Welcome back to the 24/7 MOMS Frugal Living event – Today is Making Money Monday, Amy Hannold of Saving Cents everyday is going to share some great tips on holding a successful garage sale. Be sure to read today’s book review, grab the frugal freebies and enter our giveaway.
A Garage Sale-r’s Guide
By: Amy Hannold of SavingCentsEveryday.com
Tips for a Successful Garage Sale Preparing for and having a garage sale at your home is simple when you follow the golden rule; prepare for the sale you would want to attend. Conducting your sale in a manner you would enjoy buying from will increase your sales.
Friends and Family: When holding sale with a group of friends discuss sale details such as childcare, food, signage, advertising, set-up/clean-up, and finances. Determine how each family will label their items. At the cashiering table, list complete names of each seller and their sales tag designations. Note any items that that a seller wishes to sell at a firm price – with their phone number. If you have decided on a half price sale hour, list any items they do not want sold at reduced prices .
When?! Some sellers believe that choosing a weekend around the first or the fifteenth of the month is more profitable. Consult your local chamber of commerce or newspapers for upcoming community events.
Inform neighbors of your sale. Advocate the respect of their property from your buyers. Be aware of the newspaper’s deadlines. Write your ad using key words that describe the types of items you’re selling.
Best Signs, More Profit!: Durable home-made signs work as well as purchased kits.(Larger cardboard boxes or poster board reinforced with sticks or sandwich-board type signs with balloons attached?) Sellers often use political signs; they come with a stake. The paper is reversible (or you can staple over it).
For signs further away, add your address in clear, block-style print. Be sure that signs can hold up against the weather. Don’t copy the text of your ad onto your sign -driving buyers can’t read the inventory of your sale.
Can You Be Found?: For best visibility, use a wide-tipped permanent markers. Use block letters, with arrows large enough to follow from several feet away. Uniformity in your signs leads buyers to your sale. If there is more than a mile or two between a sign and your sale, a brightly colored arrow steers drivers in the right direction. If your home is off the main road by several miles, writing “5 miles” on your sign may avoid buyers getting lost.
Find your good stuff: It’s true that whatever you think will sell stays, and whatever you think will stay, goes. Garage sales are, by their design, very interesting perspectives into human nature. Make a list of the items in your home that you want to sell. Ensure you have the manuals or accessories for items being sold. Presenting your items in good repair& cleanliness will increase selling value. If an item needs repair/replacement accessories, note it on the tag. Showing that you cared for your items boosts the buyer’s faith that it is worth what you are asking.
Let’s Make A Dollar!: Most people price their item at a certain percentage of current retail, leaving room for some negotiation. Others price their items equal to their willingness (or uncertainty) to rid of what they are selling. Know what certain things sell for at garage sales in your area. Price clearly, neatly & fairly!
Fuel-Up!: Keep the crew fed and happy by taking time to prepare meals & snacks for your sale day. Crock-pot meals for either lunch or the post-sale dinner meal are a seller favorite. Think now of what you will want after closing time. Being ready prevents the temptation of ordering in, thus saving you your hard earned money.
Catch Those Drive By’s!: Placing nicer/popular, more enticing items at the front will attract drive-by sale-rs. A common selling strategy is to stage similar items together. This may divide the boys from the girls, but a center aisle of general items will usually encourage a flow of traffic. Have a kids’ table lower to the ground for toys & children’s items. Place fragile or expensive items out of children’s reach. Clothes hung and arranged by size sell better than in a heap.
Ambiance: Utilize quiet, background music (of a neutral genre). Children can be a distraction and a hazard, both for you and for your buyers. If you can arrange for their care elsewhere, do. This is especially true for the first half of the day when traffic and transactions are at peak levels. Note: If your children are not sold on the idea of their items being sold, the whole process can be excruciating for everyone. Clear any hazards buyers might encounter. Label any items that are not for sale. Keep your out-of –sight home/garage doors locked, as people will wander around your yard .
“Greet-Talk-Watch”: Greet your buyers cordially. Don’t overwhelm them, but be available & approachable. Invite questions. Ask if there is anything in particular buyers are looking for. Provide batteries or outlets for testing electronic equipment. Ask buyers about your signage. If a sign is missing or reported as fallen, do what you can to remedy that.
Safe Selling: Sadly, theft at garage sales is increasing. Take precautions for anything you don’t want to have stolen. When there are fewer folks at your sale, take some of your money into your house. Keep in your cashbox only what you need to make change; you won’t appear able to accept bigger bills. Accepting checks as payment is your decision. Many sellers now offer to hold buyers’ items until they can return with the money.
Good Stuff Shuffle: Between flows of traffic, re-arrange your items to enhance their visibility. If certain things are not selling, mention them to your buyers. For one-day sales, decide when it’s time to slash prices(a “bag sale” or a “half-price hour”?)Offer up larger items at irresistible prices!
Closing Time: Recruit the troops! If you are collecting remaining items for charity, set them aside. Take down your signs. If the signs are re-usable, note on the back of them where they were posted. Set aside items for your “seed box” to sell at your next sale. Thank your neighbors for their help and patience with your buyers. Have your sale accountant total everyone’s sales, subtracting any amounts agreed upon for division of sale expenditures. Make a note of the preparations which made your sale successful. Enjoy your profits!
Frugal Quote for Thought: “Without frugality, none can be rich and few can be poor.”
Samuel Johnson, English poet and writer
“Making Money Monday Giveaway:
Think You Can’t Afford to Stay Home? THINK AGAIN!
This easy-to-read guide gives practical steps, creative suggestions, and valuable resources to help you and your family:
- Cut your food bill in half!
- Cut your vacation expense in half!
- Cut your clothing costs in half!
- Cut your debt in half – and out!
- Cut your housing expenses in half!
- AND double your giving!
To enter for your chance to win, enter your name and email address in the box below you will be signed up for today’s giveaway as well as be added to the 24/7 MOMS E-list(if you are not already a 24/7 MOMS subscriber).
Frugal Reading Review:
“Household Hints and Handy Tips; The Most Comprehensive, Best Organized, Hardest Working Collection of How-to Facts and Shortcuts”, published by Reader’s Digest. Most recently published in 1995
Containing just a bit of nostalgia (addresses for further information and true, basic family information), this is an illustrated, valuable goldmine of practical ideas and hints. Place this resource in your bathroom, car, or living room for reading when you want to quickly fuel your brain with frugal information and shortcuts. It’s a great book (it can be found cheaply online) to pass around in your circle of friends. You’ll learn something new every time you pick it up! Peruse the handy index for topics such as appliance maintenance, supermarket strategies and more. My copy has lots of marked pages. “Outdoors yard & garden section”, sections on storage, family health and getting organized are particularly useful. This would make a good book for a young family starting out. Sure you can find this information on the internet, but nothing beats turning pages and being inspired.
Today’s Frugal FREEbies:
FREEbie Aeropostale Tank:
Starting March 3, 2009, bring a copy of the April 2009 issue of Seventeen and show the page with the featured Aéropostale tank, or a printout of the seventeen.com homepage, to a participating Aéropostale store to receive 1 (one) tank top from Aéropostale. One tank top per person. While supplies last. There are 30,000 tank tops available nationwide. Promotion ends April 6, 2009. A notice will be posted on seventeen.com when Sponsor has given away all 30,000 tank tops
FREEbie Garage sale kit:
Free down loadable Garage Sale kit at Family Fun. Click here to get your kit.
This handy kit makes it simple to create attention-getting garage sale signs and tags with attractive, easy-to-use designs. So get the family together, clean the clutter out of those closets, and get ready for the crowds to come calling.
Upcoming Tuesday:“Treasures and Memories, Frugal Style”