Monday, October 8, 2012

After the Garage Sale - an update

It was a blustery day here in Wisconsin on Saturday.  I think the high temp was in the 40s.  And I spent 7 hours outside at my garage sale.

The night before I was able to figure out where to put everything for display.  I couldn't put everything up because I wanted to put some stuff in the driveway - the only way people would be able to see the garage sale from the street.

Rhy helped make garage sale signs, Jeff got me change, and I updated the Craigslist ad with some pictures I took when most stuff was set up.  We were ready!  I got up entirely too early for a Saturday so I could shower and look presentable - you don't want to scare your customers, you know - and I made a list of corners for Jeff to put out signs.  He went on his errand and I went to set stuff up in the drive.

Not too long after 7AM people started arriving.  A few commented on how early I started the sale.  That brings me to...

#1 = Schedule your Garage Sale start time based on what season of the year it is.

I was not thinking when I started the sale at 7AM.  I was thinking of the summer months!  I wasn't thinking about the fact that the sun now comes up around 7AM...

I had a fairly decent flow of traffic.  Most people bought something, except for the men who came alone.  They were looking for outdoor items, and Jeff was not selling any hunting or fishing items.

#2 = Advertise.  Be specific.  Include pictures if possible.

I only advertised online on Craigslist and a few other websites.  A decent number of people commented on the Craigslist ad.  I took advantage of all 8 available pictures, and filled the spots with pictures I took the night before.  At least one group of women came specifically because I had included in the ad that Jeff would entertain offers on the motorcycle.  One woman said that she doesn't garage sale, but saw the ad on Craigslist, and she bought a set of dishes and a knife block for their new cabin up north.

#3 = Put arrows on your Garage Sale signs!!!

Seriously people!  Put arrows!  People do not know all the street names, and if they're at an intersection, they might not know which way to turn!  I included arrows on my signs, the address was kinda small, but that's okay because I was pointing people in the right direction.  And some people said that they stopped by on the way to or from somewhere because they saw the signs.  Yes!

#4 = Decide on the goal of your Garage Sale.

Is the goal to make money or to get rid of stuff?  I've always priced stuff low at garage sales.  Most things at our garage sale were $1 or less, and only a couple items were more than $5.  Obviously our goal was to get rid of stuff.  We made $125.  Not too bad.  I spent about $15 total on the sign frames and price tags.

#5 = Decide what to do with your leftovers.

I knew that we needed a plan for What To Do With the Unsold.  We're giving the clothing to a clothing pantry.  I'm keeping some stuff like the Christmas items, the Smurf glasses, and the doilies.  The rest, I'm calling St. Vinnies to come and pick up.  But you know what?  Seems like we only have about 1/3 of what we started with!  That's just amazing!

#6 = Clean up the garage right away.

Jeff and I got everything put away as good as possible tonight, so the car is now back in the garage.  No more sleeping outside for the Legacy!

All in all, it was definitely a successful garage sale.  I doubt I'll have another while we live here...

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