Having a garage sale is a great way to generate some extra spending money while you clean out your house, garage, attic and other storage spaces. There are a few things you can do to ensure that your garage sale is successful, both in generating cash as well as freeing up much needed space. Here is a list of things you can do to generate buzz and have a great sale.
1. Get organized
Many people underestimate the amount of time and effort it takes to set up a garage sale. This results in just throwing things this way and that and doesn’t give shoppers the opportunity to really see all that you have to sell. While most garage sale die-hards know that you often have to dig for a diamond in the rough, most casual visitors won’t even stop if it doesn’t look like you care enough about the stuff that you are selling to set up a few tables and put your clothes on a rack. Take a few extra minutes to ensure that you have enough tables and racks to be able to organize and display your wares in an attractive manner.
Many people are of the opinion that it is important to price the items you have in your sale. I, however, believe in the power of negotiation. I purposely refrain from affixing any price tags to my sale items, allowing people to open the door of communication and ask. This is the first step in creating a relationship, which will ultimately result in a sale if you play your cards right. Of course, this method of selling requires quite a bit of interaction with your customers, but I personally feel as though this is the most successful method for selling at a garage sale.
I think it’s important to mention here that it really doesn’t matter what you paid for an item or what you think it should be worth. An item’s value is defined by the amount someone is willing to pay for it. Period. People that come to garage sales are looking for a bargain. If you price your items too high or are inflexible in your negotiations, you will wind up with a lot of things that simply don’t sell. Your pricing strategy, whether you choose to mark your items or leave things open, will ultimately decide the success or failure of your sale.
Your garage sale won’t be successful if people don’t know you are having one. And yes, I still put up signs around the neighborhood. I also advertise on Craigslist, Facebook and Twitter. Each of these methods is free and reaches way more people than traditional sign advertising. Using social media also allows your friends to spread the word as well, giving you the opportunity to reach hundreds of people you might not have been able to otherwise.
4. Offer other items for sale
Do you sew? Bake? Craft? If so, your garage sale is a great opportunity for your to hawk your wares alongside the stuff you need to get rid of. You can set up a separate table for these items or offer them alongside your other sale items, but be careful to find a way to denote that these items are different from the rest of your inventory as you may be less likely to negotiate price on these items. Another strategy that has worked well for me, especially in the hotter months of summer is to offer bottled water for sale at a slightly marked up price. Selling water allows me to diversify my income from my sale and gives me yet another opportunity to create a relationship with my customers and keep them on my property longer, giving them more time to look around and find something they want.
5. Partner up with someone else
Partnering up with someone else gives you the opportunity to create a larger offering, which will attract more people. The larger and more diverse you can make your sale, the more people you will attract and the more likely you will be to sell your items.
Have you got any other hot tips for garage sale success? Let us know in the comments below.