Monday, May 20, 2013

Successful Garage Sale

Last weekend we had a big garage sale. When we sold our house in town last summer and moved to the cabin, we had a whole house of extra stuff. We decided to take some time to figure out what we wanted to keep, so we stored everything in an extra semi trailer that my husband owned. This spring the businesses in our community were planning to have a citywide event, and we decided that it would be the perfect time for our garage sale. So we hauled out all the boxes and extra furniture. We sorted through it all, organized it and priced it. We made signs from plywood. And last Friday we opened for business. I had to work that day, so after helping put up signs and pull stuff outside, I went to work. I had no idea that my husband and his mom would be so busy - but they were! When I got back after work I could not believe how empty the garage looked. My husband's sister and brother-in-law brought some of their stuff to sell, so we had new items for Saturday. Here are some pictures of the sale.

This picture was taken early Friday morning before everything was set outside. The bikes were hot items - my husband says he could have sold a dozen bikes if he'd had them.

We used my husband's shop for the sale because it was in an ideal location, and because it was big and light inside.

 We tried to organize items into categories, and display them in a way that would give buyers an idea of how they could use them.

The picture wall was my idea and everyone loved it. Buyers could see the pictures easily, could imagine how they'd look on their walls, and the plywood hid things we didn't want to sell.

Here are a few tips for a good sale:

  1. Make sure you have signs that grab people's attention and give clear direction to your sale.
  2. If possible, make sure there's a lot of light inside so people can see all your treasures.
  3. Look for packs of pre-printed price tags to make pricing everything easier. I found packs of stickers that had a variety of prices on them at a dollar store.
  4. Be reasonable with your prices, but also expect people to bargain with you. My mother-in-law said that she read this about pricing:
      1. If the item is new or almost new, price it at 30% of the original price.
      2. If the item has some wear, price it at 20% of original.
      3. If the item is worn, but a rock bottom price on it, around 10%.
  5. Make sure you have enough help for the first day of the sale. My husband and mother-in-law could have used two helpers on Friday.
  6. Arrange like items together. Display home decor on the furniture you're selling.
  7.  Make sure everything is clean and in working condition. Clearly mark items that work, so people don't wonder about it.
  8. Make sure that you have items that men would want to buy, or at least be interested in looking at. They will be more likely to stay and shop longer, giving their wives time to find more treasures.
  9. Don' have too many clothes for sale - and make sure that the clothing you're selling is clean and in good condition. 
  10. Be friendly, even if people leave without buying anything.
  11. Know the prices of everything that you're selling. If it's a multi-family sale, make sure everything is marked with a price, and that there's a family member from each family on hand to answer questions and make decisions on prices.
  12. Make sure you have enough cash on hand to make change, but empty the cash box every so often so that buyers can't see how much cash you really have.
  13. Have fun with your sale!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Those are excellent tips - I wish I could have been there to help!

I love the frames hanging - did you sell most of those? That is such a great way to display them!