Have you ever tried holding a garage sale and things didn't quite turn out the way you wanted? You're not alone. It does happen, and you can do better next time.
To optimize your garage sale, handle it like a business. Plan well and put the right marketing strategies in place to skyrocket your sales. Here are ten pointers to level up your next garage sale.
What's the goal of your garage sale? Is it to do away with excess clutter, add to your savings, or generate income to fund your next vacation? Knowing why you put up the sale in the first place is vital to helping you stay motivated from start to finish.
The charm of garage sales lies in its "anything goes" spirit. You can sell anything that isn't so pricey that it would be better placed in an estate sale. In direct contrast to department stores, the old and used items are what attract people to garage sales.
But that doesn't mean that the goods are to be dumped willy-nilly on a large table or box. Do what supermarkets do: group your merchandise according to categories to catch the attention of your potential customers.
Know the price of your merchandise even before you put them on display. You don't want to be wasting your time in the middle of the sale, still contemplating how much you should charge for an item.
To determine the price of your merchandise, give yourself several days for the exercise. The best way to go about this is to price the items as you gather them.
People love bargain hunting. Given that you will be selling to your neighbors and people who may be close to you, leave space for bargains when determining the price of your goods.
On the question of whether or not to hang price tags on your items, some would suggest that it's better not to. The price of a garage sale item varies depending on how valuable it is to a customer.
If you do decide to set a fixed price on each item in your merchandise, consider using stickers instead of price tags. Using price tags means that you will need to write down the price of every item to be sold. The better alternative is placing colored stickers on the items for sale and displaying a poster indicating the price associated with each color. Buyers can then easily refer to the poster during price inquiry.
To optimize your garage sale, you have to advertise strategically. Consider using up to ten public signs. Make them conspicuous by using visible poster boards and markers. Write your alerts in big letters, identifying the items you will be selling, i.e., "Clothes! TVs!"
In all the ads you create, remember to indicate the schedule of the sale (date and time).
Reach out to your target audience -neighbors and friends - in person and let them know you're coming up with a garage sale.
You also want to do online ads a day or two before the date of the sale and keep them until the last day. Create online ads that give as many details on what items you will be selling. Consider using some of these free online sites: Facebook, Instagram, YardSales.net, GarageSaleFinder.com, and Craigslist.
Let neighbors and friends know in advance what you will be selling. This strategy allows them to slot in an early bid for items they could be interested in. They can then book these items early and pick them up at their convenience before or after the actual date of the garage sale.
Announcing your sale to them ahead of time gives prospective customers the feeling that they are getting a deal by early purchase. This option also allows you to already start earning ahead of the garage sale itself.
Another way to optimize your garage sale would be to discover your customers' needs and wants. As they browse through your merchandise, use your observation skills to show them the items they will likely be interested in. Then finalize the deal with a freebie.
For example, if your neighbor is shopping for baby clothes, you could include a free stuffed toy with the purchase.
Arouse curiosity about what's happening in your yard. You want to create a spectacle that will attract your neighbors and friends with ease. Use banners, big signs, or multi-colored flags on trees to point the way to the sale and pull in a crowd.
Dusty items aren't attractive and will lower sales. Cleaning the merchandise and giving them that extra sheen will show that these “old” things have once been valued and loved. Wipe the dust off your merchandise the night or the morning before the garage sale.
Handling an entire garage sale alone for a whole day is a bad idea. Chances are, you will be weighed down by a rush of people claiming your attention simultaneously. Engage the help of a neighbor, family member, or friend.
If you pay attention to the above tips, optimizing your garage sale should be a no-brainer. Whether looking for cash to sort bills out or to fund your vacation, a garage sale – with supportive neighbors and friends as part of your customer base – can help you achieve your goals.