Sunday, March 6, 2011

Garage Sale

We decided to participate in our yearly neighborhood garage sale this past weekend. Despite the lack of enthusiasm from my family, I decided I needed to purge things we didn't need any longer. Therefore, the week prior, I worked on gathering everything I wanted to get rid of. I practically spent every moment I had to organizing the event. It seemed like 40 hours of prep for 4 hours of selling.

We had hundreds of items to sell and price. It was crazy.

We sold 7 out of the 8 bikes I had out. Two were sold even before the sale with my garage sale posting on craigslist. Despite my neighborhood advertising, I figured it didn't hurt if I advertised as well. I did have people show up because of my posting which was great!

Our best sellers by far were the toys and kids shoes. I sold 75% of my toys and over 30 pairs of kids shoes!!!

We had so many clothes to sell.

All in all, it was a success. I made over my target goal of $400 buckaroos which will go to R.'s room decorating fund. I must say it was a lot of work and if I didn't have my real goal of trying to purge all this stuff we didn't need, I may not have gone through all the effort.

Here are the things that I have learned from my garage sale.

1. Advertise wherever you can a week in advance. I advertised on craigslist. People were willing to pay full asking price and come pick it up before the sale. That's less items you have to worry about selling the day of.

2. Make signs directing people to your home. Although, our neighborhood advertised for us, I still wanted people to know where we were since we were tucked away in a culdesac most cars do not drive down.

3. Make sure people can see stuff from the street. I made sure I placed huge furniture pieces on our lawn so that it would be visible because our garage is hidden by our house.

4. Go to the bank and get a lot of ones and fives. I gave out 15 five dollar bills within the first 3 transactions alone. It was a good thing I had plenty of change.

5. The more people you have to help the better. Despite the handful of people that were there to help me, it was still chaotic at times trying to juggle all the questions and transactions. I definitely have to thank my sister who went far and beyond to help me prep for this sale.

6. Price your items with room to negotiate because people will negotiate. It's a garage sale. You don't have to give your items away, but remember that people come to a garage sale because they want a deal. With that said,

7. Know your prices and you will get more. When people come to negotiate a price and I know how much it is worth, I have no problem with telling them the original price of the item. I had one lady argue that I priced my shoes too expensive. She wanted a pair of practically new nordstrom and ralph lauren shoes for $1 each when I had priced them for $4. When I was firm with my price she got angry. What I thought was hilarious was her daughter telling her in spanish, "Mom, those shoes are really expensive, so I want them." I turned to her mom and said, "Even your daughter knows those shoes are expensive." Needless to say, she stopped haggling me on the shoes. Therefore,

8. Be ready for very aggressive people. We came across some people that were so aggressive they just wouldn't take no for an answer. The haggling was so bad (he practically wanted it for nothing) that my sister said she would rather give it to good will at that point.

9. Be ready for people who sticker swap. I was not in the mood to haggle for that dollar or two so I let it go, but I did notice that a lot of items that were marked with a $1 sticker, mysteriously disappeared and landed on items that I priced higher.

10. Be ready for shop lifting. I came across a lady who used her 3 year old to shop lift toys. What do you do then? I was annoyed, but we let it go.

11. If you don't want your stuff, be ready to slash prices right before the sale ends.

12. In the end, remember that no matter how much you make, it was more than what you began with.

At the end of the day, I made over my goal amount AND I got to purge nearly everything I had out. The majority of the items left that were unsold went to charity. It was a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

1 comment:

  1. Great tips!!! Our neighborhood usually has two garage sales a year and I love them. It's like owning my own retail shop!


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