Monday, May 18, 2009

We'll Do It Differently Next Year...

On Sunday we had our Annual Garage Sale.

It was good. Not great, but good.

We sold about 3/4 of our stuff, which we were happy about,

but we know we could have done even better had we done a few things differently.

Here is what we learned that works and doesn't work:

1. Saturday is
THE day!
We had been planning on having our sale on Saturday, but Will got called out to fly and I wasn't about to do the Garage Sale all alone. So we postponed it by one day and had it on Sunday.
Bad choice.
People aren't as willing to stop and look at what you're selling, because they assume that Sunday is day 2 of your sale and that all of the good stuff has already been picked over. I would venture to say that having it on a Friday would have even been better than having it on a Sunday!

2. Listing your sale on Craigslist
really works!
Our very first customer showed up at 9am on the dot and bought more stuff than we ever thought possible for one person to buy! We found out, towards the end of her shopping spree, that she had noticed our ad on Craigslist, which meant that she knew what we were selling and came on a mission to find it!

Thank goodness for her!

3. Price is
After a few hours had passed, we realized that we had probably already seen the bulk of our traffic. In an effort to enforce the "Everything Must Go!" policy we made the decision to announce that everything was priced at 25 cents!
Yep, a quarter...for anything!
Some of the reactions we received were pretty comical! Some of them included language that I can't say on a family friendly blog, like this - and lots were simply stated as "No way. Seriously?"
One little girl said:
"You should have called it a quarter sale!"
She was right! And had we known how bleak Sunday was going to be, we would have!
You can bet I'm saving that idea for next year!
No doubt we would have sold it all with that kind of gimmick!

One thing that we don't do for Garage Sales is price everything. In the past we have spent a lot of time marking everything before the sale, only to reduce the prices once the sale is in progress. We've found that people aren't discouraged by the lack of price tags and certainly aren't afraid to ask!

In the end, we loaded up the back of our car and took all of the clothes to a Big Brothers/Big Sisters donation site and everything else to the Goodwill. We were happy to see it go!

For some tips on having a successful Garage Sale, check out these links:

Ten Tips For Garage Sale Prep

How To Have A Successful Yard Sale

Yard Sale Checklist

And if you are planning a Garage Sale for 2009, we wish you the best of luck!
Here's hoping that you will have a better go at it then we did!


Rebecca Frame said...

just found your blog and am ever so grateful that i did...cant wait to get back to reading some of your posts!

nice to meet you!!

Kathi said...

I always check Craigslist to see if there are sales in my area before I venture out. Why drive all over town if you can shop in your own neighborhood? I agree that Saturday is the day. I don't care if things are priced but it helps to know what people are wanting for their stuff. I can tell right away if they really want to get rid of it or it they are "out of their minds!"
Glad to hear you had a good sale!

Jessica said...

I desperately need to have a garage sale!

Thanks for the tips!

~Kristen~ said...

Why am I so afraid to have a garage sale?!? I really just have to do it! The thought of the haggling and sitting around just freaks me out, though!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Congrats! I'm sure you're glad it's over. While I LOVE shopping at other people's garage sales, I never find having my own to be as much fun.

Michelle@Fromhousetohome said...

Thanks for the great tips! I'm glad you at least got rid of most of your stuff!

Ashley said...

A quarter sale?!? Where was I? Haha! said...

I never thought of looking on Craig's List, or advertising a sale there, thanks.

Erin said...

Advertising just one day is a good way to go I think. If you advertise two days whether they be Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun either way people won't come the second day becuase they will think everything is picked over. Also, I find pricing everything alot more work than what you get out of it. Big things sure...but the little stuff people are always going to offer you half of what you marked it at wether you mark it or not. Little less work.