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Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to have a successful garage sale

 The first key to a successful garage sale is to decide before you start if you are in it to:
A.) purging stuff from your  house
 B.) to make money.

 You can find a middle ground, but if you ONLY want to make money you will be less likely to accept low ball offers.   This is fine as long as you are willing to have a couple of garage sales to get rid of things. Purging  sellers accept all offers, while people in it for only money can find other avenues, like selling online, to sell their items. If you are in it to get rid of things and have the mentality of driving to goodwill with whatever doesn't sell, you will be more likely to accept low offers and price things to sell on the first day.

 1.Simple sign with Sale Today and address the night before on Main streets as far as 5 blocks away , then neon arrows with "sale" at every street leading to your street. Listing everything you have for sale with be confusing to people driving by quickly. If you have big or unique items, like power tools or furniture, you can write that on there.

2. Adds on Craigslist every day leading up to your sale (provide list of main items with pic(s) of your biggest items)

3. Advertise using your social media- list the main things you have, like boys clothes/tools, etc and post lots of pictures the week before and throughout the day of the sale.

 4. Get a Fishing box to organize your money and make sure you have enough change. You can get rolls from bank or just raid your change jar. But make sure you have at least two tens, 5 $5, and lots of $1s, and lots of quarters. Count your bank and write it down so at the end of the day you know what you made on TOP of the bank. Guard this with your life, never let it out of your sight or hands.  I found keeping it under my chair then carrying it with me when I get up is best.

5.  Don't do inside garage, but most of it in yard and farther away from where you are sitting because people  more often than won't linger near you or in  a garage. I have no idea but I have learned this the hard way several times.  Not sure why but it never fails that I sell less inside my garage.

6. Easy access for all items. Try to have tables, but if not possible then lay out items on tarps and blankets so they don't have to be touched to decide if they want to buy.  Many garage sale shoppers are trying to hit lots of sales and will be quick to dismiss your sale if they don't see what they want laid out for them. Clothes go on higher tables so no one has to lean, and adult/nice shirts can hang on ladder for better access. 

7.  Sell with friends!!!  A multifamily sells/attracts more because you have different options for shoppers.  I have only boys so I partnered recently with a friend with girls.  Have ONE bank and a list with columns and everyone initials.  Everyone marks their stuff with their initials. I don't keep tags because it takes too much space, I just write down every thing as people buy it. This also makes your day more fun and you will stay open longer and sell more.

8. Don't hover. Shoppers don't like the seller looking over their shoulder. Say hello when people approach and let them know you accept offers, but then let them shop alone.

9. Keep it simple with pricing- Example: All Kids shirts 25 cents. All kids pants-50 cents adult shirts $2, Sweater $2, etc. It is easier for counting up at end and people are more apt to buy a lot if they don't have to keep track of how much they are spending

10. Be open to offers & Don't take low ball offers personally.  If someone give you low-ball offer, they are not trying to insult you they are just trying to get a good price (this is a hard lesson for me).  You may see a toy as memories with your sweet baby, but to them it is just a piece of plastic from fisher price. Give a reasonable counter offer. If they don't accept, TAKE their original OFFER (to me a little money in my pocket now is better than a tiny tax deduction later from goodwill).

11  Price stuff to sell because not everyone bargains...they just move on.. This is hard for me because we think if someone wants something they will bargain, but I have found most people won't make an offer if they think it's too high and move one because they don't think you will take a lower price. Don't think too much what you paid for it new, think about what someone will buy it used.

12.  Be clear. Write condition  and issue on electronics.  Some garage sales ask, but many are shy and afraid of being lied to about electronics.

13.  Make sure everything works. Put new batteries in and have electric outlet near to prove electronics works.

Have fun and hope your sale goes well!!!

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