50 hot tips to make your GARAGE SALE sizzle!
Hot off the press, here’s 50 hot new ideas to make your garage sale sizzle
1 Mid Saturday or Sunday morning, when people have spare time, and are out and about looking at houses, or walking their dogs,is the best.
2 Some time between 10:30am and midday gives people enough time to get organized, and lets you nab their attention before they disappear inside for lunch.
3 Give ‘em a clear run at the garage. Try to clear the clutter, kids and pets outta the way so prospective buyers don’t feel intimidated.
4 Advertise in that morning’s newspaper.
5 Don’t cramp the buyer. Let them know you’re there if they have any questions, then fade into the background.
6 A few nights before the garage sale, tell your neighbors when it‘s going to be on. This will let them know what’s going on, and also raise interest in the neighborhood.
7 Invite a few of your friends around to make it look like there’s a crowd.
8 Include a feature piece or two to get buyers’ conversations starting. You may or may not wish to sell these. If not, clearly mark that they’re ‘not for sale.
9 Keep the sale short. A couple of hours should do. In your advertising, state how long the sale will run for. This will both save you time, and compress buyer visits into a finite block of time, thereby giving the impression of activity.
10 Tidy the yard.
11 Plant some flowers a few weeks before hand so they’ll be blooming on the day!
12 Tidy the garage – no spiders!
13 Encourage haggling, and have fun with it! Build in a margin, and remember not to be stingy. Don’t get aggressive wit your haggling. If a customer gets aggressive, politely walk away from the transaction.
14 Don’t sell the crown jewels! If you’re unsure what something’s worth, but you suspect it may be a lot, take it to an antique dealer well in advance to make sure you’re not selling an item well under value.
15 Pool your resources with neighbors and have a giant garage sale. Make sure you’re at the sale though to ensure you receive your share of the takings!
16 Consider giving some of the proceeds – say 10-20% – to a local charity. Again, don’t be stingy, as it will reflect poorly on you and the sale. A generous donation will make you feel good, and others feel better about opening the purse strings. Display a ½ hourly-updated tally of how much you’re raised for the charity, so people know you’re on the level. Call the charity before hand – they may lend you one of their banners for further credence.
17 If you haven’t got a garage, hold the sale in your backyard, where people may not have been before. People love to sticky beak!
18 Play music – not ‘in your face’ stuff. Some Ella Fitzgerald or Miles Davis will do just fine.
19 Create a party atmosphere. Turn the sale into a large social gathering
20 Keep records of how much you sold each item for. Offer, and follow through on, an immediate refund In the event the buyer is unsatisfied. Refunding with no debate shows other customers that you won’t try to rip them off.
21. Get the kids involved – get ‘em to make lemonade and sell it in a corner somewhere. Of course they can keep the profits!
22. Everyone picks spring! Why not be different and pick a day in fall to host your garage sale. The weather’s just as nice, and there’ll be less competition.
23. Make a large, bright sign for the house. Give the kids some paintbrushes a week before and see what they can come up with. The children’s colorful touches will add a homey feel to proceedings.
24. Make sure there’s a wide variety of merchandise.
25. Keep your money secure.
26. Put on a sausage sizzle as an extra revenue raiser, and to keep people lingering.
27. Are you interested in crafts? The garage sale is a great place to test the market for a new range of home-made cards, or cakes, or home-grown pot plants!
28. Look out for free advertising. Put a sign out the front of your house a week before, especially if you‘re on a busy street. Post a bright placard on community billboards. Put a sign on your car window, or advertise on the intranet at work.
29. Don’t open before the advertised time. Let a crowd build up. This creates anticipation.
30. Let the cat walk around. This looks homey. Tie the dog up, well out of the way.
31. Stay positive about your sale items. They may not be what you no longer want, but they may fit in nicely in someone else’s home.
32. Don’t over-price.
33. Maximize parking. If need be, park your car down the street.
34. In fact, park all your cars in the street. This will look like a crowd has gathered, and create anticipation.
35. Advertise for free on a website like this! www.garagesalesource.com
36. Make sure you have enough change on hand! There’s nothing worse from a seller’s perspective than losing a sale because you couldn’t change a fifty quickly.
37. Make sure at least two of you are on hand in the garage to avoid queues forming at the ‘check-out’. The worst thing from a buyer’s perspective is to make an impulse purchase, only to have to queue to pay for it!
38. Make sure there’s no huge events such as football finals or parades on the same time as your sale
39. On the flip side, if you live on a well-worn track to a stadium or cultural facility, use the peak times to advertise your upcoming garage sale!
40. Check out the competition. Make sure you don’t go toe to toe. If there’s a garage sale coming up, go and check out what tactics they use – you’re bound to learn something!
41. Check when home-opens are happening around your neighborhood. You’ll be surprised how many people attend these because they’ve got nothing better to do on the weekends! Schedule your garage sale at the same time. Put your advertising signs out on the street near others’ home-open signs. You’re bound to pick up passing traffic.
42. Burn some incense sticks to create an air of mystery – a bazaar-like feel.
43. Have some spare chairs around to sit on, so people can linger. This is doubly important if you’re selling chairs – let the customers try before they buy!
44. Keep a pitcher of water and some paper cups handy for both you and anyone who looks dehydrated. They may return the favor by buying something!
45. Ditch the clock. You want people to linger.
46. If you live in an apartment block, consider hosting the sale in a common area. Put a flyer in everyone’s letter box, and watch them come running! Make sure you get body corporate approval to hold the sale on common property though.
47. Allow yourself enough time enough time to take a deep breath – 30 minutes downtime before the event is a god rule of thumb. If you’re flustered, it shows.
48. Lock up your house – the last thing you want is someone having a garage sale the next weekend with your prized belongings!
49. Leave your mobile phone details on cards around the sale so that anyone who’s unsure of a purchase can call you after the sale once they’ve made their mind up.
50. Have a think if there’s anything else you can piggy-back off having a large number of people around. Maybe you’ve been wanting to sell the old jalopy for some time. Put a FOR SALE sign in the car window. Maybe you’ve even wanted to sell your garage – now that would be the ultimate garage sale!