The Secrets to a Successful Garage Sale
Do you want to have the best garage sale possible? Townsquare Media, along with title sponsor Payless Storage, is having the largest indoor garage sale on Saturday, April 11, and now is the time to rent your space. Once you have your space reserved it will be time to get prepared for the sale. The art of the sale can be tricky. It's takes more savvy than just slapping up a few old folding tables and unloading your junk.
Get Change - Make a trip to the bank before it closes up for the weekend and get plenty of change. You're going to be breaking a lot of $10s and $20s over the weekend, and the last thing you want is to lose a sale because you don't have correct change.
Get the Word Out - Hit Craigslist, community message boards and every other free online resource you can think of. And make your ads descriptive. By listing many of the items that you're planning to sell -- a lawnmower, baseball cards, a baby crib -- you're more likely to ensure that purchasers on the prowl for a single item will show up.
Start Early - The type of people who rise at the crack of dawn to trawl sales are also the people on a mission to buy something. The mid-afternoon laggards, however, are likely just looking to kill time on a Saturday. By starting early you make sure you don't miss out on the most coveted customers.
Try Before You Buy - People are rightfully cautious when it comes to buying electronics at a garage sale. A potential customer has no idea whether you're selling that old DVD player because it's outlived its usefulness, or because one of your kids jammed an entire package of crayons into the slot. Make sure to have all electrical gadgets plugged in so that customers can test things out first.
Think Like A Kid - Put the brightly colored stuff out front -- kids toys, gadgets and video games. If you can get the kids to stop to check out the toys, their parents will stop and browse a little, too. You also want to ensure these items are at a kid's eye level. Putting the toys high up on a table isn't going to help them sell.
The Art of Presentation - You might be working out of a garage, but that doesn't mean your sale has to look bush league. If you're selling pictures, hang them up on the wall, rather than stacking them up on a table. Make sure big-ticket items are prominently displayed, rather than dumped in a bin with a lot of other stuff. Customers would prefer not to have to dig through piles of junk to find a deal. Spend a few extra minutes making it easy for customers to browse and they might reward you with a sale.
Learn to Barter - Garage sale customers love to barter. But for a generation raised on the carved-in-stone prices of big box stores, the art of bargaining can be a bit of a challenge. If your haggling skills aren't up to speed, here are a few tips. First, make the price seem open-ended. If someone asks the price of an item, respond with a question in kind. "How's $5 sound?" is a better response than "That's $5." Set you initial price a little higher than what you actually expect to get for it. That way when the customer talks you down, they can walk away feeling like they've scored a deal and you've still gotten the price you wanted. Finally, sell your stuff more quickly by giving the customer a cut rate if they buy the entire set.