Are you moving, downsizing or just overwhelmed with clutter? Clean up both literally and figuratively by making some cash and throwing an epic garage sale.
If you're serious about profiting from your stuff and you're keen to throw the best garage sale you can, here's how to do it.
1. Planning ahead of time.
This is the key to a successful garage sale, especially in terms of attracting buyers. Picking a date and hitting up your neighbours, friends and family to encourage them to either contribute some items to your sale or have a browse on the day will ensure your garage sale reaches that epic scale. Get an idea of what they want to sell and make sure you hustle them to be part of it. Once you have the date set in stone and some images of your key items for sale, it's time to really get the message out there. Advertising your garage sale as best as possible and ahead of time is essential!
2. Think about your ideal customer.
Coordinate a mini-campaign around them. Are you selling a bunch of electronics, fabrics, baby toys, books or records? Mention this in the advertisement. Do you have an array of art? Make sure your posters are eye-catching so people know your garage sale has some desirable items.
3. Advertise in print and online.
Book your listing online in Buy Search Sell's dedicated Garage Sale category. This is where people go looking for garage sales in their area. This gives you an opportunity to detail your merchandise and provide hooks to reel people in. The point is to get the right "type" of person to take an interest. Garage sale-aficionados will come regardless of what you have; you need to focus on getting the people who actually want the stuff in your garage.
4. Put posters up.
Place posters on poles on the main roads in your suburb, at community centres, and in local shops. Basically, anywhere you possibly can. If you're near a university, put up signs there. When you're making signs, make sure you affix them securely so they don't blow away. Include your address, date and times for maximum effect.
5. Provide snacks.
Food is a great draw card and can draw pretty much anyone to anything! While some people are totally fine with taking home-made food from strangers, you're probably better off just offering an ice block for the kids if it's a hot day, some drinks and a few wrapped lollies.
6. Include all the details.
Finally, make sure to include your full address, time of the sale, and the date. Weekends are the best days for garage sales, since you're more likely to get people who work regular jobs. Give the sale a few days to seep in; if you're holding a garage sale this Saturday, put up posters on Tuesday or Wednesday to give people time to plan their attendance.
7. Channel your inner merchandiser and display your items thoughtfully.
Set up all your items exactly as you would find them in a store, or as best as you can. Group similar items together and keep completely different items apart. If you're off-loading your media collection after going digital, put all your books, games and movies together on a table. For smaller items and if you have a lot of them, group them on tables or in boxes. This will help you to price items without fiddling around with too many stickers. Having a code and coloured sticky dots can also help; i.e. yellow = 50 cents, red = $1, blue = $5 and green = $10. Show off your best merchandise and ensure you make them visible. If you have an awesome piece of furniture, put it in the most prominent spot.
Situate your items thoughtfully so that people can sort through them. If you have hundreds of DVDs, make sure they're arranged in a way people can find them, such as having the labels facing up. If you have a lot of clothes to sell, place clothes on hangers and have little dressing rooms set up. If you're selling electronics, set up a testing area for everything and run an extension cord from the house if needed, place all the electronics together, and let people test them out on their own.
Make your garage sale an appealing shopping experience for your customers. Make sure your stuff is easy to view by displaying all your sale items in a way that makes sense and looks good. Like us, some people love the idea of scavenging through endless piles of junk, but most people would rather pop in, gauge their interest quickly, and decide if it's worth their time.
8. Be prepared for hagglers and early risers.
It's fair to say you won't make a fortune from your garage sale and people will haggle you down. Relentlessly. Be prepared for this and provide counter offers such as suggesting they can have two for the price of one. It can get pretty silly at times, but the more flexible you are the better chance you have of selling all your stuff. Having plenty of staff (family and friends) to help with the haggling can help! They may even want to sell their stuff too!
During the week, set up a cash float with small value notes and coins for change. Make sure you get this sorted before the weekend as there aren't many banks open at 5am on a Saturday. Speaking of early risers, be prepared for the first of the garage trail blazers to be knocking at your door early! If you publish your address, they can arrive from 5am, so best be prepared!
9. Have Fun!
Pump up the music, get some chairs and settle in for the period of the garage sale. Often times, the morning will be super busy and then all of a sudden, the rush will die down and you're left with random items and not as many customers. It's important to try and offload as much as you can in the beginning, as this will save you at the end with the ultimate decision to make - do you give it away, take it with you, donate or dump?