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|How to Host a Successful Garage Sale
Tips for Hosting a Successful Garage Sale
1. Advertise in Your Local Paper
GSAs like me read the classified adds as if they're poetry. We hang breathlessly on every word. Spending a little money up-front on a classified ad makes it easier for us to find your sale. When you consider most classified ads are also listed online (which is how I find them) you're getting more exposure than you realize. In the add, give your complete address and any landmarks near your home, e.g. "2389 Hunters Way, 2 blocks South of the Salvation Army." (I shop there too.)
2. Make Signage Large and Use Plenty of It
I put a lot of mileage on my car wandering through neighborhoods , searching for sales that seem to have disappeared. It's like chasing a mirage in the desert. Make your signs big and cover them in plastic in case it rains. Use signage at major intersections but also post signs at every turn that surrounds your home. If you don't do this, I might get lost and end up at a competing garage sale!
3. Start Early and Work Late
Many GSAs hit garage sales while commuting to and from work. That's right, we have day jobs. So you should open by at least 7:30 am and close no earlier than 6 pm. (Do I sound like "the boss from hell?") And don't shut down shop for a lunch break. We shop on our lunch hours, too! Offering a pre-sale on Wednesday evening is an excellent way to generate traffic. I know this sounds like a long time to spend in your garage, but you'll make more money -- and that's the why you're hosting a garage sale, right?
4. Collaborate with Your Neighbors
There are two basic types of garage sales: "One Shots" which can be any single household hosting a garage sale and "Multi-Family" which is a neighborhood effort. GSAs like me prefer multi-family sales because to us it's like driving to a super store. It's one stop shopping and we're more likely to find what we're searching for. You'll also receive more traffic and you can share the cost of advertising with your neighbors.
5. Set Reasonable Prices
There's a rumor floating around among garage sellers that GSAs are cheap and I would have to say that's an accurate assessment. However, you can avoid some of the haggling by doing what major chain stores do. Offer bundled prices that appear to be a really great deal for the buyer. For example, selling "3 for $5" is better than charging $1.75 each. You'll earn 9¢ less on each item but in the long run you'll earn more money. If it works for Walmart, it should work for you.
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