This coming Saturday is National Garage Sale Day and while summer may be winding down, garage sale weekends are hotter than ever! Unless you’ve already committed to a life of minimalism, chances are you have some items gathering dust that you could turn into extra cash. Be honest, are you really going to play that old Monopoly board game when Pokemon Go is out?
Many people miss out on this easy summer money-maker by convincing themselves it’s too much work for only a small payout. But with these tips and a little motivation, we bet you can turn clutter into cash and maybe even help supplement one last summer vacation!
Via The Magic Brush
1. Get the word out! That neon sign with Sharpie bubble letters only goes so far to promote your sale. Take advantage of the best advertising tool: the Internet. Websites like Craigslist and YardSales.net are great resources for sellers and shoppers to connect. Like extreme couponing, there are people who make a habit out of hitting up as many garage sales as they can during the summer; be sure they’re able to find yours! Facebook and Twitter are also great free resources for advertising and allow your friends to share the information, too.
2. Create incentives. Successful retail stores know they have to give customers extra pushes to shop there. Be your own “store” by providing your shoppers with great deals and a nice environment. Take the old card table up a notch with a colorful tablecloth, create a “bundle deal” for DVDs, books and magazines, and play some music to make shoppers feel welcome. Do you have kids? Help them set up a lemonade stand to shamelessly influence shoppers with adorableness. Whatever perks you decide to implement, include them in your advertising to entice people to visit.
3. Showcase items. A clever strategy for selling is to remove the “junky” garage sales stigma and showcase a few exceptionally cool items that people might want. Items that sell include jewelry, electronics and furniture as well as helpful or fun products for kids like strollers or backyard toys. Post “sneak peaks” of items that will be available on Facebook or list items that are noteworthy on your signs so people have an idea of the cool stuff they might find.
4. Plan Your Hours of Operation. Don’t waste your weekend! One of the biggest turn-offs about garage sales is the idea that you have to spend all day sitting out. Time your sale with the amount of items you have. If you only have a small stock, you may only need to be open for two to three hours. A good tip is to plan your sale for early in the morning when shoppers come out. This way you can get a jump on the other sales going on, and still have the rest of your afternoon once business dies down.
5. Be organized. Though you might see the items you’re selling as old junk, you don’t want your buyers to feel that way. Avoid cluttered tables and bins of random items and instead organize your merchandise into attractive displays. Less is more with what you sell, and you can always add more items when you sell off the ones you put out first. Be strategic: put toys at levels where kids can access them, clothing should be hung up or folded, and jewelry looks best when displayed.
6. Price fairly. Setting your own price on an item can feel godlike, but don’t get carried away with your numbers. Though that old lamp seems like it’s worth $15 to you, people might be able to access something similar at a Walmart or thrift store for less. Try to keep it affordable and avoid adding a “sentimentality charge” to special items. For kids’ items, keep in mind that lower prices will be more appealing to parents, and more affordable for little allowances if children are shopping for themselves.
7. Know Your Market. Find a base price and if items don’t seem to be moving, consider lowering a bit to promote liquidation. Remember to put a price tag on everything, but don’t go too low or people may try to get you to give items away. Also do a little research on your items before you sell. Knowing how much something is worth will help you decide how much lower you’re willing to go. Need help deciding your prices? Check out this handy guide on Garage Sale Tracker!
8. Batteries are included. If you’re selling items like electronics or toys that require batteries, go the extra mile and include working batteries. If the item is already functional, not only can shoppers test them before they buy, they don’t have to make a separate store-run to get them to work. Little considerations like this go a long way in convincing people to get out their cash. If you’re feeling really accommodating, provide a mirror so people can try on jewelry, jackets and other wearables. Just be sure to add the tag, “mirror not for sale,” if you want to keep it!
9. Manage Your Money. More than likely, your customers will all want to pay with $20s. Make sure you have enough bills and coins to make change! Also, keep your money safe during the sale. Enlist extra people to help out, or have a designated “cashier” so that you can mingle, organize items and re-stock without having to worry about the cash. If you don’t have a cash box, consider using an apron or fanny pack so that the money is always with you.
10. Make a connection. This simple trick is one of the easiest things you can do: Be friendly. Garage and yard sales provide a community feel, and one of your biggest selling factors could be your refreshing anecdote about all the adventures you’ve had with that baby stroller or the one time you wore that bridesmaid’s dress that no longer fits. Conversation prompts sales and will help make the day enjoyable. After all, is making new friends really all that bad?