Garage sales are handled like rummage sales, tag sales, and yard sales. The title pretty much depends upon the locale. Although garage sale suggests that the sale is held within a garage or includes items from a garage, oftentimes the sale spills out of the garage and onto a yard or driveway. A successful sale of any type has common tips and rules of engagement.
1. When To Hold A Garage Sale.
a. In southern parts of the country, the time of the year to hold a garage sale is not as constrained as in our northern climates where ice and snow limit the months to late Spring, Summer, and early Fall.
b. Sales are usually held on weekends, preferably not long, holiday weekends since many people schedule vacations and are out of town.
c. Special citywide events are a 50/50 chance to increase your traffic since although they can bring more people to town such as a marathon, it doesn’t necessarily mean more bargain hunters. Contrary, it may have an adverse impact if your sale location is near the event and parking is at a premium. You would be better off to have a stand and sell bottled water or canned soda pop!
2. Community Garage Sale v. Going It Alone. The advantages of a neighborhood or community garage sale are numerous. They draw in more bargain hunters to the event, more sellers exponentially means more customers. Events open up lines of communication with your neighbors, and because of their very nature, take on a more friendly, carnival atmosphere. Also, costs such as advertising are less since they are shared by the sellers. The downside is that they require more work initially to contact everyone and to set a date.
If you have no experience on holding a garage sale plan on getting up early a few weekends before your planned event and check out other garage sales. Be sure to take a good look at the layout, traffic pattern, signage, and prices. Doing some homework will pay off in the long run, and you may find a bargain or two in the process!
3. Advertising. Placing ads for garage sale follows the same rules as for other sales (Check Estate Sales Category ). Any ad should answer the questions (1) What, (2) Where, (3) When with the addition of a (d) Rain Date. Be sure to use words like Mega Sale, Multi-Family Sale (if that is the case), or special interest items like antiques, collectibles, tools, etc.
Make the signs noticeable and waterproof, especially if you think this will be an annual event much like spring cleaning, then invest in more permanent signage. MDM once saw a huge cut-out figure of Tony the Tiger holding a sign which could be changed from year to year.
4. Pricing. Unlike estate sales, garage and yard sale prices must be cheap. Remember you want to get rid of these items and to do that you must keep the prices really low. MDM knows of a person who walks away from a sale if items are priced higher than 25 cents! Now that is a little extreme, but remember in today’s market when items can be bought new at a store on markdown at savings of 15%-90% of retail, unless they are valuable antiques or collectibles, you should price accordingly. Don’t be afraid to put odds and ends into lots and sell it for one low price. By shopping other garage and yard sales, you can ascertain what the market will bear in your locale.
5. Spice Up Your Sale With Incentives. A "FREE" Box , a "Two Fer" Sale: buy one and get a second one for a penney (good for kids clothes, misc. shoes, jewelry, and books), and Second Day Half Price are sale gimmicks that can make your garage sale more successful. Even ads that state Welcome Early Birds! can make the difference, By varying the time of the sale by an hour from your competitors, you can jumpstart your sale.
Remember everyone loves a garage sale no matter what their social status is and it’s a perfect way to meet your neighbors and have some fun. Plus think of all the money you will earn to spend on some new "stuff!"