Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Seeking To Simplify - The Garage Sale Edition

First I will quickly report on my goals and how I did these last 2 weeks since I last reported.

- I got rid of 60 items (exceeding my goal of 50).
- I cleaned out 10 spaces (right on track)
-I sold over 100 items (in addition to the other things we got rid of)! That was with the help of the garage sale and that caused my to complete my selling goal for the year but I do still want to try to sell some other things anyway.
-My house is doing pretty good with my working to get rid of clutter. My computer however has been a little neglected in the decluttering lately as I neglect to weed out e-mails and photo files. Hopefully I can work on that again before long.

It was an exciting couple of weeks for making good progress! And now Ken just put up storage shelves for me down in the basement so I have been going through more stuff down there and getting organized and ready to get rid of some more things.

And now....

Let's talk about garage sales.

Somebody commented and asked if I could share how we had a successful garage sale. I don't think I really have much if any in the way of new ideas nor do I think I am an expert but I will gladly share what tips I have....

  • I prayed about it. Okay, so I do like to pray about most things I do. I also regularly pray for God's guidance as I have been working to go through and get rid of things in our house. I ask Him to help me know what I should keep and what should go, etc. With the garage sale I did pray that He would just guide according to His will. That we might be able to make whatever money that He knew we needed and that He would guide concerning who came, etc. I believe that He truly was working in our garage sale. I felt so very blessed and thankful, not only for money made and excess gotten rid of but for the people that I could spend time with and meet.
  • We made a bunch of matching, simple signs. I made them by using the plain side (inside) of box cardboard and painting "Sale" and an arrow on them with some dark wall paint. I did also write our address with permanent marker on the bottom of most of them. Ken has been telling me for years that simple is better when it comes to signs. I think he is right. I do also think that matching is beneficial for a garage sale. Mine weren't all identical in size but they were all dark blue writing on cardboard. I have discovered that making signs with paint for the big letters is so much easier that using permanent marker that stinks and wears out. Paint goes on so much faster. You just have to allow for drying time.
  • We set up in a clean garage and we tried to move things that weren't for sale out of the way so it wasn't confusing.
  • We put up as many tables as we had with bright tables clothes on them. It is nice to be able to spread out quite a bit. Having stuff crowded isn't so nice.
  • Have things priced as much as possible. To keep things simple don't be afraid to make signs that say things like "Clothes - 50 cents each unless otherwise marked." Have plenty of those signs. Most people like to know how much something costs and not have to ask all the time.
  • Don't charge to much. That is my theory anyway. People go to garage sales to get a good deal. They expect prices to be less than going to a 2nd hand store.
  • If you really want to make money sell baked goods too. I mostly sold whole wheat bread and it went pretty fast. I sold nearly 20 loaves and could have sold many more if I would have had them made. Cookies also sell well.
  • Be friendly, visit with people and ask them if they are interested in.... whatever it is that you have. Sometimes they have noticed your bread or the books, etc. 
  • Use Craigslist and Facebook rummage sale sites for free advertising. That is all I used and it worked well. I know that many came from seeing my sale mentioned there.
  • Use any down time during your garage sale to do more decluttering in your house or garage and look for more items to sell. I set a goal for looking for stuff every hour. That didn't quite work but I did find quite a lot of things to get rid of while the sale was going on. It did help that I have kids old enough to watch the sale for me while I ran inside.
  • Hang up clothes that you have for sale as much as possible. I think people generally prefer looking at clothes hanging rather than spread out over a table. They stay neater too. Be creative in figuring out things to hang them on. Set up a step ladder or so and prop a big ladder between them or just run a rod from ladder to ladder. Tie up rope somewhere. Think outside the box!
  • Use balloons or streamers or whatever to attract attention to your signs and also to the garage sale itself.
I would love to hear any tips or suggestions that you have as well! If you hold a garage sale I hope you have fun and success!


Carmen N said...

My tip - if you're having a neighborhood rummage sale, don't spend your downtime to bring home items from your neighbors LOL! :)

Amy and Mark said...

I think it really helps to organize things into general sections. We always do kids, womens, mens, outdoors, and books. Most people are looking for only one or two categories and I think it helps people find things easier, and buy more!, when I take a little time to create areas. I also try to always have some large items to attract attention - a canoe, large baby items, big toys, or bicycles. Seeing those items in a listing online or while driving by always gets more people to stop. --- At the end of the day, usually around 11:30 or noon, we start to do a bag sale and everything people can fit in a grocery sack is $2. It helps us have less little stuff left over at the end!

Nola said...

Having the tables priced helps instead of prices on each item. For example "Anything on this table $1" etc.

I have done two garage sales...and to be honest I won't do another one. I did make money but the time and effort put into it wasn't worth it for me personally. Moving many times has helped cut down on our clutter as each time we move we see items we don't need as we are packing up. I've started giving to thrift stores instead.

I can see the value in doing it but 1) I think you either need to be with another person or multiple families or 2) you need to have a lot of stuff to sell.

Abbi said...

Good tips! Thanks everybody!
Carmen - I totally understand! :-) We have been involved with many group rummage sales in the past (and usually held at our place) and we tended to collect more than we got rid of. This last garage sale was really refreshing in that way as it was just us (basically - my mom and sister brought over just a few things) and we did truly clean stuff out.

Amy - I think the bag sale is a good idea. We didn't do it this time but have sometimes in the past. I do also think it is a good idea to have sections organized. People do seem to appreciate that.

Nola - I totally get what you are saying. If I didn't have bigger kids to help I doubt I would do one. However I do find them quite a lot of fun even if they are a lot of work. I love the interacting with people that happens. I think it is a personality thing as my mom has never had any interest in holding a garage sale and shares your opinion pretty well.


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