Did you know that the purpose of having a garage sale is to actually make money and not just an easy way to get rid of your old stuff? So many of us use it as the final phase of a move or spring cleaning session but this mindset can lead to careless planning, organizing and pricing of our once prized possessions. We also fail to realize what a cash cow a properly executed garage sale can be, especially if it’s because you’re moving and could use the extra cash. So, if you’re sick of your garage sales making barely enough to cover a pricey latte, here are some tips that will point you in the direction of cha-ching!
Price It Right
Pricing your old belongings can be hard and very subjective, especially if the items hold sentimental value. This might come off a bit harsh but your garage sale customers aren’t going to pay for your opinion of how “special” an item is – so price your items reasonably and logically. 10% of the original price is a good rule of thumb if you’re stuck but factors such as condition, age and demand are justifiable reasons to increase or decrease this percentage. The best advice in this case is to put yourself in the shoes of your customer - if you wouldn’t pay that much for a similar item, your buyers probably won’t either.
Presentation Is Key, Even If It’s Just Your Garage
We get it – your garage is where you stash odds and ends, the floor never stays clean and you pretend to not see those cobwebs dancing on the ceiling. But just like how a sparkling clean restaurant is appealing to eat at, a clean and well-organized garage sale will attract more buyers and garner more sales. Think of it like your own merchandising plan and follow grocery store protocol – place the higher quality items closer to eye level and categorize different sections to make it easier to find (clothes, books, housewares, etc.). Use card tables to stack items on without overcrowding and place price tags on EVERYTHING. It’s also helpful to list which items are non-negotiable and which ones are – this will save you time later when avoiding lengthy bargaining exchanges over your grandma’s old vase.
Create Your Own Billboards (Read – Signs)
If you’ve ever pulled into a McDonalds drive-through immediately after you saw a billboard advertising their latest sandwich, then you know the effectiveness of advertising via attention-grabbing signs. While you don’t need to rent out a billboard for a neighborhood garage sale, creating a few engaging signs and placing them around the neighborhood (tactfully and with permission of course) can significantly increase your customer traffic. Be creative – name the sale whatever you like (vintage book sale, raid my closet sale), anything you feel will make your sale stand out from every other one on the block. You can also post a fun Craigslist post – and pat yourself on the back for executing your own, makeshift marketing campaign!
It’s Supposed To Be Fun!
It really is! Incorporate your friends, play music, get yummy snacks and enjoy yourself. Garage sales are a lot of work but it can be an amazing tool, especially as an alternative to throwing stuff away. Making extra cash is always fun, even if it requires some effort to do it – so remember to appreciate the spoils of your labor. This can be a cool, bonding experience with your family and friends while raking in some major cash for yourself.