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Monday, May 03, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday - Garage Sale Tips


This weekend, I helped my sister with her neighborhood garage sale.  There's 2 main reasons I love garage sales:
  • I get rid of junk
  • and that junk adds up to money!
It wasn't the most successful yard sale I've ever done, but I did walk away with $100 more than I started with.

This was not my first garage sale.  I've been doing them for a long time and the only way I know how to do them is ORGANIZED!  So here's some of my best tips:

1. Signage is important.  Bright colors, big letters, clear message.

2. Tags are important!!  I, personally, hate those pre made already priced stickers.  They stick to the item and don't come off of the product easily.  All the garage sales I've been involved in have been with other people so we needed to differentiate between our stuff.  I've heard of all different methods such as keeping track during the sale and as people check out just write down on a chart of some sort who's stuff sold.  The best method I've found is the numbered tag system.  What you do is cut up a bunch of index cards into about 1" x 3" tags.  Each person contributing to the sale is assigned a number.  That number goes at the top of all your tags.  In the middle of the tag goes a brief description of the item.  This is important for several reasons.  If the tag gets separated from the product you could easily find it and re-attach it.  The other reason is some products are difficult to tell what they are and some customers may not want to bother asking you what it is, but if your tag tells them what it is, you probably just sold the product!  When the customer is ready to check out, just remove all the tags and dump them into a bag.  At the end of the sale or during some down time, separate the tags according to the numbers at the top.  Easy peasy!

3. Be truthful on your tags.  If it doesn't work, say so!  Doesn't mean you can't sell it, someone could be able to fix it or use it for parts.  Just mark it down really cheap.  Also, list if it's missing any parts.

4. If you're making tags for clothing items, put the size on the tag. 

5. Group like items together.  This makes for easy shopping for the customer.  Some basic categories are: kitchen, holiday, electronics, books/music/videos, baby, toys, etc.

6. Put your bigger items out front.  This is what draws people in.

7. During down times, tidy up your tables.  Consolidate as you go.  This makes your tables look not-so-bare and more full.  Also makes you look like you have more than you actually do.  What we did, was toward the last few hours, we actually moved all the tables up closer to the road.  What this did was take all our stuff that was spread out over a larger area (the turnaround in the driveway) and concentrated it into a smaller area which made it seem more full.

Mandi giving us a little wave!

8. Typically garage sales last 2 days.  Consider making the second day "Half Off" day.  Meaning all items would be half off the price tag.  If not the whole day, you could do "Half off after 12:00".  Whatever works for you.  The second day of our garage sale was calling for rain.  It was cloudy and actually misting in the morning.  We knew that would detain some people so we put a sign up in the yard that said "EVERYTHING HALF OFF".  It worked!  We had a stream of people pretty much all day...despite the weather.

9. Have spare bags (shopping bags, grocery bags, etc) and boxes available for those customers who buy lots.  Having something to put their loot in makes it easier for them buy more stuff!

10.  And lastly...don't let your 1 year old niece help!


Top Ten Tuesday is being hosted this week by Its Come To This.


MaggieK said...

I love this post...great ideas. We did one last spring and did really well, we got rid of so much stuff.

Mandi @ It'scome2this said...

LOL! #10 is the best!!

Amy Bennett said...

Love this! My mom, sister and I often do our sales together so that tagging is perfect! What we had done in the past is keep a clipboard/paper and write down the total at the end of each sale under each our name's.

Teaching Money to Kids said...

The tagging, sounds complicated, but as a shopper, I would much rather not have to ask what you want for something. I hate having to ask!

Amber @ Because Babies Grow Up said...

These are great garage sale tips! I came from what I thought was the land of garage sales to the actual land of garage sales. I really liked numbers 1 and 4. They're all great, though.

mom said...

LOVE #10 too!!!!!!!!!!! I can just see her now!!!!!!!!!!!

Simply Mel said...

I needed this! I'm having my first one in a couple of weeks. I'm excited yet kinda dreading it. The second day, half off idea is great. We have a TON of stuff so I'm dreading pricing stuff. But, I would rather not have a thousand " How much is this?" although I know people will still ask and try to negotiate. That's fine too.
And yes, #10 is awesome! And so cute.

Martianne said...

Thanks for the tips. We are hoping to have a huge yard sale next week or the following - but defintely prior to our new baby coming in July. I haven;t done one in years - since before marriage and kids - so I am a bit anxious about how to make the msot of the day - with little ones about, too! Glad yours was successful, even if not as much so as your past ones.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Great tips!

I've never done one before. I've been reading all that I can to beprepared. I like your idea of writing the size on the tags; I think I will do that!

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