Confession: I like me some garage sales. Not other people’s. My own. For some people it’s parties, for me it’s hosting a garage sale. Once a year, my husband looks on in amazement as I clean out our house and find tons of stuff to sell. (And we’re not people that hang on to things.) So today, I’m about to get my garage sale on once again (in the Midwest ‘burbs, Thursdays and Fridays are almost more popular than the weekend). But before I do, let me share some tips on how to have (what I consider to be) a successful sale.
1. Advertise. Spend the $25-$35 to place an ad in your local paper. (Most local papers also include your ad online.)Hard core garage sailers read these. And if you want to move your merchandise, make sure you mention in your ad your big ticket items. Electronics. Furniture. Baby Gear.
2. Put up signs. And make sure they are easy to read and include important information. Where? What day? What time does it begin and what time does it end? What are you selling?
3. Merchandise. Don’t just throw your stuff on the ground and call it a day. Hang your clothes so people can easily look through them. Put like items together. Make “bargain” bins. For example, everything in x box = .50. Put your “man items” toward the street. If you have any power tools, lawn mowers, BBQ’s, etc… make it easy for dudes to see it as they’re driving by.
4. Don’t overprice. It’s a garage sale so act like it! Garage sales=garage sale prices. If you want to make more money on something, sell it on Ebay or Craigslist. It’s more work but it will yield you more money.
5. Involve the neighborhood. If you can call something a “multi-family” sale, you’ll get a bigger turn out. Convince Bob across the street to go through his garage and pull out some stuff. The more houses involved, the more traffic you’ll get.
6. Be willing to negotiate. If you’re not willing to budge on the price, you probably won’t make the sale. Hint: Mark something up a couple of dollars when you price your items. Then when Susie Q. Garage Sailer comes by and wants to talk you down on the price, you’ll be one step ahead of her.
7. Be a salesperson. Don’t just sit behind a table and read a book. Tell Susie Q. why her son would really like the pair of roller blades she’s eying. Sometimes just making conversation with your potential customer will get you the sale.
I’ll let you know how my sale goes! Wish me luck!