TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL GARAGE SALE

Whether you're moving or just looking for a little extra cash for the holidays, Fall is a great time to have a Garage Sale! When we lived in Florida, our gated community would hold a community Garage Sale, usually on a Saturday & Sunday in November, which also included them advertising the sale. Our last Garage Sale was two years ago - just before we moved out to Arizona. Having lived here now for coming up on two years, we've acquired a few extra things, plus we're ready to let go of some things we were holding onto since moving from Florida. I knew I wanted to have a Garage Sale at the end of October, so I started by purging the clothing closets, bringing most apparel items to a local consignment shop. What didn't consign, I held onto for the Garage Sale. After the closet cleanse, I started to go room by room - searching storage ottomans, other closets, cabinets, drawers and storage case pieces to pull together items to sell. Within two days of having our sale, we not only made almost $1000 dollars, we also got rid of items no longer fitting our lifestyle, and donated the remains of the sale to Goodwill. Here are some tips to help you ensure a successful Garage Sale...



1. STAGING AREA 
1. Designate a staging or holding area for all the items you're collecting from the house to sell. I used some extra large moving boxes in our garage to hold ours. 2. After pulling together items to sell, decide how many tables you would need to display / merchandise your items.

2. FIXTURES NEEDED 
1. If you only have one round table, borrow two banquet tables from work or a local shop for your sale. 2. If the table tops are in good condition, don't worry about covering, but if needing to be covered, sheets work great. In  FL I covered our tables, but for this sale in AZ, I utilized underneath the table to display small rugs, outdoor planters and wreaths. 3. Other display fixture options are ladders and stacking a box on top of a box. 4. A collapse rolling rack can work for apparel, or ask a local store if they have a t-stand (item rack) to borrow.

4. CATEGORIZE ASSORTMENT 
1. Group like items together: a. Holiday Decor b. Glass / Ceramic Decor  c. Dishes/Barware  d. Table Linens: Cloths | Runners | Place-mats | Napkins e.Rugs/Runners f. Window Panels  g. Pillows. (TIP: Pull together all pillows into a box and sell all at one price-point OR display color coordinated pillows with window panels and/or rugs - this can be your silent sales-person!)

5. PRE-SET FIXTURES 
1. If you have the space in your garage, pre-set tables with your categorized statements -- this way, the morning of your sale, you and your partner can just carry pre-set tables into their place (TIP: Before moving pre-set tables, remove any tall breakable items -- to avoid them tipping and breaking). 2. Ladders can be an excellent means of displaying window panel pairs with coordinated pillows. 

6. PRICING  
1. Price Point like items grouped together for a quick sale - for example: a rack of tops  can all be $3 each. Also window panels & pillow pairs can be signed as 2 for items. (TIP: Be aware of what items sell for at your local thrift store & price below for quick sale.) 3. Your local office supply store or Walmart carries Avery brand pre-priced garage sale stickers and is a worth while investment because it saves time for pricing. 4. Have a Sharpie handy to write your own prices on blank price dots - large squares of paper

7. SIGNING  
1. Although you can get really fancy with your computer and print signs --  just use good old school poster-board and markers for signs, but print half sheet flyers to post at mailboxes and leave on neighborhood doors the evening before your sale. 2. Using neon colored poster-board will ensure your signing stands out. (TIP: One poster-board can be cut into quarters to give 4 signs from one board.) 3. Use all one color neon (we used neon green). 4. Mylar / helium balloons in coordinating board color also helps people find their way to your sale. 5. Pencil in guidelines with a ruler when writing out your sign (spacing and letter size important to make it easy for people to read at a glance while driving).



Important to include on your Garage Sale sign: 
a. Event title (Garage / Yard Sale) 
b. Street Name (number not necessarily needed - when  they drive down  street, they will see your event)
c. Start and end time of your sale
d. Days & dates of sale (so people know it's a NEW sale & not a leftover sign from another sale)
e. Arrows -- Add LAST while posting signs

8. MORNING OF SALE SET 
1. Carry out pre-set tables into the driveway. 2. Set statements on an angle to left and right side of the driveway, leaving a main aisle down the center. (TIP: Having tables set on an angle will help viability from cars driving by to see what you're selling.) 3. Utilize the inside of the garage, especially the floor, to open and layout any area rugs (TIP: Vacuum rugs + fluff shag rugs with a rake!) 4. Set larger furniture pieces to the front of your sale 







FURNITURE PRESENTATION TIP: 
1. If selling chair pairs, set one forward and another as a profile so people can see lines & style from both angles at a glance. 
2. If furniture item is old and dirt cheap, add price sign. If newer and higher priced, do not sign so people will come in to your sale and ask -- You'll have a better opportunity to try to "sell" this item (or they'll see something else) if engaged in a convo). 
3. Use stacked boxes inside garage to lean & angle wall art for people to see everything at a glance vs. keeping all pictures together in one stack. 



TIP: Pick a space with good natural light to snap a few pics of your garage sale items - Share these pics in a Facebook Sneak Peek garage Sale Album - FILLED with hashtags -- also share album link on G+,  and especially share pics of sale items & event on Twitter and Instagram...


TIP: Since Craigslist has a limited amount of photos you can post, create a few image quads, again of similar merchandise you're selling (and minus the "tips"!)




TIP: If someone is coming by to pick up something they spotted from your online shares, pull a few extra goodies aside just for them -- they can result in an additional sale, and you'll know your finds are going to a good place...
 




Other Garage Sale Notes & Tips: 

1. At the end of our sale day one, we were able to easily roll up unsold rugs, bring tables inside, and bring in unsold furniture -- and pull back out easily the next morning.

2. Since many items sold off tables day one, I walked through the house to double check for any other items I could part with and sell. Some sold, and what didn't, it at least helped to replenish the tables with product.

3. Simple office file boxes work great on tables to hold loose items like table linens and makes it easy for people to file through. 

4. Open up and display pretty prints and patterns -- try to keep similar color stories together for greater impact. Table runners are good to use displayed on tables, under file box of table linens.

5. If you have any lanterns or hanging light fixtures, use the edge of the garage door opening to display them hanging. (When I had the lanterns in a box, people didn't look, but when I hung them - they sold!)

6. Be aware of any sprinklers that may go off next to your driveway -- We used to plant containers to temporarily cover two, and removed after the sale. 

7. If you have a business, have business cards handy to pass out and help promote your business or gain new customers. Also be sure to have newspaper to wrap breakable goods and a stash of bags to help them carry their garage sale score!

8. Be sure to be present, greet all customers and operate your sale with at least two people -- for safety and to help ensure all opportunities for a sale! 




After the sale: Box up unsold items, itemize for taxes, and drop off donations to your nearest thrift store -- We donated to Goodwill. After we dropped off our donations, we road around the neighborhood to collect signs, flyers and balloons from the sale.


TIP: If you have specific special finds to sell, contact local shops and share your garage sale event with friends -- You never know who may stop by to buy! After all the visits to Kim's Sweet Salvage in Phoenix, I was able to contact her and let her know of some items she may be interested in -- and she was! - from x-back chairs, to fabric, a silver tray, a fur cape and vintage opera gloves -- perfect for Sweets!


We asked each person who came to the sale, " What brought you here today?" and learned it was a combination of the flyers in the door, the signs posted on the road, and the ad we posted with pictures on Craigslist. Traditionally, we've held our Garage Sale's on Saturday & Sunday (read Merchandising a Garage Sale to Sell! and Summer Garage Sale & Tips) But here in AZ, we noticed many have them on Friday's and not Sundays. We actually had more traffic on Friday morning (from moms walking or taking their kids to school) than we did on Saturday. In all, 75% of the people who came to our Garage Sale, bought something -- mainly because of the presentation - they could easily see something they liked, and we were priced fairly.


Thanks for stopping by Kim Rawlins of Sweet Salvage!


Put these tips to the test and you too can have a successful Garage Sale -- The weather this Fall is perfect to have one -- make a few extra dollars for the holidays, clear some clutter, and even meet some of your neighbors!


Thanks for stopping by! 



 


2 comments:

  1. You are the most organized woman on the planet! I'll bet you would be incredibly successful doing estate sales like a couple of people here in Birmingham I know.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Scribbler (Ellen!) It was fun to pull together!

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Lynda

    ReplyDelete

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