How to have a successful moving sale

The eMove Moving Places column

It’s a time-honoured tradition — drag out those knick knacks that have been lying under the sofa, in the back of closets, and stashed behind that rusting swing set in the toolshed, and try to flog them on the street for a few bucks and some grateful handshakes. The great Aussie moving sale (much like the great Aussie barbeque) has a certain uniqueness about it, a ritual of sorts that involves a steady supply of beer, a few sandwiches, and the fortitude to sit for hours at a time.

For most people, a moving sale is a quick afterthought. But it needn’t be that way. A few simple steps can turn your sale into a financial windfall.

Important steps before your moving sale.

Firstly, be picky about what to get rid of. Moving is a great excuse to reduce all that clutter, so be ruthless! Anything you sell now will save you money in the long run — through lower shipping costs and removalist’s time.

So dig through your possessions for items you rarely use or want to upgrade anyway. And don’t chuck them in the bin! What may seem like trash to you could be someone else’s treasure.

Compile a master list.

Compile a master list as you go. To get a good sense of pricing, visit secondhand shops. But if you’re still unsure, Google it, then set the final figure below the price that comes up. Moving sales are meant to be full of bargains, even if it means parting with those beloved Ram golf clubs for well under market value.

Decide where you’ll have your sale, and then check with your local council to make sure it’s permitted. Friday evenings and Saturdays are good days to hold it, but have a backup day in case of rain.

Spread the word.

Email your friends and ask them to spread the word, including a truncated list of items for sale with the message. If you have lots to shift, do a flyer drop in your neighbourhood and place a small ad in your community paper, listing a contact number in case people can’t find it. Then, on the day of the sale, attract motorists in high-traffic spots by placing easy to read signs with a street address and an arrow pointing the way.

Plan ahead.

Make sure you have a cash box or money pouch, plenty of change, some markers and labels, a calculator, several large sheets of plastic to cover everything in case of an unscheduled downpour, and a radio for company.

And that’s that!

There is one related benefit of holding a successful moving sale: you should now have enough money in the coffers to buy that wide-screen TV set you’ve always wanted. And to restock the fridge at the other end.

By Zolton Zavos