First, set a date and time when you can devote your full time to
this sale, for gathering up various articles as well as being
able to attend the sale full time.
Second, plan just what you're going to put in this sale, if you
are going to have the sale alone, or with two to five more
Third, have plenty of change on hand - both silver and paper
Now, get down to business. A sale is work - a lot of hard work,
but the returns more than justify the effort. Whether it's
advertised as Patio, Carport, Yard, Porch, or Garage-a-Rama,
people will come and buy. Clean out your closets and ANYTHING
that is useless to you or you don't want - put it in the sale.
Don't throw anything away. People will buy just about anything.
You'd be surprised. What is one person's trash is another's
Of course you need to advertise. Be specific, concise and
honest. State place, date, hours. If you have large amount of
clothing, specify some of the sizes, particularly if you have
quite a few in a few sizes. Antiques. They go over big
regardless of state of repair or condition. Give good
descriptive details to save disappointments.
Capitalize on the season. Feature luggage at going-away to
school or vacation time. Toys near Christmas. Include fads.
Today, bottles of all kinds are in demand. Big bottles, little
bottles, Jim Beam, Avon, Kara Brooks, Wheaton/Nuline, old
medicine, Mrs. Butterworth, miniature - all kinds, old fruit
jars, and insulators.
Here are some additional items that we find to be in big demand:
baseball cards, lawnmowers, camping articles, guns, tools,
coins, old books. Children like comic books, old and new. Women
like aprons, old-fashioned bonnets, clothing for themselves as
well as their children, salt and pepper shakers, needlework,
jewelry and dishes.
Doll clothing and accessories are always in demand and
especially for Barbie and Ken or teen dolls. Toys go over big at
any time. Dolls and stuffed toys. Make a hit with the kiddies
and they, in turn, will finally persuade their mothers to buy
something. Children are very persuasive!
Have a large quantity of items to sell, a big variety. And don't
be afraid to drag out those outgrown items, old dishes,
two-of-a-kind items you don't really need and generally "clean
house". You'll find the money in your pocket is better than all
the clutter in the house.
Homemade items are very popular. If someone in your household
sews, then sew up aprons, doll clothes, dolls, stuffed toys from
scraps of material lying around. You'll make use of those scraps
taking up space and make money too! Fresh produce such as
tomatoes, green beans, corn, fruits, etc. will also sell, if you
should have a garden overflowing.
String up a clothesline to display any clothing you may have.
Remember, clothing for all ages, men or women, is always in
great demand. Children's clothing goes over best and especially
about the time for school to start in the fall.
Set up card tables or ping-pong tables to display small
merchandise. Place tables in a manner that will leave room for
shoppers to browse without feeling crowded. Display your wares
attractively. Be sure they are clean, usable, and priced
People are looking for bargains. Don't disappoint them. Remember
that what you sell is something you don't want anyway, so
whatever you get is gravy.
Take advantage of the space under the tables, if you need more
display room. You will be amazed how buyers spot the smallest
item under the table. Colorful table covers draw a lot of
attention to your items.
You will save yourself a lot of time answering questions if you
show a price on all merchandise. Use a heavy black felt marking
pen for lettering. If more families go in with you, identify
your price tags with a code such as G 75 cents or M 25 cents.
The letters designate, perhaps, the first letter of the last
name of the family who contributed items to sell. Keep all the
tags and at the end of the sale, divide the tags according to
code and total the sales. You may not come out right to the
penny on sales and change you had on hand as anyone can make
errors in making change for a customer.
Be sure you have electrical outlets nearby to plug in toasters,
blenders, electric skillets, irons, hair dryers, electric
razors, etc., to show people that your articles do work. If you
have to use an extension cord, make sure it is in excellent
condition and preferably a heavy duty one.
If you have any fragile, rare or expensive items such as
crystal, cut glass or jewelry, be sure it is displayed on a
sturdy table and up high out of reach of kiddies. They are
curious and you might be too busy to watch them.
Drinking glasses, dishes, cups will sell faster if you price
them in sets of 6 for $1.00 instead of 15 cents each. Paperback
books, magazines, records and items that have titles will sell
more readily if they are marked separately. If they want them
collectively, they'll ask you. Then bundle them all up and sell
them. Sell everything!
Advertising. Run an ad in your daily newspaper. If you run your
ad one day only, have it in the Thursday paper. You might like to
run the ad two days to appear in both the Thursday and Friday
editions. If your sale runs through Saturday, your sale is about
over before the paper hits the street on Saturday. Therefore,
2-day advertising is usually adequate unless your sale is
continued late Saturday night and through Sunday.
However, whatever you decide to advertise - BE READY! Be ready
to meet any customer as soon as the paper hits the street,
because some will come before the sale and before you even get
ready to start the next day! In addition to placing an ad in the
paper, place signs at points where people will see them. Some
Laundromats have bulletin boards on which you can place notices.
Advertise all you can. Work word-of-mouth all you can. If
employed, place signs on your company's bulletin boards.
Best days for your Garage Sale are Thursday, Friday, and
Saturday. Sundays are usually a waste of time unless you're
staying at home all day doing nothing anyway.
At the end of your sale you will have met a lot of nice,
friendly people. If you want to continue your selling of any
items you might have made, you can let people know then and have
future sales all lined up. A circular made up and passed out to
each customer would help to obtain any future sales also. You
will profit both from the present sale and any future sales
also. In short, you should have received much money, future
profits, some new acquaintances and a weary but happy body!
HAPPY SELLING AND GOOD LUCK!