Sunday, April 20, 2008

Garage Sale Tips!

Hello All-

I wanted to share with you my new advertising secret if you plan to hold a garage sale anytime soon.

I will say most people dread holding garage sales and some dread going to garage sales. I would probably be in both camps to some degree. However, we have points in our lives where we just have to clear out the old and simplify and I have been there the last couple of months.

I typically like to donate my goods to non-profit companies and I applaud this effort, but sometimes you have so much stuff and maybe you want to save up for something special and it makes sense to try to sell the goods you paid good money for!

I had the most successful garage sale I have ever had this past weekend. I want to share with you a few of my secrets that I think allowed my sale to be very successful:

1) Posting the garage sale on Craigslist. It is free! It doesn't get any better than this and it is a great tool for people to see what you have to offer. I would suggest including a general list of your items and maybe a picture of the whole sale just to show people the variety.

2) Consider posting individual items on Craigslist for more exposure and to give people who may not be looking at garage sales, but are looking at listings for specific items a chance to see what you have to offer. Also, this allows you to do some cross-selling when they show up to your sale looking for one thing and buy a few others!

3) Avoid spending the $ on newspaper advertising. I say this because most people look at Craigslist now for their information. The exception to this rule would be if you are off the beaten driving might not hurt to spend the $ and pull in more of the traditional crowd that still uses the paper for their sale listings.

4) If you can, combine with a couple other families and hold the sale at the most prominent house that gets the most traffic. A lot of times you will get people driving by who haven't searched out your sale, but happen to see it and stop in. These are sometimes the best buyers because they are a bit more impulsive and willing to pay a higher price for items.

5) Consider having a "free stuff" box. I did this at my sale. I had a box of items intended for donation as I was going through my items to sell I placed them in this box. I made the box available to customers at my sale and it was completely picked over! It helped because I didn't have to take a trip to donate the items and the customer got some free stuff. It also encourages them to purchase something because they feel weird taking something without paying for something. I only had 1 person take something without a purchase....which is fine too!

6) Consider offering some type of incentive with purchase! For every item you buy you get a raffle ticket for some type of prize. Maybe you buy a $20 gift certificate to a restaurant, movie tickets, etc. Then at the end of the sale you draw one name. You can tell your shoppers you will contact the winner and then post the winner's name on Craigslist when you are done so they know you were honest with your reward!

7) If you don't sell your items, but know they would sell consider posting on eBay or keeping your listing active on Craigslist. Sometimes things sit for awhile and if they are a seasonal item it might be worth holding and listing at the appropriate time. I had a girls bike I had on Craigslist for 6 months that never sold. I put it at my sale for more $ and it sold the 1st day! You never know what might happen! For clothing for adults check out Style Connection on Willamette or Buffalo Exchange on 5th both in Eugene for sale/trade/consignment options. For kids clothes check out several consignment/trade/sell places around town like Bambini, We Bee Three, etc. If you just want to get rid of it and have big items I believe St. Vincent will do home pick-ups. You might consider giving items with minimal blemishes to Brattain House in Springfield. They take all types of things for families with kids in Springfield Public Schools or another agency. Don't forget to ask for your tax receipt!

Happy Saving & Sales!


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