Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tips for Hosting a Garage Sale

I mentioned that this past weekend, I hosted a garage sale.  It is quite a long story about why I was having the garage sale, but we had a LOT of stuff to sell- mostly clothing (lots & lots of clothing), small home accessories, some electronics, lamps, a couple small pieces of furniture, home organizers, shoes, etc., etc. 

I wanted to recap a few of the tips I have for hosting a garage sale here, mostly so that I can refer back to this post and remind myself of these tips when I inevitably have to host another one.

1. Go to the bank and get change, but only get $50 or $70, the $100 I got was way more than I needed.

2. Do not allow early birds to look early! 
I opened the garage sale both days at 6 am to accommodate early birds, and low and behold, someone showed up at 5:45 as we were half-awake and still dragging stuff out.  She asked if she could take a look at what we had.  Did she buy anything? Of course not! Because it was all still in a disheveled mess! Next time, I will politely ask her to come back at the opening time or later in the day.  It added unnecessary stress to my morning.

3.  Start early setting up. And ask for help.

4. Think of everyone you know who might have a table you can borrow.
You can never have too many tables to set things on. You are way more likely to sell items that are displayed at a level people can see. 

5. Shoes are very popular.
Our shoes sold out like "that!"  Maybe I priced them too low? 

6.  Mardi Gras beads are very valuable outside Louisiana.
I had two FULL bags of beads that I sold first thing for a dollar each.  (To be honest, I thought they would end up in the donation pile at the end of the sale.)  Well, right after I sold them, a man said he wanted to buy them. I told him they were already sold. He bought a bag from the lady who had just bought them for $5. She made a $4 profit! Oh well- lesson learned.  P.S. In Louisiana, you literally end up giving these things away!

7.  Go gather necessary supplies 2 days before the sale- not one.
Plan to buy poster board, foam board, stakes and sharpies for the signs early so you have time to find the kind of stake you want.  I had to settle for wooden garden stakes when I would've preferred the kind you use for political signs because I ran out of time to look.

8. Check with our town about sign regulations.
I checked with our town about permits and found out I did not need one.  What I did not ask was if there were regulations regarding signage.  I bought balloons and whirlygigs and marked the path to the garage sale with those.  And let me tell you, they worked like a charm.  We made about $650 before someone from the town came and said that we could only have stationary objects- i.e. signs.  He'd cut down our balloons and whirlygigs.  After that, we only sold about $100 more merchandise. I wish I had known that I couldn't have those items before I spend $8 at the Dollar Tree on them.  But If I could go back and do it again, I might use them anyway... because they REALLY WORKED.

9.  In a pinch, turn over same-size empty boxes and use them for tables. 
Cover with a sheet and you are ready to go.  Props to my friend Sloane for this fab idea.

10. Be firm on prices! 
Price everything at what you truly want to sell it for and stay firm.  I priced low and went even lower during the first hour because we had so much traffic and I was so flustered.  I later regretted it, because I'm sure the people would've paid my original (very low) price.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Katelyn! I just posted about having a yard sale yesterday. I needed some advice - you def. helped!!! Hope you made some good money.


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