Saturday, May 8, 2010

1/3 of The Way to My Goal...and Some Garage Sale Tips

We had a garage sale today and raked in $560! I am one third of the way to my goal! Yeah!
Here's how we run our garage sales:
  • A few years ago we made up some fairly big, neon green signs that simply say "Yard Sale' with an arrow. We put ten of these signs around our neighborhood to drive traffic from the main roads and many people who show up comment on the nice bright signs that they followed to our house.

  • I put an advertisement on CraigsList yesterday evening so it would show up high enough on the list that people who are looking last night would see the ad and people who check the site in the morning will also see it.

  • We start early. Our usual time to open up our sale is 7am and surprisingly there are usually people waiting earlier than that for us to set up. Amazing. We also close early (around 3pm) because we know from prior sales that traffic drops off dramatically later in the day.

  • We only hold the sale on Saturday only. Again, from past experience, the biggest crowd of shoppers shows up early on Saturday morning. Sundays are usually really slow and not worth our time.

  • We don't do a lot of pre-pricing but rather set up tables with signs "all items on this table $1", etc. There is nothing more tedious than pricing every little item. Of course the bigger and more expensive things get their own big tag (usually made out of neon index cards).

  • We put the "big draw" items in the center of the driveway then place tables around it. This helps people who are "drive by shoppers" see things that may catch their eye and make them stop.

  • We are always open to making a deal. Yes I want to make some money from our sale but the other main reason we have garage sales is to get rid of stuff. It's not a bad thing to knock off a dollar or so and/or give a discount when people buy a handful of things. We will happily haggle with buyers but draw the line at super low ball offers.

  • One person is in charge of the's less confusing that way.

  • We try to make the things we set out for the sale look as nice as possible, even if it means just dusting the item off.

  • We have a "free" box. Some stuff I just want to get rid of but don't think anyone will buy so we give some stuff away free.

Overall we had a pretty successful sale and cleared out a big part of our garage. The most surprising thing that happened was when a big bus pulled up and let off a bunch of people to shop--turns out the local senior home makes a regular Saturday "garage sale" run for its residents. Wow.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the successful garage sale. And those tips are good tips I will have to remember that when we are ready to do our garage sale. Good luck getting the next 2/3rds I am sure you'll figure it out.