for garage/yard sales is Saturday morning at 7 a.m., Mize said.

"Usually the beginning of the month and the middle of the month are when people have more discretionary income," she said.

The best -selling items are tools and toys, Mize said. The worst is clothing.

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