How to throw a killer garage sale
Sunday, 3 January 2016
The start of the New Year is a good time to rid your home of clutter and make some extra cash to boost your savings. And a great garage sale is the perfect way to do it. Here are some tips to get you started.
Make it fun – get some help!
Don’t try to do it all yourself. Involve your family, neighbours and friends – not only to give you a hand on the day, but to make it a fun and social event at the same time. Family will be rewarded for their assistance with the money you make from the garage sale, and neighbours and friends can be paid in full for their service with snacks, beverages and IOUs to return the favour someday.
Good advertising is the key to your success. How can you expect people to show up if they don’t know about it?
Make sure your advertisements contain clear information about when and where the sale is (date, time and location), but also try and target your audience. Will your sale be mostly toys? Artwork? Household appliances? Include information about what type of things you’re selling to draw people there, but also to deter those who wouldn’t be interested in buying anyway.
In terms of placement, stick with the traditional posters on roads, as a lot of your garage sale traffic will come from spur-of-the-moment passers-by. Put the signs on main roads, (as well as your own street) with clear directions about how to get there. Make sure you check with your local council or homeowner’s association if there are any restrictions on placing signage. But don’t just stick to signs. Use social media and word of mouth to promote your garage sale. Social media is a great way to reach a lot of people – share photos of some of the items you’re selling and start conversations with people about the garage sale prior to the event.
It’s all about presentation
It will be a turn-off for potential buyers if you just heap all of your items for sale together, with customers needing to sort through themselves. Try and space it all out, and group together by the type of item. This will not only look more appealing, but will allow for easy browsing. You don’t need to spend ages cleaning items for sale, but make sure their free of dust and looking their best.
Price to sell
Don’t be unrealistic with your prices – you don’t want a heap of unsold items at the end of the day. A good rule of thumb is to start off with a price which is half or a third of the original price, if the item is still in good condition. To avoid having to answer a million questions about costs on the day, set all your prices the night before by writing them in permanent marker on masking tape, and sticking on individual items in clear positions. Group together items which have the same sale price so that they don’t have to be individually marked. For bigger items, create larger price signs which won’t be missed. Be flexible and prepare to haggle – it’s part of the fun.
Make sure you have lots of change on hand, and keep it in a safe place on the day. If you’re tech savvy, look into alternative payment methods such as PayPal or credit card payments which can sometimes be made through an app on a smart phone or tablet.
Post sale hangover
You can re-advertise bigger items which didn’t sell on the day on online buy-sell communities, such as Gumtree, eBay or Facebook groups. Try not to re-invite the unsold items back into your home… you did want to get rid of them for a reason! Instead, donate to family, friends or charity if you can’t sell them elsewhere.
For a comprehensive checklist for the garage sale process, check out eGarageSales.