GARAGE SALE PROMOTING FOR QUICK AND EASY MONEY
Pick almost any city or town in the country, drive through any middle class neighbourhood, or residential area on the weekend, and you’re sure to spot at least half a dozen garage sales.
What’s being sold at these garage sales?
The accumulated “junk” people no longer use or want taking up space in or around their homes.
Are they making any money with these garage sales? You’d better believe they’re making money!
It’s not at all uncommon to make £300 with a weekend garage sale.
Is it hard to put on a profitable garage sale? Well, yes and no. It really does take some of your time, and also requires an
awareness of a few merchandising tactics.
But the problems in running a successful garage sale are small in comparison to the profits.
Who are the buyers, and how do you get them to come to your garage sale?
Your customers are going to be “everybody”, and you get them over to your garage sale with a little bit of advertising and promotion.
Let’s look at the background: everybody accumulates the kind of garage sale items that other people are searching for, and are willing to buy.
These items range from no longer wanted or outgrown items of clothing to furniture, tools, knick-knacks, books, pictures, and toys.
Many garage sale items are objects of merchandise purchased on impulse, and later found to be not what the buyer wanted.
He discovered too late that he really didn’t have a use for it, or he no longer has a need for it. Many items found at garage
sales are gifts that have been given to the seller, but are the wrong size or incorrect choice for the recipient.
The problem with most people is that they haven’t the time to gather up all the items “just taking up space” in and around
their homes and staging a garage sale to get rid of them.
Many people don’t know how to stage a garage sale, and many other people feel that putting on a garage sale is just too much bother and work. This is where you enter the picture.
Your enterprise will be an ongoing garage sale of items donated and collected from these people who lack the inclination to put on garage sales of their own.
Step one is education: Spend a few weeks visiting all the garage sales, swap meets and flea markets in your area.
Find out what’s being offered for sale, what people are buying, and how the merchandise is being sold.
Generally an item is tagged with a price, but the seller is open to almost any reasonable offer from the customer.
Another thing you want to do is make mental notes of the way the merchandise is displayed, and how the customers are allowed to browse.
Start your own garage sale by clearing out your own basement, attic, closets and garage. Talk to your relatives and friends, tell them what you’re going to do and ask them for donations of no longer used or wanted items.
It’s here that you’ll get your first experience in negotiating, and finally an agreement for you to display and sell other
people’s merchandise for a percentage of the price.
You’ll find people explaining that they really don’t have a use for a specific item or they really don’t want to keep storing
it, but because of sentimental reasons, “just hate to give it away”.
Once you’ve had a little experience with this type of seller, you will be able to advertise in the newspaper that you buy
garage sale items, or take them on consignment for a percentage of the final sales price.
The advertising angle is really quite simple, and shouldn’t cost very much either.
You should run an ad in your local free paper, for about three weeks in advance of, and up to the day of your sale.
Once you’re operating on a full time, every day of the week scale, you’ll want to change your ad schedule and the style of
But in getting started, go with small classified ads simply announcing your garage sale, emphasising that you’ve got
something of interest to everyone – everything from A to Z.
To get ideas on how to write your ad, check your newspaper for a week or(so; cut out all the garage sale ads you can find; paste them up on a piece of paper.
Then, with a bit of critical analysis, you’ll be able to determine how to write a good ad of your own by determining the
good and the bad in the ads you’ve collected.
Something to remember: The bigger and better your sale, the bigger and better your “getting started” ads should be.
And the secret to outstanding garage sale profits is in having the widest or largest selection of merchandise. You should have an old-fashioned ‘sandwich board’ to display in front of your house when your garage sale is open for business.
This will pull in your neighbours, if you haven’t already informed them, and attract the people driving by.
Sandwich boards are sometimes set out at key traffic intersections not far from the site of the garage sale, to
attract attention and point the way (but do check with your local authorities that this is permitted in your area).
Another “sign idea” practice by a few really sharp operators is the old “burma Shave” roadside pointers.
Here, you simply take a few cute sayings in verse (or one-liners), write on pieces of board, and tack onto the
telephone poles at about 200 yard intervals on a thoroughfare leading to your garage sale.
You’ll create a lot of traffic for yourself!
By all means, search out and use all the free bulletin boards in the area.
It’s better, and usually much more profitable, to take the time to make up an attention grabbing circular you can post on these with a postcard announcement.
To do this, pick up some ‘transfer lettering’, go through your newspapers and old magazines for interesting illustrations,
graphics and pictures, then with a little bit of imagination, make up an A4 poster-type announcement of your sale.
When you’ve got it pasted up, take it to any quick print shop, and have them print up 50 to 100 copies for you.
The cost should not come to more than £5 – £10.
If you make this “circular poster” up with versatility and long time usage in mind, you can use it over and over again, simply by pasting on a new date.
In case you were puzzled when we t`lked about “pasting”, this is simply pasting another piece of paper onto the overall page.
Say you have a circular with a date of Wednesday March 1st, and want to change it to read Thursday July 16th.
Rather than do the whole thing again, simply write out the new date with your transfer letters on a separate sheet of paper, cut out to fit in the space occupied by the old date, and paste the new date over the old date.
A good paste to use for this purpose is rubber cement.
That’s all there is to it; the printer does the rest.
Now let’s talk about the ‘inside secrets’ of drawing people into your sale, and the merchandising ‘gimmicks’ that will result in the maximum sales and profits for you.
First, call attention to your sale. Don’t be shy, bashful or self conscious about letting everybody for miles know that
you’re having a garage sale.
You have to give your sale some flair. Put some posts up across the front of your property, and run some twisted crepe paper between them.
Even better than crepe paper, run brightly coloured ribbons.
Inrest in some colourful pennants and fly them from temporary flag poles.
And don’t forget the balloons!
Make your garage sale a fun kind of event with clusters of balloons anchored to your display tables and racks.
Be sure to “float” them above the heads of your customers as they are browsing through your merchandise displays.
Cover your display tables with colourful cloths. Don’t hesitate to use bright colours with busy patterns. Regardless of what you sell, effective display is still predominantly essential!
You cannot “dump” items haphazardly on a table, sit down, and expect to realise great profits.
The people doing the most business – making the most sales – are the ones with interesting displays, action and colour.
Try to have as wide a selection of colours as possible in your clothing racks, and mix them for a rainbow effect.
Make sure that your jewellery items shine and sparkle.
Arrange them in and with jewellery boxes, jewellery ladders and other items sold for the purpose of showing off jewellery while keeping it neatly arranged.
Think about it, and then study the methods of display used by ‘rack jobbers’ in the stores in your area.
These are the wire racks that usually hold card packaged items.
This kind of display rack would lend itself beautifully for anchoring a cluster of balloons.
Keep these things in mind, and build your individual displays as part of the whole; make it pleasing to the eye as well as
convenient for your customers to browse through and select the items that appeal to them.
Look for some kind of interesting and unusual items to call attention to your sale – something you can set up or park in
front of your home during your sale.
Some of the displays we’ve seen along these lines include a horse drawn cart, a restored Mk 1 Cortina, an old farm plough – anything of an unusual and interesting nature will do the trick for you.
One couple we know put up a display using a mannequin dressed in an old time farm bonnet, long dress and apron.
The display depicted a farm woman of old, washing clothes with a scrub board, and two steel wash tubs.
You have to believe this drew crowds and made people talk!
Wherever your imagination takes you, you have to be different and distinctive, or you’ll get lost.
In the hundreds of garage sales going on, if you take the time to employ a bit of imagination, you’ll end up being the one with the biggest profits.
It’s almost a compulsion of many people to go shopping, to search for interesting and sometimes rare and valuable items.
This fact alone will keep you as busy as you’ll ever want to be, staging and holding garage sales.
The market is so vast, and the appetite so varied, that anything from a brass bed stead to a used diary of somebody’s long
forgotten grandmother will sell, and sell fast at a garage sale.
Put it all together, use a little imagination, and you’ll easily make all the money you want!