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Life is beautiful whether you're soaking in sunshine or caught in a thunderstorm. I take the beauty of life for granted too often. I have a supportive husband who I don't want to live life without, a beautiful son who is always reminding me of the simple things that really matter, and an independent daughter who is teaching me to throw schedules out the window and live in the moment. My day is made when free samples fill my mailbox. I love discovering a new product and sharing it with others. I hope you will enjoy reading my posts and will share your stories with me as well.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tips for Having a Successful Garage Sale

I love Garage Sales!  One of my favorite things about Spring is knowing that garage sale season is ready to start.  I love going to the garage sales and I love having my own garage sale.  Here are some tips that I've learned on how to have a successful garage sale:

Location, Location, Location - This is a big one.  To get the amount of traffic needed for a successful garage sale, you must have a great location for it.  If you live way out in the country, you might not get the traffic that you were expecting.  A lot of people don't want to drive (especially with the gas prices the way they are) too far just for a garage sale.  Find another location to have your garage sale at.  It could be at a friend's house, vacant parking lot on a busy road, or renting a booth at a local Flea Market.  We've always been very fortunate that we've lived in a central location so our garage sales have always received a good amount of traffic.  Because we have such a great location, we invite our friends and family to bring their items to sell at the garage sale.  Multi-family garage sales are even more fun because there is a larger variety of items for your customers to choose from and it's fun to sit and talk with your family and friends while waiting for customers to make their purchases.

Proper Signage - There's nothing worse than seeing one sign for a  garage sale but getting lost trying to find that garage sale.  If I'm looking for a garage sale and proper signing is not posted, I will turn around and head to another garage sale.  It's not worth my time or gas trying to "hunt" down that one garage sale.  Proper signage would be a bright neon-colored poster signs.  Make the lettering in bold, black words that is easy for a driver to read.  Only write the important information on the sign such as Garage Sale, Date, Times,  and Street Address and an arrow pointing to where they need to go.  There's no reason to distract that important information with other wording, descriptions of the items you are selling, etc.   You will need more than one sign.  A lot of people won't be familiar with your street or subdivision to just go off of the address you wrote on the sign.  You need a sign at each turn they will make and if they are driving straight for more than 1/2 mile, put another sign with an arrow going straight, so your customer won't get discouraged about not finding your garage sale right away.  Attaching a balloon to your sign is also another easy way to make your sign stand out.

Pricing/Tagging - another frustrating thing about garage sales is not finding any price tags on the items.  This can also be frustrating to the seller because you constantly have your customers coming up to you asking what price you want for an item.  Make sure all your items are properly tagged.  Make sure your items are reasonably priced.  People who go to garage sales are looking for a deal.  They are not going to be paying high price dollar for a little trinket or used clothing.   Isn't it better to sell your items rather than box them up and take them to Goodwill?  The more you sell, the less you have to pack up.  If you have lots of clothing to sell, sometimes it's easier to offer a $5 bag sale.  Tell your customers to pack a bag as much as they can and they can have it for $5.  You'll quickly see that huge pile of clothes disappear.

Items need to cleaned and working properly - If you really want your items to sell, make sure they are cleaned.  It's gross to pick up items that are layered inches in dust and grime.  All electronics need to be working properly.  Have extra batteries and an electric socket available so customers can test your electronics.  This goes for all children's toys too.  I won't buy a toy not knowing if it works or not.  I don't know the seller so how do I know if he/she is telling me the truth when they say "it just needs batteries"?  They might just be trying to make an easy sale and I'll get stuck with a toy that doesn't work.

Easy way to make a little extra dough - offer sodas, bottled water, lemonade, etc.  Stock up on sodas when they go on sale at the grocery store.  Load them up in an ice cooler and offer them for 50 cents a can.  If you have children, let them sell the drinks.  This is a great way for them to make a little extra cash and learn to be a salesperson.

Do you have any other suggestions for having a successful garage sale?  Do you have any frustrations or complaints when going to a garage sale?  I'd love to hear them!

1 comment:

  1. Great advice! The most time consuming part of the garage sale is the prep work and pricing the items, but it will pay off the day of the sale. You are so right, signage and pricing are huge factors on the success of the garage sale!

    Having your kids go through their toys and stuff to sell makes it a teachable time as well. You may see a little entrepreneur in the making during the garage sale process. Our rule is if you are selling something you must be present to collect the money, otherwise, they are off playing and you are doing all the work. We have the girls put out their own jars to put their money into. It is neat watching them and seeing them interact with a variety of people in a short period of time.

    We have found that selling drinks especially on a hot day usually is a hit too.