How are you going with your Garage Sale?
(If you missed part I, read it here
Still motivated and got the basics done? Eager to get rid of that pile in your garage?
Here are the next possible steps:
Now that you have an idea of what and how much you have, a topic might start emerging. This helps with promoting your sale as something a bit different.
If you register you sale with “garage sale trial’ early enough, they’ll send you a participating pack – including some signage!
They also provide a platform for advertising your sale – any other time the classifieds in local papers or school newsletter can be a good idea.
Also promote to friends and family – social media, especially local facebook groups are ideal!
Putting up garage sale signs around your neighbourhood is another useful tool for advertising your sale. Again, keep it simple and to the point. Signs do not have to be elaborate or fancy. In big letters, print “GARAGE SALE”. Underneath that, print the address and time of the sale. If there is room, you can list some of the items that will be sold. Put the signs up the night before or the morning of the sale. Any longer than that and they tend to get torn down or ruined by the elements (rain, wind, etc).
Remember – please take your signs down after the sale!
If you happen to have a theme, it helps with pricing, because you can keep research down to a minimum. Have a roll of sticky labels handy and price as soon as you add to the sale pile.
For everything weird and wonderful check out the sold item button on e Bay and price at least 10% under (that’s the eBay fee you are saving)
Get back to your mission statement for the sale: If you want to make money, price accordingly but be prepared for a disappointment. If you want to engage in your community, save the planet form landfill, have a reason to minimalise your household and have fun; have that reflect in your prices!
Here are a couple of hints:
- Sit down and think of the most expensive item you might have.
- What would be the cheapest item
- What is your cheapest category – are all items in that category going to be the same(eg: books)
- Are the kids going to sell stuff, too? Into their own pocket or are you sharing the proceeds around or spent on a family ‘thing’?
- There should be something for every buyer, so have items that sell for 5 or 10 cents.
- Bundle things up, give discounts: buy 6 books get the seventh one free.
- Have a basket of adult and kids freebees
- Bag things up and sell as lucky dips
Bargaining is a big part of the tradition and excitement of garage sales. You should be willing to bargain, as almost everyone that goes to a garage sale will try to bargain with you. You are under no obligation to bargain, but it is to your advantage to do so. Remember, your goal is to sell everything. You don’t want to be carrying a bunch of stuff back into your house at the end of the sale.
Setting up on the day
Expect early birds!
The best way to set up your items is to lay most things out on tables. Don’t pile things on top of each other so that people have to move stuff around to see it. Make sure everything is clearly visible. Clothing is best displayed when it is hung up. You can string a cord up between two poles and hang the clothes from that or you can buy inexpensive clothing racks from discount stores. Clothing looks its best when it’s hanging up and it is much easier for people to browse through what you are selling.
Large items should be prominently displayed in front of the tables or on the front of your lawn or driveway. This will attract possible buyers as they drive by. It will also make it easier to move them out if they happen to sell first.
You’d clean up your house if you were trying to sell it, right? Garage sale customers are more likely to buy (and to buy at higher prices) if it looks like the merchandise came from a good home with owners that care for their things. They’re also more likely to feel comfortable stopping and browsing if your sale space is attractive and clean.
Think about free coffee and tea or lemonade for the kids! Water is a definite; it can get very hot in October.
In that spirit, if you can offer a place to sit and some shade, you might want to make that very visible for people passing by or even advertise it .
Make it easy for shoppers to test electronic items.
If someone really needs to go to the bathroom, direct them to the nearest public building, or make sure someone in your family (or you) takes the person there and waits until they get out so that you don’t end up with problems inside. You are under no obligation to let anyone into your house, even to use the restroom, but you might consider making exceptions for small children or the elderly.
Get plenty of change. Unless you’ve got a lot of change at home, chances are you’ll need to visit the bank the day before the sale to a float. Keep it in one secure place or have one person with the money tied to their body on the day.
Have extra help on hand. Always have several people at the sale – it’s important for personal security and convenience. This way you can take a bathroom break when you need one, and you can keep things in order. As your sale progresses, things will unavoidably get disheveled and disorganized (possibly even broken). If you want to sell as much as possible, you should try to keep things looking nice. Keep all books with spines showing. Keep all clothes on hangers. You might need to refold clothes or linens frequently. Keep all the brightly-colored, newest-looking things in front of your yard, and on the tops of all the piles.
Have an exit strategy
What are you going to do with the items that don’t sell? Going back to your motivation for the sale should give you some answers. You could file it all back into the house, hold a free garage sale after the sale, pack your car and drive it to a charity, dump it, sell it online… or a combination of all!